Don’t suffer in data siloes

The problem with data these days is that it’s inarticulate. And almost always siloed too. And it’s the customer who suffers.

Customers are routinely on the receiving end of irrelevant, outdated and inaccurate information. What’s more, a recent survey by the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) found that 92% of people do not understand how their personal information is used, and are very sceptical of brand marketing practices.

Harnessing data is a challenge for businesses, whatever their market, but it is fundamental to achieving a single customer view. Brands must stop seeing customer data management as a problem and empower customers to manage their own journeys with them to create enduring, valuable relationships.

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With General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) being applied from next year, the emphasis on unifying customer data and protecting it adequately, is even greater.

Data that isn’t joined up across channels creates a poor customer experience. Simple as that. 73% of marketing executives routinely collect information about current customer behaviour, according to a survey by the The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), but only 37% are using this information for marketing purposes.

It is vital to be able to connect the siloes of channels and systems to create a profile that represents deep understanding of each customer and their journey. If a brand cannot recognise customer behaviour and intent irrespective or channel or devices and retrieve key insight from its existing systems, then it does not have the environment to build trust and value-drive relationships with its customers.

Customers expect a seamless journey with brands so recognition is key and should take place over multiple channels and devices. By stitching together behavioural understanding over time and retrieving customer data from back-end systems, in real-time, businesses can ensure the deepest insights about customer demographics and transactional history.

For data to deliver customer-centric, intelligent, and actionable insights, it needs to come from unified systems that tell a coherent story. Omni-channel marketing not only results in better customer engagement, but also builds consumer confidence, sets correct expectations, and earns consumer trust, so says a recent Nielsen Norman Group report.

>See also: Why are customer insight businesses projected to grow at 27-40%?

Placing the customer at the centre of the relationship is in the DNA of escorted holiday company Titan Travel, but competing tour operators began jumping in to offer similar packages at a lower prices.

To remain true to their commitment to understanding the needs of British travellers better than anyone else, they set out to understand the ‘trip intent’ of each and every one of their customers, and to then provide a personalised experience across all their channels.

Using Thunderhead’s ONE Engagement Hub (ONE), a cloud-based solution that connects customer insight, context and real-time journey behaviour across all customer touchpoints, Titan Travel started listening to their customers as they travelled across the brand’s digital and physical touchpoints. This helped to build a clearer picture of every person, as well as to identify previously anonymous customers by piecing together their interaction history.

Using these insights, Titan Travel then used ONE to tailor their outbound communications, personalising emails and their website, which started to drive more relevant conversations with customers and prospects.

Within a few days, approximately £9,000 worth of incremental holiday bookings were seen as a result, as well as 5,242 email sign-ups in the month following the launch of their personalised website capabilities.

>See also: Is there a lack of digital leadership in the world’s biggest firms?

The move also strengthened the relationship between Titan Travel’s sales, service, e-commerce and marketing departments. If the brand could generate an extra booking per day, this had the potential to translate into an extra £1.5 million revenue per year.

Today, effective management of customer insight creates competitive advantage. Enlightened brands are going to stop seeing customer data as a burden, but instead embrace the opportunity to build deeper relationships with customers and drive long-term customer engagement.


Sourced by Jason Hemingway, CMO at Thunderhead

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Nick Ismail

Nick Ismail is a former editor for Information Age (from 2018 to 2022) before moving on to become Global Head of Brand Journalism at HCLTech. He has a particular interest in smart technologies, AI and...