Customers interact and engage with their favorite brands through content found on their websites, social media or third-party channels. The challenge many brands face when it comes to their content, however, is that each channel caters to a specific audience looking to consume different kinds of content. Without understanding these audience preferences, you could be pushing away potential customers because of disconnected data points.
Content production should be based on an integrated customer-centric approach to ensure the content is relevant and engaging for their audiences. Understanding the data is vital for brands that want to connect with consumers as it allows tailoring content to a target audience. Here are some tips that can help your brand become more consumer-centric.
WHAT IS AN INTEGRATED CUSTOMER-CENTRIC APPROACH?
This approach focuses heavily on the needs, wants and objectives your customers have when interacting with your brand. Aligning business objectives with customer goals allows an organization to scale their business based on the changing needs of the customer rather than the internal needs of the business. This ensures that the customer is at the heart of your business philosophy, operations or ideas.
Being customer-centric starts with understanding and improving your company’s data and technology. While many companies are still just getting started with data, regardless of size, all companies can harness the data they have to start uncovering key insights into specific audience behavior and consumption patterns. This information will allow you to craft content that is truly valuable for your audience.
DEVELOPING YOUR INTEGRATED CUSTOMER-CENTRIC APPROACH
Collecting Customer-Centric Data
When it comes to content, most organizations focus on high-level metrics like bounce rate, time on site, page views and potentially scroll-tracking events. What gets forgotten is how to tie those specific metrics back to a single customer or group of segmented customers. The key for this is to have what’s called a “unique identifier”that can be matched from a web analytics tool—like Google Analytics or Adobe Analytics—into a marketing automation tool, like Hubspot or Marketo.
This is typically a randomly generated number that’s attached to an individual visitor after they’ve converted in some way. That number is sent to both sets of tools and matched up later in the marketing automation tool where the personal information is kept. This type of data collection allows you to connect individual users to website interaction and engagement.
Integrating Platforms for Clear Customer View
You should first make sure that the data sets that are available are integrated; this makes the information more accessible and available to people who need it. Integration isn’t easy, and not every data set needs to be included, but once the roadmap has been created, it provides clean, valuable data that can be used to create high-value insights. The integration of different types of customer data (purchase history, service history, values and satisfaction) is necessary to develop an integrated customer-centric approach.
Getting Everyone Interested in Customer Data
Analytics adoption can be a challenge at some organizations due to the lack of evidence on how data can improve the business. Even though most marketers are talking about data, it doesn’t mean everyone has the knowledge to leverage it for business value. Some of the top analytics talent still has trouble showing ROI due to un-integrated platforms and missing customer data.
The key to truly adopting analytics to create an integrated customer-centric approach is to produce data visualizations that are easy to understand and tell a clear story of what actions need to be taken. Data by itself is boring, but creating visual representations of how that data is affecting the business and the content experience can help drive home how important data is and how it can be leveraged to make more informed business decisions.
Applying Customer-Centric Data to Your Content
Sometimes organizations are collecting too much data, which can lead to “data paralysis.” It quickly becomes a daunting task to find useable pieces that help guide your customer-centric content. The key to finally applying this approach is to leverage your technology to create workflows and audience bucketing. The term “machine learning” is being used a lot for this specific task, but don’t worry if you’re not quite there yet because you can still do automation if you’re just getting started.
Here are some basic steps to help get things rolling:
- Make sure you’re using the right technology for the job at hand.
- Understand the full capabilities and limitations of that technology.
- Double check that the data being used is correct and accurate.
- Set up your workflows properly and ensure that they’re flexible.
Once you have the right information and the right technology—properly connected— you can start to build out segmented customer lists and begin the personalization that will help your brand provide high-quality content experiences based on customer preferences and interactions.
From small and midsize companies to large global enterprises, the ability to extract value from data through smart analytics will be the key to content and business success.
This customer-centric approach allows for businesses to analyze data in a way that helps them understand the reasons for content consumption. It also sheds light on customer loyalty behaviors and the impact they have on company growth.