‘I’m a terrible golfer, I don’t need two putters in my bag”

 In Customer Centricity

Retail is fast becoming more complex.  You need to deliver on all omnichannel customer engagement experiences and understand that an individual’s preferences directly affect your bottom line.  Do you know your customers, or are you Digital Strangers?

Between 82-90% of customers choose to abandon brands following a single bad experience, and 80% of those who have had a bad experience will share that with others (1). So, it is not surprising that brands are increasing their customer experience budget year on year (1,2,4).  

Tealium’s own Jonathan Doan- VP of Data Solutions – recently spoke at the Customer Insights and Analytics Exchange in London to share his experiences of being the Digital Stranger.  He stressed that with 25-50% of advertising spend wasted, the one thing most of us have in common is an inbox full of untargeted, irrelevant marketing.   Given brands collect more data today than ever before, it is surprising that many are still getting it wrong when they have a such wealth of insight at their disposal.

Jonathan identified the key problem: we work with data siloes. Loyalty360 Research found that the biggest challenges brands face when looking to improve their customer experience are internal, rather than customer-driven or competitive.  

In a digital world, understanding your data directly correlates to understanding your customer.  If you can connect the dots and piece together a unified omnichannel profile of an individual, from all of your data sources, you can deliver highly personalised and relevant messaging.  

If your marketing is built on third-party data, it’s likely old news. But relying solely on first-party data means working with a snapshot in time that may not be representative. How do you know if this digital stranger is viewing a dress for herself or for a friend? Even the most generous discount is pointless if it holds no value for the individual customer (5). A solution that stitches together a full, comprehensive customer view in real time – while enabling relevant action – is critical.  

Consultant’s Bain and Company found a 71% difference between a brand’s own perception of their customer experience and the value actually felt by the customer (6). Evidently, this is an area that companies and brands need to address.  

Jonathan outlined the fundamentals for building a positive customer experience:

  1. Analysts

These individuals are in the unique position of truly understanding data and are able to produce the insight for the marketing department to action against.  Analysts assist with attribution analysis so marketers can reach the right consumers and stop trying to acquire people that have already converted.

  1. Content Marketing

Content needs to be relevant from initial display advertising to retargeting campaigns. The persona of the audience can determine whether retargeting would provide more value by offering a discount incentive or an independent review of the product.

  1. A Real-time Data Layer

Vital for real-time action, a data layer is the foundation of marketing agility. Having access to real-time customer interactions allows you to leverage your data, create a single customer view, and influence the moment of truth.

The bottom line? Brands need to be in control of their data.  Capturing real-time visitor data and enriching it with meta-data to segment your audience builds a complete picture, allowing you to send the right message, to the right person, at the right time.  

“Now that I’ve bought my putter, realise I’ve converted and please stop retargeting me with another for my bag!”

-Jonathan Doan, Digital Stranger


  1. 2016. Bill Hobbib, Oracle. Forbes: The Customer Experience Imperative: How to Justify the Investment.
  2. 2016. Sven-Olof Husmark. Customer Think: 3 Key Reasons why seamless Customer Experiences Influence Your Brand Image.
  3. 2013. Rawson, Duncan & James. Harvard Business Review: The Truth About CX.
  4. 2015. Loyalty360 Research. Customer Experience Landscape: A State of The Industry Report, Shaped By Industry Feedback.
  5. 2015. I-Scoop. Guide to customer experience and customer experience management.
  6. 2015. Bain & Company. The Famous Customer Experience Delivery Gap.
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