I ran across an interesting blog post by Kerry Reiley on Knocking Down Data Silos To Map The Customer Journey. I’m not going to belabor the obvious problem of silos. It’s easy to see and no one will gainsay you. That said, Kerry had two great points about solving the problem with the right data. (bold added)
Behavioral data tends to be the most impactful and predictive. Examples include what a customer has purchased, how/when they’ve visited your business, and how much they’ve spent (i.e. what is their value?). If appropriate to your business model, you might want to consider a preference center, which are often overlooked or underutilized.
Preference centers can include subscription-type preferences such as the kinds of communications customers want to receive from a company, their preferred communication channels, and/or consumer interests. For example, if you’re an online provider of content who has newsletters on 20 different subjects, which ones are most important to a particular customer? Customers won’t open emails that are irrelevant, so respecting their preferences can go a long way in developing trust and loyalty.
I highlight this because when I talk to Marketers about communication and personalization, the conversation seems to trend towards the easy data to get (click stream, integrated web analytics, etc.) rather than the harder data to get like behavioral data and preferences. All too often, when it comes to using that data, the conversation seems to get harder and then moves to a more well trod path.
Part of the problem lies in the fact that the data is hard to get. The other part lies in the fact that even when you have data, you still need to work to gain insights from it. You need to understand what their behavior says about them so you can have the right conversation. That involves additional analytics, deeper segmentation in Adobe Campaign, and potentially some fun conversations with the IT people and Data gurus.
But overall, it’s worth the effort in an ever more competitive world.