The customer journey – as marketers have defined it – will never be the same.
As each digitally-empowered individual travels from prospect to customer to (hopefully) repeat buyer and loyal advocate, they will encounter your brand and its competitors through myriad channels defined by almost limitless touchpoints and devices. To capture and retain their business, you must meet them at each decision point in the customer journey with targeted, relevant offers that speak to their individual buying criteria. Foundational to the ability to do this is a new technology called ‘Identity Resolution’.
Consumers engage with brands today in countless ways, both offline (in-store, through a call center, etc.) and online, through an ever-increasing number of platforms and devices. At each stage of the buying process, customer interactions may be associated with ‘identifiers’ – some will be directly attributable to an individual such as their name or email address, and others will not have an identifier other than an Internet cookie, IP address or mobile ID. The challenge is putting the customer’s entire buying picture together, since some identifiers may be unique to a specific interaction with your company but never intersect with any others. Identity Resolution tools seek to match each identifier back to the actual customer it represents. The goal: to capture the omni-channel view of each customer and his/her interactions with the brand, so that in turn your company can seamlessly execute cross-channel marketing efforts to individual customers.
The result can be a win-win for both your organization and your customers. By connecting the dots between multiple cross-channel customer interactions, your company gains deeper insights into customer needs, preferences and behaviors. It also improves data quality, by tying seemingly disparate data points into a comprehensive customer profile that improves customer recognition and ultimately increases customer confidence and trust in your brand. Identity Resolution also allows your company to maintain consistent contact with the customer throughout the customer journey. The results are impressive:
- Improved customer service
- Better-calibrated marketing messages
- An optimized customer experience
- Increased customer satisfaction, loyalty and advocacy
Executing well in a single engagement or through a single channel is no longer enough. Today’s customer is a moving target – visiting your website today, participating in a social media community tonight, researching your product on Google tomorrow. Your challenge is to reach him or her with the right offer, through the right channel at exactly the right time. It is impossible to overstate the strategic importance of developing the capabilities to do this. Winning companies are acting now while also developing a long-term strategy to navigate an ever-evolving customer journey going forward.
Integrate off-line and online customer data to create seamless, holistic customer profiles. In this in-depth video, Barton Goldenberg discusses a new technology called Identity Resolution that makes this possible.