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The True Power of a Unified Customer Profile

Lindsay Tjepkema
Lindsay Tjepkema , Marketing Director, Americas , Emarsys

Everyone loves an attentive and helpful store assistant; it adds that extra layer to the whole in-store purchasing experience. A smile, a white-gloved handshake, and a professionally wrapped present, leave the customer with a highly positive impression that could last for hours, days, or weeks. But what happens when the impression starts to fade and that beautifully tied bow becomes a distant memory? This is where effective, continuous, end-to-end offline/online marketing strategies come into play.

The key issue with the term “continuous marketing” is that it conjures up images of endless, irrelevant emails pouring into users’ private accounts. A quick glance at my own Gmail “promotion” tab is a perfect case in point. Three emails in four days from one specific vendor (who will remain anonymous) and not one of them is remotely interesting. The chances are I will either unsubscribe or create a “possible junk” filter. It is a delicate balance for both retailers and e-tailers to find exactly the right channels, at exactly the right time, with precisely the right, attention-grabbing content, but the challenge is not insurmountable with the right set of tools. The big question though, is: how can it be done?The True Power of a Unified Customer Profile

Let’s Talk Technical Turkey

Combining in-store loyalty card numbers, mobile device IDs, Website cookies, email addresses, exact location data, and phone numbers into one understandable, unified format is the key to creating a highly intelligent marketing platform.

The process can be defined as follows:

Step 1 – Unify all data types.

Step 2 – Define what behavior events are collected.

Step 3 – Define what types of data fields are collected for a standard behavior event.

Step 4 – Allow services, such as mail generation and segmentation, to pull relevant information together (such as offline, in-store purchases).

Step 5 – Define the relationship with content data.

Step 6 – Add additional contact data (such as telephone numbers and card numbers).

What About Cookies?

First party cookies significantly improve the end user experience. Logging specific pieces of information about the customers’ behavior (e.g. login details, products in shopping carts, etc.) is extremely powerful, ESPECIALLY when coupled with offline activity such as date of last store visit, last in-store purchase, or change of customer address. A truly intelligent unified profile should be able to identify a customer even if the shopper clears their cache, and re-identify the visitor when they browse on that same device again, while still identifying them on other devices. This is how marketers can circumnavigate 3rd party cookies and still respect the customer’s privacy.

So, now it is time to visit the local haberdashery and procure a pair of white gloves. Offline and online customers will certainly appreciate the extra care and attention.

Take a deeper dive into this topic by taking a look at how Emarsys is helping brands grow in an omnichannel world.