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#Thought Leadership

How to Win with Data in an Omnichannel World

This article has been authored by Damien Lemaitre, Global Commerce Director, Media, dentsu. 

 

As consumers, it has never been easier for us to shop on our own terms, online or in-store, when and where we feel like it. Beyond the growth perspectives that today’s shopping landscape represents for brands, it also poses two main challenges: how to connect consistently with consumers, and how to get a full picture of performance across environments.

 

In this article, we explore how marketers can make the most of first-party data and how they should rethink their measurement strategy in an omnichannel world.

 

Invest in first-party data to enhance the customer experience

 

Panel data, retailer data, media performance data, website analytics ... as the volume, marketing channels and diversity of data sources available to brands grow exponentially, it is normal for marketers to feel overwhelmed.

 

Additionally, in light of the deprecation of third-party cookies, the emergence of more restrictive privacy laws, and digital platforms increasing limitations on user data sharing, it can be hard to understand which data sources are here to stay and, consequently, where to direct efforts and investments.

  

In this moving landscape, marketers can have the most confidence in the long-term usability of their own first-party data (i.e., the data they collect themselves directly from consumers and with their explicit consent) to fuel their marketing strategy and power their customer experience. This is why we are now seeing a rush to collect and nurture first-party data across all industries and irrespective of the data maturity of organizations.

 

I recommend following three guiding principles when approaching first-party data for omnichannel marketing strategy:  

1. Start with your consumers. Clearly map out your customer journey: when, how, and how frequently consumers interact with your brand or products. Don’t overlook the non-digital touchpoints and look beyond media: retail, packaging, partners, co-marketing … This will help you build omnichannel customer engagement. 

 

2. Design an effective data capture strategy. Focus on two considerations

  • Smart Messaging: consumers need to understand in a heartbeat the value they get when providing their personal data (e.g., access to certain benefits, joining a community), but also the rights they maintain over their data. Although the approach should be tailored to the customer journey, it is important to maintain consistency with brand positioning and values.
  • Technical Implementation: a seamless flow from data capture to CRM integration to media activation is key to delivering value. Many technology providers are available for all types of needs and resources, from enterprise CRM solutions offered by companies such as Salesforce and Adobe, to smaller-scale and nimble D2C CRM providers.
 

3. Enrich, Segment, Repeat.

  • Through the right partners, first-party data can be enriched with various complementary data sets. Retail partners help understand complex shopping patterns, media partners provide more insights into audiences’ behaviours, and agency partners bring a broader and more societal perspective of audiences through their panels and data partnerships. The helps to build omnichannel data. 
  • CRM segmentation is one of the most critical steps to designing a compelling customer experience. Marketing teams should work with a data analyst or business analyst to thoroughly understand how their customers move throughout their journeys and the key factors influencing them.
  • Repeat the whole process every year to stay on top of your consumer behaviors, data strategy, and performance measurement.
 

 

Today, as people want to shop on their own terms, designing and activating first-party data-powered experiences brings personalisation and convenience to them. First-party data contributes to a frictionless, harmonious consumer experience that, in turn, can drive higher revenue for brands.

 

Rethink your measurement strategy for the omnichannel world

 

By transforming shopping behaviours, the COVID-19 pandemic has drastically accelerated brands’ Online-to-Offline commerce strategies. However, many brands are struggling to figure out the best way to switch to a truly omnichannel measurement strategy.

 

I recommend focusing on two critical considerations while switching to omnichannel measurement strategy:

 

  • Culture & Structure. Collaboration is paramount for effective measurement and attribution in an omnichannel world, and calls for:
    • Clear governance: Establishing a solid governance, internally and externally (e.g., with retailers and agencies) is a foundational step. It requires shared ways of working, strong operations processes, and clear responsibilities that enable efficient collaboration.
    • Connected technology: Connecting technology across media, creative and customer experiences is important to obtain an omnichannel view of media, business, audience and sales data. It requires finding the right balance between agility, accountability, and quality.

 

  • Technology & Infrastructure. Although this varies with each business specific context, there are typically two major considerations when building technology infrastructure to enable omnichannel measurement:
    • Automation and artificial intelligence: As the volume of data sources surges, using automation and AI is necessary to manage and scale omnichannel measurement.
    • Multiple speeds of measurement: Omnichannel measurement should not impede your day-to-day operations. This is why you need different measurement frameworks to look at each channel through the right time window and stay precise in the moment and on the long term.

 

As brand seek to increase consumer lifetime value in an omnichannel world, designing a robust first-party data strategy and developing an actionable measurement framework become critical facets to win today and tomorrow.

 

At dentsu, we have extensive identity and commerce solutions to support your brand. Get in touch today to learn more. Download Shopper DNA: The Future of Retail here