Consumers now have a huge choice when it comes to not only the number of touchpoints, but also the number of brands available to them. This means that it’s increasingly difficult for marketers to gain their customer’s attention and most importantly, engage with them to build lasting relationships.
Difficulties in unifying data and fragmented technology systems are two of the main barriers to creating a solid customer engagement strategy, both of which can be solved with a Customer Data Platform (CDP).
Before we dive in to how a CDP can help, let’s first understand what we mean by customer engagement.
What is customer engagement?
According to Gartner, customer engagement is defined as ‘the process of interacting with customers through varied channels to develop and strengthen a relationship with them.’ Keeping customers engaged through their journey is crucial as it provides marketers with a range of invaluable benefits, including:
- Collecting customer information and providing key insights
- Improving marketing decisions
- Improving customer experience
- Developing customer loyalty
How can a CDP improve your customer engagement?
Leverage your data
Fragmented data is one of the key issues facing marketers as customer data is often held on siloed systems, making it difficult to paint a clear and full picture of your customers. If your email marketing team holds their data on their system but your mobile app marketing team uses a separate system, it’s impossible for you to get an accurate view of how engaged your customers truly are.
A Customer Data Platform unifies, cleanses, and de-duplicates all customer data from unlimited sources and creates a Single Customer View (SCV), giving you a clear and trustworthy view of all your customers. The SCV includes information such as their contact details, interactions, transactions, and preferences, eliminating the guesswork in your customer engagement strategy and allowing you to pinpoint your most engaged customers.
Know your customer journeys
Each customer will undertake their own journey so there’s no one size fits all solution. As a marketer, your job is to seamlessly guide each customer through their journey with the end goal of securing a conversion. To do so successfully, you need to understand your customers and their journeys. With a CDP, you’ll be able to gather all the information you need about each customer’s journey, including their first interaction with your brand, where they interact with you along the way, and where in the journey they drop off. This valuable insight allows you to tailor your communications and campaigns to each stage.
Upland BlueVenn’s combined Customer Data Platform and Omnichannel Marketing Hub allows you to plan and automate customer journeys across all channels, including email, SMS, mobile app, and social media, all from one central system. This permits you to deliver the right communication, to the right customer, on the right channel, and at the right point in their journey, with ease.
For example, if a customer has recently completed a purchase with your brand, you could automate a message asking them to review their experience in exchange for a 10% off coupon. And, thanks to the information stored in a CDP, you can deliver this message via their preferred channel at the time they are most active, increasing your chances of engagement. Similarly, if a customer has recently browsed for a hotel in London on your site, but hasn’t booked, you can send them an email, SMS, or app push notification suggesting hotels that you think they’d like.
As a result of the increasing number of touchpoints, you have access to more data than ever. However, your customer data won’t add much value to your customer engagement strategy if you don’t analyze it. Data analysis is crucial to answering important questions and gaining the insights that set you apart from your competitors and increase engagement. With the customer analytics features in BlueVenn’s CDP, you no longer need to rely on other departments to analyze and action your data. In a few clicks you can identify patterns in your customers behaviors, such as purchase barriers, preferred channels, and the times at which they are most active, which enables you to segment your customers more accurately and deliver personalized experiences. This in turn, will enable you to deliver more relevant content to your audience and increase customer engagement.
Deliver personalized experiences
Customer engagement stretches far beyond driving customers down the funnel, it’s about connecting with them and building solid relationships to earn their loyalty and maximize retention. In the same way you would when building a relationship in your personal life, building relationships with your customers requires you to be attentive, understand their needs, and continue to work hard to take the relationship from strength to strength.
As a marketer, relevancy is paramount as it improves the likelihood of engagement, so before every interaction, ask yourself: will this message resonate with the customer? If not, refine the content until you’re confident you’re sending them something you know they’ll love.
Every interaction between you and your customer should be tailored to them. For example, if they have recently purchased a new handbag from your brand, then sending them an email promoting the same handbag will likely annoy them and cause them to disengage. However, if you sent them a pair of shoes to match their new handbag, this will be of interest to them and will likely increase engagement.
A Single Customer View will store all information relating to your customer’s preferences, interests, and browsing and purchasing history to make tailored communications and personalized experiences a walk in the park.
Gone are the days where customers interact with brands on one channel. Customers now interact with brands across over 20 channels, with research showing that they’ll interact with an average of seven channels before making a purchase. Therefore, in order to drive engagement, you need to ensure you adopt an omnichannel approach. Unlike multi-channel marketing, omnichannel marketing puts the customer at the heart of everything and ensures that regardless of the channel(s) they are using, the message they see is consistent and personalized.
With omnichannel marketing, if a customer has recently browsed for a new sweatshirt and added one to their cart, then they may receive a message reminding them that the product is still in stock or offer them an incentive to complete their purchase. As the message you’re delivering is relevant to them, they are more likely to engage with the content.
It’s not just the content that needs focus, being omnichannel also means that you deliver the content on the most relevant channels to your customer. So, if you know that your customer often uses a mobile app to browse or shop with your brand but also uses social media as an engagement channel, you can use this insight to ensure you deliver the messages on the right channels. In this instance, you could combine a push notification with a paid Instagram post, to increase your chances of engagement.
However, without a CDP, you’d have no way of knowing this information, and therefore, wouldn’t be able to capitalize on the engagement opportunities they represent.
Upland BlueVenn’s CDP and Omnichannel Marketing Hub are designed to create hyper-personalized experiences that drive engagement. As customer journeys shift in a click of a button, our unique technology ingests data in real-time and dynamically orchestrates customer journeys based on their latest interaction with your brand, increasing the chance of engagement.
If you’d like to see how BlueVenn can help improve your customer engagement strategy, join our upcoming monthly demo where you’ll see:
- Unify all your customer data into a Single Customer View.
- Realize untapped customer insights with friendly, drag & drop analytics.
- Improve segmentation and build more accurate audiences for every channel
- Orchestrate every online or offline marketing channel from one workflow