Organizations today collect a vast amount of data but quite a few of them still have to figure out how to derive meaningful insight from the deluge of data. The challenge is to derive meaningful customer insights from data that lies scattered across platforms and departments. A popular tool to capture customer data, click analytics refers to tracking customers’ online activities is in terms of ‘clicks’. While this initially proved to be an effective tool for understanding customer browsing pattern, a problem that it presented was that it only allowed a limited amount of information to be captured with no understanding of how customers engaged with a brand overall.
Click analytics involving web analytics, email open and click-through rates, social shares, PPC conversions, webinar registrations are all effective tactics for connecting with customers but come with their own data. Comparing such data from different applications fails to give a comprehensive perspective on a customer’s interaction with a brand over time. Instead, organizations must adopt a channel-agnostic approach to get a complete view of customers — a 360-degree view.
Unlike click analytics that focuses solely on tracking user clicks, a 360-degree customer view is far more comprehensive and experiential. It obtains a comprehensive view of customers by leveraging data from various touchpoints in their journey, collecting data by tracking analyzing purchase histories, product shares/likes and the reviews read and given by a customer. Often, social media behavior on sites like Facebook and Twitter is also captured. Once this data is collected, an organization can put it to use to engage with customers.
The modern customer values personalization above anything else and expects brands to deliver relevant, targeted information of interest. A 360-degree view gives an insight into:
Under a 360-degree view, data is collected under two categories — hard data, i.e. data concerning general interaction with customers and soft data, i.e. data that is used to complement the hard data to get an overall picture of the customer and their preferences.
Truly understanding customers is a challenge most marketers face, but with data in silos this becomes a challenging task. To build a meaningful insight, a single, integrated view of the customer is required. For a business to succeed, adequate knowledge about the target audience is essential and a 360-degree view helps achieve just that. Additionally, as each department in the organization knows what the customers expect, plans and strategies can be formulated accordingly.
Moving beyond click analytics, an integrated view of customer stores a number of details for example, customer information from the devices they use, online interactions such as website visits, goals converted, and campaign pages visited. It can also include offline activities, such as stores visited and purchases made. Powerful predictive analytics thus allow for customizing each interaction based on customer profiles, interests, and actions. This allows brands to deliver the content customers want, even before they know they want it. Moreover, they can analyse and understand customer journeys to see which paths have the highest value and which need to be optimized. A 360-degree view of your customers thus helps optimize experiences based on the context at each touchpoint.
A 360-degree view of customers leads to a ‘win-win’ situation. From the point of view of customers, it ensures that brands are well aware of their requirements and pain points. On the other hand, brands can facilitate quick response to customer needs. For instance, in case a brand wishes to introduce a new product, with the help of a 360 Degree View, predictions regarding the success of the product can be made well in advance
Customer alignment: With a 360-degree view, different departments can record and share meaningful customer data, regardless of the medium used. This ensures that customer interactions have little room for errors, apart from each department being aligned with internal and external goals
Predictive analysis: By amalgamating various pieces of the customer journey, a business can start to get a clearer picture of how consumer acts. Organizations can thus use this data to identify patterns that indicate the likelihood of purchase, satisfaction across the buying, reasons for abandoning purchases etc
Reduced costs: Successful marketing campaigns are data-driven. A comprehensive view improves visibility into customer behaviour, helping marketers avoid wasting money on campaigns that aren’t likely to perform. Moreover, it helps to segment customers, thus enabling marketers to deal with them differently With a 360-degree view of every customer, brands can literally predict what they want, when they want it and how. When all data is available in one place, organizations can identify the most valuable segments across every channel.
Brands can combine customer data through the following:
Social listening: Social media offers an effective way to examine customer behaviour since social data is unfiltered. It helps companies understand customer sentiments and how they change with shifting trends. Monitoring and analytics tool can go a long way in tracking and responding to customer queries and concerns. Social media activity can then be combined with browsing and shopping patterns to create more accurate personas
Data audit: High-quality data is important for accurate and relevant insights. The first step to achieve this is to keep data organized and clean. Encourages all departments to enter data in a consistent format, organizing historic data and creating consistency around how data is managed is important to properly segment customers and making salient observations about them
Intersect data: Each customer interaction must be tied to a business goal. For instance, if a customer speaks to the call centre and is unhappy, it forms data for customer retention. Marketers can mine customer data on different channels to understand them and extract insights
A robust 360-degree view reduces costs through a single source of integrated customer data, helping marketers understand customer opinions about the company’s products and services. With insight-driven recommendations, every customer interaction is thus improved by personal and proactive customer service. The result is increased customer satisfaction and higher profit margins. Organizations must thus move from silos formed by tools such as click analytics and look at a more integrated solution to personalize customer experiences.