Retail marketers recently convened for a webinar about “Reaching for Retail Nirvana”. The aim was to discuss ways that retailers can work towards a “retail nirvana” – defined here as improved customer engagement through a 360-degree view of their customers and prospects. Reaching this type of “nirvana” is not impossible, nor does it need to be a costly endeavor. Rather, implementing a syndicated segmentation framework to leverage in-house and third-party data can help greatly. Many Equifax clients have used syndicated segmentation frameworks to help implement best practices, overcome departmental silos and better utilize their internal data.
Here are some of the key takeaways:
Better leverage the data you collect – In the era of big data it’s sometimes hard to identify what you have that is the most relevant to marketing campaigns. It’s important not to let a “just because you can collect it – you should” mentality drive your consumer insights efforts. But it’s important to leverage in-house data to head for Retail Nirvana.
Tie your data to third-party data to augment and enhance your consumer insights – While you typically have great insights about your customer and their relationship with you (what they bought, how much, how often, where, etc.) you may not know what they do or buy elsewhere, how much they spend or what their true financial capacity is to buy your products, etc. Household economic data can help provide an augmented view of customer spending and – a huge benefit – can be expanded to prospects as well.
Make this consolidated insight available across the enterprise – Rather than having data languishing in departmental silos, a syndicated segmentation framework can help your data and insights contribute to decisions across the enterprise – from merchandising to location planning to branding. In addition, it helps provide consistency across all consumer touch points.
The framework should help augment what you already know about your customers, it can facilitate looking at your data assets through one “lens” across the enterprise and provides a vocabulary for everyone to be on the same page.
Personalized marketing is possible – It goes a long way towards creating customer satisfaction and brand loyalty. Many organizations start with leveraging their data and insights to apply to email and direct mail and then build from there. The ultimate goal is to have one consistent and holistic view of the customer, and treat them consistently.
It is important to enable execution of all your communications across all channels – email, online, mobile and even addressable TV. You may not be executing many mobile or addressable TV campaigns today but most organizations will in the very near future. At that point you want to make sure the framework you’ve adopted can support that effectively.
Some organizations need to change their understanding and perception of what segmentation can be. It’s no longer just a way to “bucket” people into homogeneous groups. It has grown into a powerful way to help enable the linking of data across the enterprise, enhanced with relevant third-party data such as household economics, and a way to communicate, engage and convert consumers across their chosen channels. One further benefit is the ability to track and measure, in real-time, against a metric that is consistent across all departments and channels. The benefits of real-time measurement can be immense, especially in the online space, by allowing quick tests and campaign adjustments that can lead to better results and conversions.
Frequently, the most successful implementations take into consideration the entire enterprise when evaluating a framework to adopt. Creating a stakeholder committee with identified objectives can help ensure that a framework meets a majority of needs. Not only does this help select a suitable framework, but it also helps identify key sponsors for resources and investment.