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Data integration: the key to omnichannel marketing

30-second summary:

  • Consumers prefer an assortment of channels to communicate with brands
  • To ensure coherent experiences and consistent messaging, brands need to look at their first-party data for a bird’s eye view of their consumers’ preferences
  • Data integration is a key enabler to striking a balance between the correct platform and personalization
  • Blueshift’s Head of Global Partnership, Jason Shugars raises some key points for consideration

Businesses often have multiple ways of contacting their customers but a blanket batch message is often not as effective as messaging consumers via the correct channel.

“Customers have different preferences on which mediums they like to be contacted by and identifying what these are is paramount in getting returning customers,”

says Jason Shugars, head of global partnership, Blueshift

“I think giving marketers the chance to reach their consumers on the right channel and at the right time is pretty powerful,” he says. “One of the primary drivers of omnichannel marketing is it makes customer’s go, ‘I feel my connection to the brand growing because they’re messaging me on the right channel.”

Content created in partnership with Blueshift.

However, to accomplish this firm need, it is essential to better utilize data and make sure you understand customers’ preferences.

“A lot of marketers are just living out of a customer relationship management or they have one data set they’re looking at. Any good customer data platform brings in all these data sets from all over the company,”

says Shugars.

“If you’re just looking through one lens like through email or paid media, you’re missing out on the full picture of who your customer is.”

By collecting and analyzing customer data, marketers can be much more proactive during the buying experience. According to Blueshift’s Triggered Benchmark Report, triggered messages (a message that occurs when a customer does something) are much more effective than sending batch messages across all channels.

To accomplish this, new technologies like AI and machine learning are being utilized to ascertain when it is best to push out such messages and through to the most appropriate channel,

says Shugars.

“You’re not able to do that unless you have a really rich algorithm or a very large data science team that is building and modeling.”

Utilizing first-party data

Marketers have long relied on third-party data to identify consumer needs and preferences. However, that data may soon dry up, with many browsers now prohibiting third-party cookies. Third-party cookies are still enabled on the most popular browser, Chrome. But Google, the browser’s developer, has said they are looking to eliminate them by 2023. Marketers will, therefore, need to rely more on first-party data.

“It’s this untapped warehouse of customers and their data that you could be using,”

says Shugars.

“Even if the third party and privacy changes that are coming down the pipe were not happening, brand marketers are becoming more aware of how much data they have and how valuable it is.”

He adds that, unlike third-party data, consumers have more explicitly agreed to share their data with a company.

“That’s really what makes first-party data powerful. If you’re not using it to do your marketing you’re definitely missing out.”

Integration challenges

But access to that data goes beyond the marketing department, getting IT on board is crucial in integrating first-party customer data. The challenge, however, is that with increased scrutiny on data privacy, marketers will need to prove they can responsibly handle that data.

“The IT department is typically the owner and holder of data. We need IT to get it to give us access to that data set,” says Shugars.

“IT has a leash on it to make sure it’s being used correctly. That can be a challenge, but everyone is going to face that in any marketing/tech conversation.”

Integrating all the tech needed also presents a challenge. Many businesses, especially large ones have different legacy systems that make it difficult to adopt new approaches.

“It can be a more daunting challenge to get everyone on the same page,”

says Shugars

However, having this conversation is important. A business will not move off legacy tech stacks without an inside voice advocating for it.

“It’s being a thought leader inside of your organization. It’s a matter of a gentle upward pressure of pointing your leadership team or decision-makers to where the industry is today.”

The post Data integration: the key to omnichannel marketing appeared first on ClickZ.

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