Imagine that you bought a calendar to organize your time and increase your productivity. Just as soon as you finish jotting down your first appointments and to-do lists, however, the unthinkable happens: You lose the calendar. You buy another, thinking that you can start again from scratch, but you lose this calendar as well. After you buy a third—and, hopefully, final—calendar, its two predecessors turn up. You’ve now spent considerable time, money, and effort on something that was supposed to make your life easier, and in the process, you’ve lost out on several promising opportunities.
This is a cautionary tale for marketers who lack unified data sets on their customers. Although marketers amass mountains of information about the men and women who buy their products, those mountains are not always properly integrated; as a result, marketers miss key insights or observations that can help them build stronger customer relationships. Unifying customer data can be a complex process, so Think with Google shared three steps that can simplify this task.
A Data Melting Pot
Customer data are often arranged according to the channel or department that recorded them rather than as a holistic view of the customer experience. However, the number of outreach channels and teams with oversight of the data means information is scattered across multiple knowledge bases, which reveals just a piece of the puzzle instead of the entire picture.
Begin the process of unifying your data by taking small steps to bridge the isolated islands where the data live: Start by combining search engine marketing data, for example, with social media data before incorporating your customer relationship management insights, etc. Be sure to house this data monolith in a single place so that you can easily access it.
Measure, Measure, Measure
Once you complete the initial mise en place of your data, shift your focus to measurement and analysis. Looking at the your data from top-to-bottom will allow you to explore the full customer journey, and you should adopt a data strategy that can analyze multiple customer journeys and experiences to squeeze out every last drop of insight.
Make It Memorable
You’ve reorganized your data. You’ve gone through it with a fine-toothed comb, testing every variable and analyzing every metric. Now that you know what your customers are looking for and how to catch their attention, it’s time to put it into practice by developing captivating customer experiences. A growing number of customers crave—and expect—personalization from brands, and unified data sets can provide a roadmap on how to design them.