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CPG companies today have it tough: Consumers are fickle and unpredictable. They no longer make a purchase decision based on price alone; instead, they look at the holistic experience a brand delivers, starting with marketing and ending with the product itself.

As the buying journey becomes much more fluid (and less dependent on one single factor, such as price), marketers run into the challenge of understanding what exactly will convince a customer to buy. To solve that problem, marketers need to look at customer relationships in a new way.

It's no longer about bombarding customers with messages and hoping they'll purchase a product; it's about gathering data and listening to what they want.

Here are four ways to use that data to ensure brands are delivering the end-to-end experience their customers are craving—and, in doing so, increase customer loyalty.

1. Use data to foster personalized engagement

Good marketing starts with understanding the customer. The modern consumer sees more than 5,000 brand messages a day; so, if you don't understand your customer enough to craft and deliver personalized content, your message will never cut through the noise.

To develop that personal relationship—to create an emotional connection and ultimately drive purchase—brands must understand what customers want to hear, and how they want to hear it. Ask what your customers care about, then use that data to craft meaningful messages that align with their values, lifestyle, and behavioral preferences.

For example, Chris Thorne, former CMO of baby company the Honest Co., noted in an interview with eMarketer, that to go beyond just selling, the team uses customer data to build new content almost daily and delivers it in a variety of formats, such as text, images, and user-generated content. The stories are personalized and inspiring to customers.

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image of Susan Frech

Susan Frech is a co-founder and the CEO of Social Media Link, an enterprise engagement and activation platform launched in 2009 to help brands build communities. She has 20+ years of experience in advertising and marketing services.

LinkedIn: Susan Frech

Twitter: @SueFrech