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Uneaten breadcrumbs: the data and marketing connection

  • Posted on August 31, 2015

DataEverything we do every day online leaves a footprint. Every ad we click, every 140 characters we tweet, every product we purchase leaves crumbs of information about who we are, what we like and don’t like, what’s important to us and why we do what we do.

This is valuable data, and marketing can utilize it. At the heart of this data, customers are leaving these crumbs of information and ultimately want to be known and understood by the companies they transact with. Avanade research shows that customers are even willing to pay more for it – up to 30% more!  Recent reports from Gartner underpin this thinking – in fact, a 2014 Gartner survey of CMOs found that by 2017, 89% of respondents expect customer experience to be their primary basis for competitive differentiation.

But how do companies deliver a better customer experience and differentiate in the market at the same time? Demonstrating customer connection goes beyond a friendly hello, “option to chat” window when they look at your website or enter your store. Personalized experiences that contain customized next steps tailored to specific needs start to build a connection, and it’s that data and marketing connection that you want to turn into an emotion that makes a customer want to work with you or purchase your product.

The crucial pivot for most businesses is the better leverage and use of data and analytics to build a digital life stream. But it’s not just about where the next connection with a customer might be.  It’s about forecasting, predicting and then architecting how it can be encouraged to happen; organizations utilizing data and analytics to promote their customer experience go from passive to active, driving business.

And I don’t just mean connections online. From a marketing perspective, organizations need to use data and analytics to marry the online customer experience with physical touch points. Why are customers visiting the store online before physically visiting the store? Would in-store tablets provide the same experience in one place?

Data and analytics lets us ask these questions, while the technology allows us to think outside the box. Further, using predictive analytics and what-if thinking, organizations can message, experiment, adjust and win their clients by leveraging data about their customer with internal systems, order, service and marketing interaction history to better tailor and create the next opportunity.

Avanade has worked with many industries, functions and perspectives to help customers drive a deeper connection with their customer.  In some cases deeper connection means helping organizations tell their customers how much utilities they are using and how they can cut back on usage; in other cases it can be enticing a new generation of clients in a way that holds value and meaning to them; or even using data and analytics to test and measure the success of a campaign in real-time to make changes and impact results.

Data and analytics are changing all aspects of our lives. The more data gathered by organizations, the more they can improve people’s everyday experiences, increasing affinity and brand loyalty.  As every ”thing” becomes connected in the digital age, shouldn’t experience and the connection be more than just breadcrumbs?

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