Never before have brands had access to so much data. Yet never before has there been so much duplicate, disconnected and inaccurate information collected about their customers.
Marketers, it appears, are suffering from an identity crisis. And their pain is being felt all the way down to a brand’s bottom line.
In the race for consumer attention and loyalty, brands must be able to recognize and relate to customers with immediate, consistent and contextually relevant brand experiences or lose to competitors who can. This is why Amazon, which has mastered the use of first-party data for mass personalization, consistently outpaces both online and offline retailers in every aspect of the consumer journey– from consideration to research to purchase to delivery. Last year, Amazon captured over 41% of the online marketplace, with the next two competitors combined comprising less than 3% of market share. Brands that fail to have an identity resolution strategy in place are getting left behind in the dust.
It’s critical for the C-suite to understand that building brand affinity doesn’t reside only with the CMO, and that customer data is a brand’s most valuable asset. These factors are converging to make identity resolution a strategic imperative for marketers in 2017.
What Is Identity?
Identity means much more than just knowing a customer’s name. It means knowing what a customer wants, needs and where she is in her buyer journey. It means realizing the opportunities to improve the relationship by solving her problems, anticipating her needs or purely delighting.
Simply put, identity is the connecting point between all consumer interactions, online and off, past and present. As such, it’s the foundation for all consumer engagements—across the web, mobile apps, stores, email, digital ads, call centers and beyond.
Brands that stand to win this year will organize around identity, working with an always-on identity solution that serves as the central nervous system for all customer dialogue. Integrating streaming behavioral data and simultaneously synching these insights with offline historical data, marketers can respond and engage with contextual relevance at the speed of the customer.
3 Tips for Marketing Success in 2017
The starting point and quickest payback starts with improving current media initiatives to achieve more targeted ads, reduce waste and, ultimately, drive more positive customer experiences and increased brand loyalty over time. Here are three things you can do to jumpstart your marketing performance this year:
1. Keep Control of Your Data.
Your customer identities and profiles are a valuable corporate asset and source of competitive advantage. Keep control of your data, so you can use it freely with any marketing partner to drive stronger customer relationships.
2. Prioritize Certainty and Continuity.
Customers are constantly in motion, changing devices and conducting new transactions with your business. Your identity solution must be continuously self-updating, so you can recognize each customer with certainty across all brand touchpoints.
3. Clarify the Customer Journey.
The customer journey is becoming both faster and more fragmented. You need a customer identity solution that will give you a clear, comprehensive view of cross-channel customer activity and empower you to rapidly respond with relevant marketing.
Originally published December 20, 2016