How Data Can Bridge Retail's Digital Divide
The future of retail is finally here. Thanks to the smart integration of customer relationship management (CRM), in-store sales data and media attribution, retailers are finally able to connect the dots between what happens out in the world (i.e., where they market to customers) and in-store, where the cash register goes ka-ching. At long last, we're able to bring in the precision and accountability of e-commerce and digital marketing and apply it to in-store marketing and measurement to drive more effective marketing and boost sales. Retailers have found their Rosetta Stone — the key to translating online data to offline sales.
Of course, there's no one-size-fits-all solution. Every organization has its own CRM system, operational practices and sales goals. There are a few ground rules I've found work well for most of the businesses I speak to, however. Here are my best practices that can set you on the road to bridge the gap in your retail sales organization:
1. Use what you've got. Retailers are uniquely positioned when it comes to customer data because they own their CRM databases. This is a huge opportunity, and one I advise clients not to ignore. Use your CRM data to build out your audience segments using look-alike modeling, and you'll be able to find more customers like the ones you've already got.
2. Choose your compass. When you integrate multiple sources of third-party data with your own first-party data, the two sources won't always validate each other. From the beginning, be sure your team agrees to assign one data provider to be the source of truth for your marketing. That way, as you move into planning and execution, you'll be able to compare apples and apples, and leave the oranges alone.
3. Don't get overwhelmed. Lots of data points lead to lots of possibilities, which can produce lots of anxiety for some folks. Don't let yourself get overwhelmed. Even with a zillion bits at your disposal, your story stays the same. At Sq1, we use customer segments to tie it all together. When we get new data, we build it into the customer stories we're already telling, and they become our north star.