For any brand, customers are undoubtedly the most important part of the business. Brands need to give their customers personalized communication and seamless experience, to keep them loyal and driving revenue. The best tool to have for a great customer experience is a detailed, organized marketing database.
Think of the marketing database as the brain that holds all of the information about a customer. Marketers, in-store associates, ecommerce and customer service representatives all have access to this customer information in some form or another. Brands use their database as a sort of central intelligence center, where everyone has access to the information that is most pertinent to them. Marketing databases need to be optimized so that data can be easily shared with each customer touchpoint. This allows brands, regardless of channel or device to create the most personalized customer experience.
Below are three tips to make a marketing database a powerful tool for providing a great customer experience.
- Data Collection from all touchpoints– Customers and prospects interact with brands across dozens of channels, and the rise of ecommerce and the Internet of things have given brands more data than ever before. Brands need to make sure that their marketing database collects data from every single channel and device, and that in-store associates are doing their part to add accurate and up-to-date customer information. Moreover, when a customer calls the customer service center, the associate can tap into the database and see all the information they need about the customer, and when a marketer is sending a Lifecycle Marketing communication, they can see the purchase history and send a next best offer based off this. A database that can collect and organize data from all of the different customer touchpoints will decrease the level of customer frustration and create a better customer experience.
- Tracking the customer journey – At the simplest level, marketing databases collect a customer’s contact information, purchase history, and maybe demographic information. Marketing databases today have the capability to go way beyond that. Brands today should be able to use their databases to track the customer journey, view all the interactions a customer has had, and predict the next step a customer is going to take. Brands also now have the ability to track customers at the macro level – how has the composition of the database has changed over time, are there more 1x buyers or increased repeat buyers? Knowing these trends and shifts can help brands plan and optimize their marketing.
- User-friendly – Marketing databases can be overwhelming, and looking at the sheer amount of information can turn people off. The database needs to be user-friendly, and allow different people in the organization to see exactly what they need. For example, in-store associates don’t need to know the last time a customer opened an email; they just need to know purchase history, loyalty points, and contact information. On the other hand, a marketer doesn’t need to see the billing address for each of the thousands of customers in the database, but they do need to see lifecycle stage, last interaction with the brand, purchase history, and contact information. By offering different views of your database, different people in the organization will be able to quickly and effortlessly access the information they need, ultimately giving the customer an experience built just for them.
By organizing and optimizing your marketing database, brands can start to break down organizational silos and start looking at the customer through the same lens across every department. Everyone from in-store associates to CMOs and CEOs will be able to access the information they need to provide the customer experience they want.