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The True Power of a Unified Customer Profile

Amir Jacobi
Amir Jacobi

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 continuous marketing strategies (both offline and online) come into play.

When it comes to “continuous marketing”, understanding your customers is essential. Unfortunately, despite the advanced marketing automation technology available today, there are still irrelevant emails pouring into users’ private accounts. A quick glance at my own Gmail “Promotion” tab highlights this perfectly – 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.

In this post, we’ll explain how creating unified customer profiles can benefit your marketing strategies and help you improve the customer experience. Hopefully, you’ll get a better understanding of the process and what you should be considering.

How to Create Unified Customer Profiles for Continuous Marketing

Combining in-store loyalty card numbers, mobile device IDs, website cookies, email addresses, exact location data, and phone numbers into one understandable, unified customer profile is the key to creating an effective marketing strategy.

The process can be defined in the following steps:

  1. Unify all data types.
  1. Define what behavior events are collected.
  1. Define what types of data fields are collected for a standard behavior event.
  1. Allow services, such as mail generation and segmentation, to pull relevant information together (such as offline, in-store purchases).
  1. Define the relationship with content data.
  1. 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 customer 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 third 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 learning how machine learning can make data the core competence of your omnichannel marketing strategy.

 

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