The danger of digitization is that business processes become over-tuned to technology that the human factor in the value chain is not focussed upon. Customer data insights give a chance to rebuild social relationships and to humanize the web marketing process. They help online marketers get even with their land-based counterparts, who have the biggest advantage of face-to-face communication. By keeping pace with customer journeys and processes, technology leads the way to build engaging customer experiences.
- The Power Of A CRM Software
Businesses have been collecting customer data from times immemorial, right from feedback books, guest ledgers, opinion surveys to the hi-tech chat bots and opt-in forms. The problem centres around how well this data is managed and processed. Maintaining data in excel sheets is a passive exercise. The advent of CRM (customer relationship software) has resulted in a quantum leap in the way customer relationships are managed.
Customer data is stored accurately and useful insights are drawn from them for timely and data-driven decision making. CRM can be easily integrated with all other selling, accounting and marketing platforms. Data retrieval becomes easy with anywhere anytime access to required people.
- Customer Data Management (CDM) With Cloud Computing
The demand for ready availability of data coupled with the pressure to keep customer data safe and secure has resulted in the usage of cloud technology for data management. Many top customer relationship service providers like Zoho, Oracle and Hubspot, to mention a few now offer cloud based customer data management solutions. Businesses can now control content, restrict access, launch mail marketing campaign and optimize web marketing channels, and more, from anywhere they are. The cloud-first approach not only ensures that customer data is readily available but also boosts your agility to innovate.
- Data Centralization And Governance
Integrating all fragmented data results in synergy in data management efforts and costs. A master database can house all your valuable inferences from customer data like purchase preferences, search styles, location, purchase frequency. Such an integrated storage mechanism will help in tracing the customer story and in approaching them with remarketing campaigns. Data governance is about establishing the protocols, best practices and SOPs in accessing customer data.
- Eliminate Customer Data Silos
Unless you ensure that all relevant data is fully utilized, digitisation will not bring the required returns. Despite all the advances in upgrading print data to virtual forms, it is sad to note that around 60% and 73% of customer data goes unutilized. Isolated data that cannot be used for analytics is called a customer data silo and all efforts must be made to eliminate such silos.
- Train Teams On Big Data Analytics, BI and Machine Learning
Invest in continuous plans of training and development for your customer relationships crew and help them gain knowledge on the transformations in the fields of IoT and big data analytics. Business intelligence has redefined the way customer data is number-crunched and synthesized. Advanced data warehousing technologies enable 24 x 7 productivity of customer data. Technologies like natural language processing and machine learning have helped in providing seamless customer experiences.
- Update Your Data Regularly
It is estimated that 65% of customers’ corporate designations and job titles change on an annual basis. Similarly frequent changes to jobs, email-ids, mobile numbers and even postal addresses can cost your marketing and remarketing campaigns dearly. Incomplete and inaccurate data can be avoided by embarking on a process of periodic data-clean-up. Customer data must be updated by deleting invalid records, ensuring validity of email ids and by filling in any missing information. CRM automation can help in updating your CRM records.
- Be Ethical In Collection And Management Of Customer Data
Many businesses become pushy and coercive in collecting customer data. Gating of useful web content is a great way to collect customer data, but must be used strategically. Every business must use customer data in an ethical way. Selling data bases of private information of customers is a punishable offence. Customer data made available by tracking website activity must not be misused. In case cookies are used, businesses must explicitly state so and obtain the informed consent of users.
- Some Tools For Easy And Reliable Management Of Customer Data
Thanks to advanced heat map tracking software like Lucky Orange, Inspectlet, Sessioncam and Mouseflow, enables your strategic marketing team to monitor every web session, keystroke and mouse movement of your customers. Amazon web services and Google Cloud are excellent tools to manage your cloud data. The SAP Netweaver and Semarchy xDM help in master data management. The Boxever platform claims to unify customer data and monetize every customer interaction. SAS offers world class AI based customer intelligence solutions.
- Safeguard Data Against Brute-Force Attacks
It is appalling to note that the average size of data breach in the US alone accounts to over 31,465 compromised records. And according to a statistical report from the IBM, that surveyed 477 companies that had suffered data breach in the past 12 months, the average cost per stolen record is $ 148. Pathwwway Limited believes It is time businesses react to the situation and install adequate cyber-safety measures to protect their customer data. Brute-force attack by way of spear phishing and ransomware have cost millions in the past few years and also severely damages your brand repute. Installing firewalls and having in place a flawless incident response system will help in maintaining the privacy of customer data. Data backup is always essential to prevent contingencies by way of server crashes and reluctant data loss.
It is reasserted that building those inspiring human experiences must be the ultimate goal of customer data digitization and web marketing. Many businesses lose sight of this larger picture and place digitization in the forefront. Where customer experience is a continuous goal, digitizing customer data represent the ways and means to achieve it. ROI increases not with digitization but with customer experience. Thus digitizing customer data is an integral part of building a customer-centric culture which can optimize your online marketing budget.