Creating great customer business experiences is ultimately what matters most, and this requires a single customer view and data enrichment techniques for a deep understanding of your customer. Organizations that rely on only first-party data are at a disadvantage. They risk missing out on valuable new information as time passes. For example, did your customer just move to a new state or buy a new home?
It’s no secret that marketing has evolved as the pace of technological innovation has accelerated. Success in marketing today no longer means having the loudest bullhorn. Instead, it requires a thorough understanding of your prospects and your customers as well as engaging with them through their preferred means of communication via relevant content.
How It Works
The data enrichment process is straightforward. Data is ingested from second-party and third-party data providers and appended to existing individual customer data tables in a database by integrating a consumer’s anonymous identifiers, behavioral data, and attributes. Duplicate records are removed. Data is then validated, tested, and updated in a continuous process. Once data is cleaned and centralized, marketers and data analysts can analyze it to gain insights and to inform their campaign strategy. Identity providers such as LiveRamp and Tapad provide resolution services.
Let’s say you’re a local business looking to send out a direct mail piece. Data enrichment can help verify or correct a home address, comparing first-party data with third-party data (postal records) to look for errors. The third-party data will fill in the more recent information, saving you a wasted mailing in the event that a customer has moved to a different address.
Data enrichment does not mean accessing private data. It’s simply collecting data that is already public and combining it with existing data. Businesses face an increasing number of regulations that govern the collection, storage, usage—and even disposal—of customer data. Browsers have recently begun cracking down on ad trackers, for example. Regulations vary across different industries and geographic locations, but businesses that stay on top of them can help avoid litigation and build long-term trust with their customer base by transparently disclosing what information is being collected, how it is used, and with whom it is being shared.
Identify Gaps in Your Marketing Resources
Data enrichment gives your organization the ability to deliver targeted, personalized marketing experiences to all of your customers at scale. It also provides you, as a marketer, more leverage to request larger or more strategic marketing resources, such as head count or additional budget for your initiatives. By better understanding your customer needs, you’ll be better able to negotiate the right budgets when you point to gaps that exist in your marketing resources.
For example, if you’re currently enriching data from multiple sources for new campaigns that employ email, and you’ve noted your performance numbers are off, one of the issues could be the email addresses you currently have. This is where you could look into email validation as a part of your data enrichment routine. You could also use similar tools for other channels, such as SMS, ensuring that you have the right platforms for device ID validation. For hyper-localized communications, say via your loyalty app, these types of validation routines will keep your data updated and ready for future campaigns.
Become a Cross-Functional Employee
Utilizing data enrichment will also make you a more valuable marketer and employee in general. By gaining a holistic understanding of your customers, you become a cross-functional employee who can provide valuable marketing insights to your sales, product and service teams. You’re already attuned to the buying cycle and where your prospects are in that journey, so why not share your insights and observations within your organization?
For instance, product development is always looking for new customer insights — which products are popular and which don’t hit the mark. If a particular regional audience is engaging more with ads, emails and social posts for your latest product, you could engage a new data partner with specialized demographics for that region. By digging deeper, you show your product team and the rest of the company your dedication to customer knowledge. Pretty soon, they’ll be on your doorstep, begging for more.
Marketing, in general, is unfortunately still very siloed today. Conventional thinking is that integrated campaigns are still too heavy a lift for companies at the moment. However, integrated campaigns are clearly where the market is headed.
Putting It All Together
Given everything going on in the world right now, there’s never been a better time to understand your customers and prospects and deliver a great customer experience. A survey we ran earlier this year found that nearly three in four consumers (74%) are either somewhat or very likely to buy from a company based solely on their experience, regardless of product or price.
Organizations that understand this new dynamic will win market share and customer loyalty and decrease churn. Those that do not will quickly find themselves in an unfavorable competitive environment.
The article Data Enrichment, Your Business, and Your Career by Micki Collart first appeared on Street Fight.