Want to Capture Customer Data? Give Them a Reason to Share it
Talk to retail marketers about their goals for the upcoming year, and the conversation will inevitably turn to better collection and connecting of customer data, ultimately leading to personalization. Fortunately, consumers have grown more willing to share their information with marketers, particularly when they get something in return. In fact, a study from Infosys found that 93 percent of consumers are willing to share personal details (e.g., email address or mobile number) when given a compelling reason to do so.
When building your data collection strategy, keep these three things in mind:
1. Give your customers reasons to share. These come in the form of special offers, discounts or even a first look at new products. Whatever the incentive, make it compelling and make your customers feel as if they’re getting something special in return. Furthermore, engage with customers in a way that will benefit the both of you. For example, if you’re looking to connect a phone number to a customer's purchase data, mobilize an offer that can be redeemed in-store via a unique coupon for that shopper. The customer is getting a discount and you're driving them into a store and tying the phone number to a purchase. Make it a win for both parties.
2. Know what data you want and why. What information is most valuable to you? An email address? A phone number? Maybe it’s purchase data and brand preference? If you’re able to collect these data points, what's your strategy to put these insights into action? Are you using information for future segmentation purposes? Maybe you’re trying to compare channel performance for a given initiative, or simply trying to optimize discount levels and price points? Make sure there's a purpose to your data collection and a strategy to leverage it.
Many retailers are looking to connect the dots across their marketing mix to communicate more effectively with their customers across all channels. A consumer could research a product in a browser on their tablet, see if it’s available in-store on a smartphone app, and ultimately purchase it offline. Collecting multiple data points per customer helps you see specific paths to purchase.
Single data points in isolation aren't useful in today’s retail world; smart data collection means pulling those data points together (an email address, a mobile phone ID, a browser cookie) to map a path to purchase that reflects an individual customer journey. Let customers choose online or in-store redemption, then see if a pattern emerges. Use codes (static or unique) to follow redemption patterns or determine channel attribution.
3. Once you have a customer's data, be smart about using it. When customers feel comfortable enough to share their information, you have a tremendous opportunity to add value to their personal experiences with your brand. The more value you provide, the more willing they will be to share further information. Nothing is more disappointing for a customer than receiving a disconnected brand experience after they’ve offered insight into who they are. Your customers don't think about themselves as a YourBrand.com or YourBrand app or YourBrand brick-and-mortar customer. They see themselves as YourBrand customers, period. Smart data collection and usage allow their experiences with your brand to reflect a unified and consistent experience across all channels.
The opportunity for true personalization begins the first time a consumer interacts with your brand. Give each customer a reason to share information at the outset and you'll quickly begin to build a profile that will allow you to anticipate what a customer wants and maximize engagement with your brand throughout your relationship.
Steve Dybsky is vice president of global partnerships at Persio, a multichannel marketing and decisioning platform provider.