Why Real-time Customer Data and Actionable Insights are the Need of the Hour
Why Real-time Customer Data and Actionable Insights are the Need of the Hour

Data in siloes is of little use unless businesses are able to unify it, analyze it, and get actionable insights in real-time to realize its full benefit. To further their customer-centric decision-making, brands are looking for data that is collated, sorted, and processed, all in real-time. This generates relevant information and actionable insights about customer behavior that can be used to segment customers, and hyper-personalize experience and recommendations. This is the key to unlocking customer delight and meaningful engagement, in turn increasing sales and a high lifetime value. 

A BCG-Capillary whitepaper on customer engagement points out some chilling facts about buyer sentiment: 
●    70 percent of customers switch brands if they find an easier process to select and buy a product, the average attention span of a modern customer is just eight seconds
●    43 percent unsubscribe from a mailing list if they find the information irrelevant and customers wouldn’t care if 3/4th of global brands cease to exist!

This only reiterates the fact that brands have to stay connected with their customers to retain them and also realize higher levels of conversion. This is possible with an engagement strategy that leverages insights to analyze and predict consumer behavior and therefore connect better with them till beyond the point of purchase. 

How to Bring the Customers into the Fold and Not Let Them Go! 

To achieve this, marketers follow three actions:  

1.    Identify customer cohorts to be engaged: In order to create a customer-centric engagement strategy, you need to analyze customer insights and understand their behavior across channels. This will enable you to engage different cohorts accordingly and encourage repeat usage across cohorts. 

2.    Create hyper-personalized and delightful customer experiences: Help customers quickly find what they are looking for, adapt to their behavior, and facilitate seamless purchase pathways. 

3.    Use AI-enabled optimization to drive loyalty and revenue uplift:  AI-based analysis of consumer insights along with 360-degree customer profile and advanced segmentation can help in creating relevant recommendations in real-time, facilitating cross-sell and lowering churn. In other words, brands are creating relevant onboarding and engagement journeys for driving loyalty and in turn, adding to the bottom line. 

All the above actions require real-time data collection and analysis. Thus, the data a company collects should answer questions like ‘what channel does the customer prefer for communication’, ‘who is likely to drop out of the funnel and why’, ‘which are the most preferred products, and when/how/where would they like to be informed about it’, etc. 

Collect the Right Data and Insights….

Lifestyle-related data provides personal details about what customers are looking for and what interests them. This tells us when and how to reach out to them and increase their engagement with the brand.  

By tracking and synthesizing data on behavior patterns, marketers can identify customers that have been dormant for a while and figure out when and how to engage with them. Customers want to be treated as distinct individuals irrespective of whether it’s online or in-store shopping

An example of this is how Brazilian investment consulting giant Empericus analyzed its customers’ onboarding journey in the mobile app and noticed a significant drop-off during the journey. Using data-driven insights, the team ran an A/B test that involved changing the onboarding journey steps, after which it realized a 45 percent increase in registrations and a 20.3 percent rise in in-app sessions resulting in a 4 percent boost in in-app purchases. 

Brands can also use data to implement new engagement efforts in order to keep alive consumer interest in their offerings for longer cycles. For instance, Classic Rummy, an online card gaming website, adopted a customer-centric approach to player engagement through personalized alerts, leading to a 24 percent boost in player retention. 

… and Make the Shift to a Customer-Centric Campaign

As a company moves from campaign-centric to customer-centric strategies, a unified approach for communication becomes critical. For example, an email marketing expert must know how various channels, such as mobile, app, web, and display advertising impact the customer lifecycle. Whichever platform the data is coming from, it must be looked at holistically and not in siloes. Brands benefit by knowing the impact of their communication like campaigns driving better engagement, running A/B tests to see what communication drives higher opens and clicks, and the set of customers responding well to different communications across channels.  

Indonesian healthcare app Alodokter was looking to increase the number of active users, reduce churn and boost retention levels by running A/B tests. These tests helped the company increase funnel conversion rates by a 12 percent increase, with a 60 percent growth in monthly active users, and a 15 percent boost in conversions of interest-based campaigns. 

So, it’s clear now that consumers are leaving large and relevant footprints on various platforms. The data that’s generated from these trials point out who they are, what they want, and more importantly how they want to be engaged with. It’s time for brands to move higher on the insights-led customer engagement curve and build strategic data use cases to provide seamless, contextual, relevant, and value-added customer experience.

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