Knowing your customer is an absolute priority within Customer Experience, Customer Journey, Customer Engagement, Onboarding or Customer Centricity strategies. It’s a critical success factor for brands in order to build a relevant and significant relationship with their consumer base.

With the Digital Transformation and its new platform, products and services, business models, consumer behaviors and relationship channels, knowing the customer has multiple challenges that require a transversal company transformation involving its processes, culture, people and leadership.

This was the starting point for the World Café developed in November at the Global Contact Center 2017: CX NEXT LEVEL, held in Portugal, where THE AD STORE PORTUGAL was invited as a specialist under the theme "Know Your Customer – The Challenges of Digital Transformation."

Is all information relevant?

Traditional CRM (Customer Relation Management) models no longer address the challenges and demands of Digital Transformation. Standard segmentation data - purchased products, socio-demographic indicators, etc. - do not allow brands to act in the relevant user context.

Information needs to be much more connected to the real customer life in order to properly know the person behind the algorithm and thus focus on the real Customer Experience Management (CEM). Behaviors, emotions, motivations, interests and passions: this is the intel that matters, these are the input that supports a human consumer approach and an anthropological segmentation strategy.

This approach needs to cross all the structured data received along the customer's journey - discovery, acquisition, use and sharing -, with the unstructured data from spontaneous customer input and content in social networks.

How to get the information?

Traditional models such as surveys, market research or benchmarking are important, and still relevant. However, these tools no longer fully answer the diversity and volume of data to collect!

So, what channels? Brands must realize and know the entire journey of their customers, as a continuous channel of generation of insights and data that allow to transform processes, improve the experience and define a structured and consistent information model.

The contribution of the Omnichannel platforms is very important, complemented with other solutions such as social media management, social listening and brand monitoring. Thousands of data will be listed for each user in seconds, so the definition of an agile digital Big Data strategy becomes a critical success factor.

How to use the information?

Convert data into real and effective information!

I. Priority: not all information is important to your business. Identify key topics where your business can make a difference in consumer life;

II. Fact: it will not be possible to collect all information from all customers in all interactions. Identify along the customer's journey the main steps and target audiences to follow;

III. Volume: any information allows for an ever deeper and contextual knowledge of the customers. Your data management platform has to be scalable.

Marketing Automation allows, with greater efficiency, agility and time-to-market, the identification of the best conversion opportunities. It's time to stop thinking about real time marketing and start thinking about right time marketing, to surprise your customers.

What are the main impacts?

Digital Transformation is mainly about the transformation of processes, people, business models, channels, corporate culture, leadership and, after all this, technology. It is at this point that many companies fail and the management of data and information is one of the tips of the iceberg that reveals this breaking point.

Implement a Single Customer View (SCV) and an information management governance model to all organization, so that the same customer, product or service can be viewed consistently across the different areas of the organization. This continues to be one of the biggest barriers to implement an effectively customer-focused culture.

The second challenge is to overcome the application legacy, with several incompatible programs and platforms acquired over time. The use of API (Application Programming Interface) allows working on old existing platforms and disaggregated data, delivering the information in new contexts. The API Economy is one of the great drivers of Digital Transformation.

These are the major impacts, issues and challenges so that Customer’s Information can be considered as a critical asset of the company and the brand for its future, sustainability and competitiveness.

The Author

Valdemar Pires

General Manager @ The Ad Store Portugal

I hope you found this piece interesting and insightful. If you have any questions, feel free to get in touch by sending me an email to valdemar@adstore.pt

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