Consumers today are more connected than ever before. They use a variety of devices to search for information and make purchases. A Nielsen report shows that the average American consumer has four devices for accessing and consuming content.
Marketers must be able to effectively track and manage the buyer journey using the many available digital devices. This will allow them to offer seamless, omnichannel experiences to their customers.
Marketers need to be able to identify and link together multiple sources of consumer data across all touchpoints with their brand. This is even when consumers switch between channels or devices.
Marketing Has a Memory Loss Problem
Data stitching isn’t possible or sufficiently sophisticated to be effective in many modern marketing technologies. Cookies are small bits of data stored on consumers’ computers by their web browsers. They can be used to identify them.
Cookies can be used to store information about a specific user or website. This includes browsing history and identification. A cookie-based identification system assigns an ID to any device and does not require identifying the user.
This means a user can be identified as two people using two different browsers to access a website. Even worse, if the consumer deletes their cookies or uses another browser, they are now an anonymous user even though they’re still using the same device.
According to Josh Manion (CEO of customer data platform Ensighten), this “memory loss” in cross-device identification hinders marketers from developing deeper understandings of consumer behavior and interactions, which allows them to create more relevant content and experiences that convert.
The Answer To Marketing Amnesia
What can marketers do to fix this “memory-loss” problem? Manion says marketers should find a customer-data platform that can, at a bare minimum, achieve accuracy and scale in data collection, analysis, and privacy compliance across all digital channels.
These customer insights provide the basis for creating a single, comprehensive view of consumers’ behaviors, interactions, and preferences across all touchpoints and channels. This allows your brand to offer highly relevant content and experiences that engage and convert customers.
This is how such a customer data platform looks in action:
The solution must be able to combine first-party as well as third-party data from both your brand’s digital properties and marketing vendors.
Persistent Customer Profile Creation
After collecting consumer data, the next step will be merging the information to create persistent and anonymous customer profiles. Each profile is saved on a server with its history, which can be accessed over time.
This is why persistent customer profiles are so valuable. Manion says that constant customer profiles are accurate and will remain intact for as long as there is some form of profile stitching.
Data stitching of customer profiles requires standard identifiers such as customer IDs and email addresses to combine all existing shapes across devices.
Profile stitching can be done using deterministic tracking, the most popular approach. It triggers profile stitching when a consumer does something, such as sign up for a newsletter or purchase. This action is then matched against an existing customer database. The profiles of the individual consumers are combined to create a complete customer view.
The profiles contain insights and attributes that allow you to interact with customers. This applies to both on-site and off-site digital marketing activities such as digital ads, marketing campaigns, web pages, and web pages.
You can create the most comprehensive 360-degree customer profile possible by integrating offline data. This information will provide valuable historical insights into customer preferences and past behavior.
These enriched profiles can be combined across your marketing technology stack to provide relevant, personalized content and experiences at each touch point and interaction with your brand. This will allow you to engage more customers and convert better.