Collecting data points from customer interactions is crucial for understanding, building and managing customer loyalty. Regardless of if those interactions take place online or in-person, it’s important to constantly be listening for purchase and behavioral signals from customers. From POS data to social media interactions and everything in-between, each interaction creates multiple data points that can be tracked and analyzed to create a better understanding of your customer’s identity.
Marketing teams that leverage this data create a competitive advantage by providing their customers with personalized messages that resonate with target audiences. These interactions create more engaging experiences and eventually, build lasting emotional loyalty between brands and customers.
Flexible data architecture is key
Every million-dollar mansion starts with the same thing — a good foundation. In a similar manner, every good loyalty program is built on intelligent technical infrastructure. To meet the needs of marketers, the data architecture of a loyalty program should be flexible and completely customizable. Does this mean marketing teams need to understand how their data models are built? Absolutely not. But, they should know enough about what actions they want to track, monitor and analyze, as well as what their ideal outcomes are, so they can effectively work with internal or external data teams to properly design the system. Ask yourself what data is available, what kind of access you need to it, and how you want to use it to determine a starting point for your technical team.
Unlimited integrations and real-time data
The ability to connect with any data source, by any means necessary, is a non-negotiable when choosing a system. Gaining real-time access to POS data through an API means up-to-date access to purchase history. Without it, marketing teams run the risk of lagging data and outdated customer views. In practice, that could mean marketing a discounted room rate to a customer that just purchased said room at the normal rate — a mistake sure to lead to an unhappy customer.
Unified customer views
In aggregate, the data you collect on your customers is little more than an incomprehensible series of ones and zeros. But, when associated with a single customer via a unique identifier, that data becomes a rich history that helps you paint a colorful picture of who your customer is, what they like, and how they want to be engaged with from the brand perspective. This single view of the customer lets brands create personalized messages that can achieve the one-to-one marketing customers crave.
Data caps are a thing of the past
Any marketing system that places limits on the amount of data you can store about a customer doesn’t understand the new reality of B2C marketing. Every day brands and their customers create more and more data, and that trend will only continue to be true. As marketing campaigns continue to evolve, becoming more personalized and sophisticated than ever before, they require a system that is able to scale just as quickly as they do, without compromising on speed or accuracy.
Right message, right time, right channel
Marketing teams live by the above formula — it’s a tried and true method for getting customers to respond, engage and take action. Behavioral data is the secret ingredient that enables marketers to achieve campaigns to do just that. But, the data has to be stored in a way that is accessible to those that need it. To understand what the right message is, marketers need to know what a customer has previously responded to and what they have already purchased. Nailing the right time requires understanding the customer journey, what pages the customer has viewed, what offers have interested them and what content they have read. To leverage the best channel, marketers need to know what channels customers have used to send messages in the past.
Keeping customers engaged with your brand is no easy feat. In a world where consumers have thousands of choices at their fingertips, what’s keeping them coming back for more? The answer to this question is unique to each customer, which is why understanding their motivations through data is so important. The sooner marketing teams work to understand the data trails their customers are leaving for them, the sooner they will be able to create immersive engagement and brand loyalty.