Consumers have become more connected than ever, with Brits now spending between nine and ten hours per day online. But for marketers, building a truly connected picture of the customer journey can be a complex task.
As part of Mobile Marketing’s 2017 Connected Consumer Summit – which focused on today’s connected lifestyle and maximising marketing moments using technological advances such as AI and IoT – Tealium’s Director of Solutions Consulting, EMEA, David Morris, explored ways in which marketers can better connect the dots between disparate consumer channels. In his insightful session, Morris advised about the dangers of over-personalizing the marketing message and examined mobile’s role in providing consumers with a seamless brand experience.
With consumers constantly accessing the internet to check in on social media, search for products or services, or pre-set their heating before they arrive home, the scope of ‘mobile’ as a channel has expanded to include any device via which a consumer interacts with a brand – from smart TVs and connected cars to automated home systems.
Seemingly, the wealth of data available from the explosion of consumer touchpoints provides a green light for marketers to build in-depth profiles of their customers and tailor messaging according to their wants and needs – and as a result, personalisation has become a core element of the marketing strategy.
However, as Morris warned at the event, super-personalisation could spell disaster for brands that pry too deeply and make customers feel as though they are being tracked. So how can marketers make the most of mobile engagement without unnerving, and thus deterring, the customer?
Currently, the six degrees of separation include a brand’s website, mobile site, mobile app, physical store and contact centre – as well as nearby iBeacons. As Morris explained, mobile – coupled with location intelligence – is the key to connecting these channels:
Firstly, brands can gather a great deal of customer data via website interactions, and this increases further – due to location intelligence technology – when both desktop and mobile versions of a site are accessed within close proximity.
Mobile apps are also invaluable for collating location-based data as users tend to agree to share their location details via this channel, and marketers can glean vital lifestyle information beyond the app. Even messaging apps are beginning to draw on brand experience and services.
Leveraging reliable, first-party customer support data from a company’s contact centre is important as it can help the marketing team drive optimum levels of personalisation to encourage further sales.
In addition, in-store interactions can provide a wealth of data that often remains untapped by the marketing team. Focusing on transaction and refund data, for example, can help marketers optimise their online targeting strategies.
Finally, the emergence of iBeacons – which enable nearby mobile device users to perform actions while also tracking their location – is helping brands to anonymously identify on-the-go mobile users to deliver timely, relevant messages. Brands should consider offering product connectivity via mobile apps to further increase customer engagement through this channel.
Being able to identify how, when, and where customers interact with brands is crucial in building a holistic customer profile, and as Morris asserted, location will soon become the new third-party cookie.
Morris summed up the session by reiterating that although it is important to maintain a steady flow of dialogue with prospective customers – using a universal hub to unite previously fragmented data silos – brands need to be cautious about how they deploy real-time, location-based data available from new channels, avoiding super-personalisation, to facilitate a truly connected user journey.