As the array of retail channels expands across brick-and-mortar stores, online shops, mobile, and social, the volume and complexity of consumer information is growing exponentially.

However, centralizing, synthesizing, and segmenting all that data is a daunting challenge for most brands. Though most brands have visibility into their best sales channel or even product, few have understanding of their best or most valuable customers (MVCs).

Successful companies are embracing advanced consumer management technology to do all that across POS, CRM, e-commerce, and middleware data sources and gain a holistic, multidimensional understanding of customers. 

Benefits of Advanced Consumer Management

Advanced consumer management delivers powerful marketing and operational applications that facilitate strategic consumer engagement and drive customer loyalty. The true effective result comes from the synthesized customer intelligence across myriad channels, achieving true "omnichannel" understanding as to how consumers shop, decide, and buy.

Marketing, brand, and consumer insight teams no longer have to cautiously rely on fragmented, disconnected customer data from incompatible sources such as point-of-sale and e-commerce systems. Consumer management technology facilitates the collection and synthesis of this data to develop powerful, complete consumer views.

Consumer management allows for strategically tiered engagement campaigns across email, mobile, social, online, and even physical mail channels, delivering personalized relevancy to customers. That insight and engagement is transforming how brands across myriad industries are executing their engagements and building loyalty.

Here are five ways advanced consumer management is already revolutionizing marketing.

1. Centralized insight

For years, the concept of "omnichannel" understanding has been an elusive wish of industries. Yet, with so many in-store, online, and now mobile and social applications, the ability to connect those data sources has been incredibly daunting.

The basis of a consumer management platform is to integrate and connect with each data source to serve as a centralized hub for the data and also to synthesize and connect the data to reveal how consumers shop and engage across each channel and holistically with the brand.

2. Intelligent segmentation

Aside from understanding the decisions and paths consumers take to make purchases, advanced consumer management also provides clarity with detailed consumer segments. That helps to unveil critical MVCs. Marketing and brand teams not only understand how and where to message those consumers segments but also identify key consumer segments previously unknown.

Many times, those newly identified personas drive an added dimension to the organization’s marketing strategy, which allows them to potentially find significant untapped markets.

3. Most valuable customer identification

Traditionally, MVCs have been an elusive focal point of brands.

However, the definition of an MVC has typically been myopically tied to their straight-line transaction value. Many brands now are realizing that MVCs exist on a variety of dimensions aside from just dollar value, including frequency, demographics, geography, and even evangelism.

Many MVCs are influencers who may not spend a lot with the brand regularly but provide incredible promotional outreach, often via social channels.

4. Personalized engagement

One of the most valuable aspects of consumer management is the ability to strategically engage customers based on their behaviors, tendencies, and interest. Companies can now ditch the "one size fits all" campaigns and promotions, and deliver tailored engagements relevant to the consumer based on their activity and channel.

Brands often erode their margins by offering discounts to MVCs who are shopping regularly. By extending value with their shopping experience, like complimentary gift wrapping or valet parking or access to a personal shoppers or pre-sales alerts, loyalty can skyrocket as MVCs feel even more valued without unnecessarily eroding revenue.

5. Lifetime value extension

Through this advanced understanding and engagement, brands can now influence the lifetime value of their customers, increase their loyalty, and even help usher loyal customers into evangelists. This allows brands to strategically usher their loyalists into advocates to serve as an economical acquisition channel and ultimately extend their lifetime value on an array of dimensions, from spend to frequency to evangelism.

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To take advantage of the wealth of customer intelligence that exists in a fragmented state across channels today, customer-focused brands are relying on advanced consumer management technology to provide a 360-degree view of their consumers to identify their MVCs.

The key to achieving this is to embrace technology that goes beyond traditional CRM data input systems and deliver data synthesis, segmentation, and ultimately personalized engagement to understand and provide relevancy to customers.

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image of Mark Harrington

Mark Harrington is vice-president of Marketing at Clutch.

LinkedIn: Mark Harrington