According to an article put out by Think with Google the “customer journey” was not something on the radar of marketing professionals even just five years ago. What changed that is data. Thanks to the data collected about customer intent, we as marketers are able to identify what drives the customer’s journey and what their points of contact are across the journey, from start to finish.
Think with Google and Econsultancy paired up to research the power of data. Through this research they were able to pinpoint how leading marketers used data to benefit the customer. This is what they found:
It’s important to spend time improving the quality and/or volume of data collected
If you don’t have the entire picture of your relationship to the customer, you won’t be able to deliver a compelling experience. That’s why leading marketers are investing in improving the quality and/or volume of the first-party data they collect. Markets found that they need to unify the connection of first-party data across all platforms, website, systems, channels, and team members. If everyone is on the same page, speaking the same language, and has access to the same data, everyone will know how to better serve the customer’s needs.
It will pay off to devote resources to holistically understanding and predicting customer needs
In order to effectively engage with an audience, it’s important to know what matters to them. In order to gather that type of insight, you need first-party data, but it’s also important to consider how to use that data to find new customers similar to your existing consumer-base. The collaborative research between Google and Econsultancy indicated that 81% of leading marketers agree that “capability in machine learning will be critical to provide personalized experiences along the customer journey.”
This partnership of first-party data and “machine learning” allows marketers to best understand new audiences that mimic their star customers. With this information, we can intelligently create a strategy to convert new customers across portions of the customer journey that were virtually unknown and untouched.
Don’t forget about your existing consumers!
Lastly, this research shows that in order to be successful, it’s important to anticipate customer needs and provide assistive experiences. Consumers expect personalized experiences. That means marketing can’t only focus on closing, but also in relationship building and experience improvements for the existing customer base. Some indicators that you are doing a good job at this is if your existing consumers shop outside of their normal pattern, branching into new categories or brands.
The bottom line is that the more you understand data, the more you are able to anticipate the customer’s needs and meet their expectations. This will leave your customers happy, and help you achieve your business goals.
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