What is your consumer data trying to tell you?
Consumer data is a necessary, but often overlooked, strategic competency that’s foundational to delivering an exceptional consumer experience. It can be used to both predict future behavior and inform the right way to engage with a consumer at any given moment. It offers a window into the factors that influence consumer behaviors, interests and expectations. Every interaction becomes germane and relevant to the next. The insights derived from these data models influence everything from product offers to feature bundles, service-level standards, personalized messaging and imagery, all informing deeply relevant, connected, satisfying experiences.
The challenge for retailers and brands is not the availability of data, which can be found in abundance. It’s efficiently identifying the behavioral patterns within the data, isolating what matters most, stitching it together and identifying trends on which to act. While every consumer has a unique journey, there is convergence across consumers where we can identify key points of engagement in a scalable way.
So, how can you move from data capture to data insight?
First, a comprehensive data strategy aligns your brand and the consumer experience you’re trying to deliver. It answers questions like what problems will it help you to solve, what data do you need, how will you treat it and how will you analyze it. It supports a 360-degree view of the consumer — not just their behaviors within your “four walls,” but how consumers live their lives with and without your brand. What else do they purchase? How do they use it? Can you meet those needs instead?
With your strategy in place, you must next invest in data sourcing, data stewardship and quality, data privacy, data analytics, data storage, and, most importantly, a team of technology and data insights practitioners to understand and interpret the data that drives decision-making.
Then there’s data governance. The consumer data revolution has put technology and digital leaders in a very influential position.
While data “lives” in the technology organization, siloed data comes with risks. Data cannot be owned and operated solely by technology. It should be out in the business, shared, examined and actioned across all levels and functions of the organization.
Consumers make so many decisions each day. Retailers and brands must design a data strategy that identifies the behavioral patterns that drive these choices to inform targeted experiences. This creates a sense that the retailer and consumer understand each other on a deeper level, creating the linkage between data and trust.