The Importance of Actionable Customer Data
To truly put the customer at the centre of the business, brands must take ownership of their data and use it to create campaigns that resonate with their customers.
Digital marketing has revolutionised the way businesses reach and engage with their customers. With many creative and interactive assets, brands can now distribute their message across various integrated media channels with remarkable precision.
In our quest for short-term gains, fluffy metrics, and serendipitous award-winning brand experiences, we have lost sight of the importance of customer data. Brands are outsourcing the segmentation of their customer base to media companies instead of owning and managing this data, which means that campaigns are built on a base of content rather than data-driven customer understanding.
This approach is unsustainable and short-sighted, which means that even the most creative and innovative campaigns will fail to achieve their full potential. Without an actionable customer data foundation, the transformative power of digital will elude brands, and they will struggle to achieve long-term success in the ever-evolving digital landscape.
We are blindsided by data stores and analytical systems that promise a deep understanding of our customer data. While this is important, what’s more, important is developing the capability to act on that data quickly and intelligently.
The goal should not be to create short-term brand experiences that build awareness or lead generation campaigns that deliver a low cost per lead. Those goals alone scream that the customer is not at the centre of the transaction. The goal should be to build long-term relationships that drive growth and success for both parties, finding the right moments, those serendipitous moments to connect with people when they need you most. We can do this by prioritising customer data, primarily when we focus on aligning our business goals alongside their preferences, behaviours, and needs.
I am not saying we must drop brand awareness and lead generation; that would be marketing suicide. In a digital economy, brand awareness and lead generation with a customer data strategy are akin to a school with teachers without a curriculum – they might impact the odd child positively. Still, meaningful and sustainable educational growth is almost impossible.
It’s time for brands to take ownership of their data and use it to create campaigns, lead generation pipelines and serendipitous moments that genuinely resonate with their customers. Only then can they build long-term relationships that drive growth and success.
PS: Yes, we are talking about needing to break down silos to create synergies between marketing, sales and customer service, but that’s a bigger conversation on the link.