5 Key Steps To Unifying Your Customer Data & Creating Exceptional Experiences

Julie Graham, Tealium

Julie Graham, Tealium

Author Bio

Julie is a talented and passionate marketing expert with a colorful background in digital, traditional and integrated marketing solutions.

Data is the lifeline of any business trying to deliver exceptional customer experiences. And while an incredible amount of data is being collected at every interaction a user has with a brand – the problem lies with how to connect all that data so a brand can see their audience in a much clearer and more defined way and share it across all of their teams, touch points and technologies.

Being able to deliver meaningful and exceptional experiences to a customer begins with leveraging everything an organization knows about that person – their likes and dislikes, browsing behavior, location, gender, purchase history – everything. Being able to see one, complete, single view of a customer is what powers hyper-personalization, and essentially, creates the experiences that really resonate.

Organizations are collecting and using data from multiple channels including email, social media and display advertising, yet oftentimes these technologies seem to provide similar, overlapping services (e.g. data collection, segmentation, targeting functionality, etc.). With all of these solutions in play, marketers are most likely faced with creating different segmentation strategies, targeting strategies and data definitions across each one of these channels.

That is a tremendous amount of work and very hard to scale.

And with more than 5000 martech tools available, one can see how quickly disparate data sources can be created and how easily information can live in silos, ultimately leading to complete data confusion and chaos.

Real-time data collection and seamless activation sounds nice in theory – but the actual process of collecting, correlating and enriching data in real-time, so it is all connected within multiple tools, teams and different touch points can be a challenge. It can be overwhelming to determine where to start with creating a single view of your customers so you can deliver better experiences. Sound familiar?

Not to worry – there is a sure-fire way to make this process easier – and it all starts at the point of data collection.

Here are 5 steps to unifying audience and event data for a single view of the customer:

1. Create a Data Layer Strategy and Standardize Your Data
Create a data layer strategy and collect all incoming data according to this strategy. What is a data layer? It’s essentially to install a behind-the-scenes structure that provides standardized nomenclature for all of the data you are collecting so your teams and technologies can use a common set of data to unify the customer experience across channels.

2. Integrate a Data Collection Footprint
Now that your data layer is in place, all of the data that is coming in will be standardized. It’s important to now establish and incorporate a common data collection footprint from every data acquisition source (e.g. social channels, call center information, in-store data collection, online behavior and transactions) so the data can be acted on and stitched together.

3. Bridge the Data Gap
Bridge the gap between all of the sources this data is coming in from by leveraging a solution that can do exactly what real-time marketing is all about – correlate, stitch and enrich data while in flight, rather than post data collection.

4. Create Rules and Take Action
Create business rules within this system that will make decisions about when to trigger real-time actions across your entire martech stack, empowering you to act on this integrated data and create more engaging and meaningful customer experiences.

5. Leverage Your Data
Simultaneously sync this data into your data warehouse or data lake. This modern approach places the data at the end of the process, so the data you’re now analyzing is the same data you are taking action on.

Example of what this process looks like this below.

Now that you’re strategically collecting, enriching and acting on customer data, you can:

  • Better understand how customers interact with web, mobile and IoT channels, and which devices are best suited for content creation, support, merchandising and marketing initiatives.
  • Power more opportunities from this organized and insightful information on the data.
  • Fuel all marketing technologies with the freshest and most complete first party behavioral data.
  • Make better segmentation and overall business decisions based on what your data tells you.
  • Deliver the exceptional experiences your customers demand.
  • Transform the way you do business.

Your teams, tools and various data collection points can now work harmoniously on the same data across the board to create moments and messaging that resonates, is relevant and truly makes a difference with your audience.

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