Customer Data’s Evolution: Is Your Company Keeping Pace in the Engagement Race?
By Sarah Jarvis, Director of Communications and Propositions at Eagle Eye
Sarah Jarvis, Director of Communications and Propositions at Eagle Eye, discusses retail marketing and sales tactics and strategies to improve customer engagement as found in the second edition of Omnichannel Retail: How to Build Winning Stores in a Digital World.
Sales professionals and marketers face a fierce landscape today, vying for a customer’s first purchase and their enduring loyalty. A fresh vantage point can make all the difference in such an environment.
And that’s what our new book aims to deliver. Omnichannel Retail: How to Build Winning Stores in a Digital World, 2nd Edition, is a compass for retail marketers and sales professionals seeking to thrive in the omnichannel era. It explores the significance of digital customer connections and engagement and how to harness those online and in-store using retail marketing leaders’ latest tools and proven strategies. With the perspective it offers, sales professionals and retail marketers can better captivate consumers to safeguard their ongoing business and loyalty.
My co-author, Tim Mason, and I have updated the book from the first edition with several new chapters that examine the most profound changes in the last few years, including “The Fundamentals of Loyalty,” “The Power of Personalization,” “Marketing in the Moment,” and “Monetizing the Customer Connection.” These topics all explore the impact of technology, data and personalization on sales and marketing strategies and reaching today’s constantly connected consumers.
Digital Engagement is No Longer Optional
The importance of the digital connection soared during the pandemic and hasn’t waned since. Recent data from Forrester reveals a jump: 60% of all sales are now digitally influenced, a leap from 49% pre-pandemic times, underscoring the urgency for businesses to solidify their digital connection with customers. These digital “ties” provide a decisive competitive advantage, positioning this as a critical priority for all enterprises, especially retailers.
To genuinely resonate with today’s consumers, businesses must present dynamic, always-on digital channels, enabling seamless communication throughout their buying journey. Each interaction point amplifies the chance to learn more about the customer and gather critical customer data, refining marketing messages and promotional materials for comprehensive sales campaigns.
The mobile phone reigns supreme in our digital landscape, but it’s not merely a communication tool; it’s an intimate marketing channel. Transitioning to one-to-one marketing strategies is replacing the broad-stroke approaches of yesteryears. Boosted by computing power and artificial intelligence advances, establishing digital customer connections has become scalable and more affordable.
Modern tech solutions have made it much easier and faster for companies to establish and maintain connections at every juncture of the consumer’s journey, from the spark of interest to post-transaction messages like “Thanks for your purchase!” Still, many businesses lag in this area and miss opportunities to increase engagement and revenues.
Don’t forget to turn the DIAL (Data, Insights, Action, Loyalty)
Despite new technology and changes in customer purchasing habits, a cornerstone principle in customer engagement and loyalty remains unchanged: DIAL (collect Data which enables you to generate customer Insights which power Actions that drive customer Loyalty).
Customer data is at the core of what drives successful customer engagement and sales today, but to fully harness its potential, businesses must adhere to the complete DIAL framework; too many companies jump from data to action without including the critical insights stage or worse still, generate insights but fail to take action.
By collecting data at every touchpoint across a customer’s sales journey – the prime building block of the DIAL model—marketers and sales professionals have the information they need to develop strategies to move customers from the top of the sales funnel down through the actual purchase of a product or service and can then work towards building committed engagement and long-term loyalty.
Data, Data and More Data
“Omnichannel Retail” also delves into the art and science of leveraging data to drive engagement and customer loyalty. The richer and more personalized your connections with customers, the better you can pinpoint the triggers that will move them through the sales journey, delighting them at every turn. When creating engaging reasons to be recognized by your customers, always lead with the value proposition you are designing specifically for them that resonates with your own brand values, rather than simply offering a “me, too” solution.
The more accurate data a sales and marketing organization has, the better it can personalize offers to individual customers. One customer might be “sold” if an offer includes a discount on coffee, which the customer’s purchase history shows is bought weekly. Conversely, a customer who buys snacks regularly would be more apt to respond to an offer for chips, salsa, or something similar. The more detailed and nuanced your customer data, the greater your precision in tailoring offers they’re more likely to embrace.
Marketing in the Moment Enhances Personalization
While customer data is invaluable, it’s not the only fount of insights for sales teams and marketers. Introducing contextualized data encompasses aspects like the environment, a customer’s location, their latest actions ranging from searches to ordering and their mode of interaction (whether directly through a website, via a loyalty app, or in response to a personalized promo).
This enriched data pool sets the stage for an entirely customized marketing approach, which we’ve termed “Marketing in the Moment.” Merging detailed customer understanding with contextual data points such as location, time, and real-time loyalty status allows businesses to serve up unique messages to individuals at the most relevant time, be it an offer, reward, message, or ad.
Our book showcases real-world examples from a range of omnichannel leaders, including Asda, Loblaws, Woolworths Australia, Pret A Manager and Target, all of whom have maximised the power of their digital connections with their customers to deliver personalized omnichannel engagement, which is proven to boost sales and deepen the loyalty of their most valuable customers.
Unlocking the Future of Sales: Dive into Omnichannel Retail
Harnessing the power of digital connections, embracing the DIAL framework, implementing “Marketing in the Moment,” and other insights shared in “Omnichannel Retail” empowers sales and marketing professionals to elevate their game.
ABOUT THE AUTHORS
Tim Mason, Chief Executive Officer, Eagle Eye
A retail industry veteran, Tim Mason’s career spans over 30 years and includes experience as the CMO and deputy CEO of Tesco, the largest multinational grocery and general merchandise retailer in the UK. Mason led the launch of Tesco Clubcard in 1995, creating the world’s first major grocery loyalty program. A new and completely updated edition of his popular business book, Omnichannel Retail – How to Build Winning Stores in a Digital World, was released in September 2023. The original edition was shortlisted for the Business Book Awards in 2020. In addition to being an author and keynote speaker, Mason is the CEO of Eagle Eye, a leading SaaS technology company empowering personalized marketing and loyalty solutions used by retailers worldwide.
Sarah Jarvis, Director of Communications and Propositions, Eagle Eye
Sarah Jarvis is the Communications and Propositions Director of Eagle Eye. With over 15 years of experience as a Retail Marketing Leader in the loyalty industry, she has worked with some of the world’s largest retailers and FMCG brands to help them drive profitable growth by prioritising the customer in their decision-making processes. Her expertise spans loyalty program design, CRM, personalisation, data analytics and commercialisation, and the technical implementation of initiatives that bring retailers and brands closer to their customers. Her know-how of what drives loyalty and effective personalisation can be seen in the 2nd edition of Omnichannel Retail: How to Build Winning Stores in a Digital World, which she has co-authored with Tim Mason, CEO of Eagle Eye, and is due out in late 2023.
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