We conclude our series of blogs “Sitecore 10 – A Single Customer View.” With this blog which will help you achieve your goal.
Maintaining the data: Integration with source systems
This one is very important as it lays down the base for how you are going to achieve the single customer view. At this level you will have to seek the answers to the following.
- How do you want the data modifications to reflect on your source systems?
- Are the different systems aligned in a way to reflect the same data (and maintain it) when sent from one platform?
- How do you intend to make the data accessible to the users? Would you want it to be locally available or deploy a SaaS solution to make it available across the enterprise?
- What is the turnaround time for a customer service agent for getting back to a customer? Should the agent have all the data available in real-time or can there be a delay in this? In case of the latter, what is the permissible delay limit?
The answers to these questions can help you devise a better strategy to serve your customers as well as prepare for the single customer view.
Making the data available in a central location
Whatever you chose to make your single data repository, it must serve the needs of your customers and your employees. Make sure that the data is a complete set of information on the clients, available anytime and anywhere.
Build strong customer relationships - that are built to last
Experience marketing recognizes that all your customers are different; so, embrace these differences. Listen and pay attention to your customers’ minutest needs. Strengthen your relationship and deliver the experience your customer really wants, not just what you think they should have.
Know every customer, shape every experience
Sitecore XDB was built with a single purpose - to help you build strong customer relationships. Utilize your learnings from the interactions you have with your customers to provide them a more effective and personalized experience.
The key to managing every customers' experience is to ensure you're delivering content in the context of how your customers interacted with your brand yesterday, last week, or within the last second, so you can be relevant today. This platform lets you market in the right context, so you deliver the right content to the right person, in the right place, and at the right time – based on a sum total of that person's past behavior and current needs.
The Sitecore Experience Platform (Sitecore XP) enables marketers to create an Experience Profile for every customer. This, it does, by collecting and connecting data across all digital and offline channels to provide the organizations with authentic, relevant and up to date data about the people interacting with their brands. Today’s disconnected marketing systems prevent marketers from delivering optimal customer experiences; the data they need is scattered across multiple systems. Marketers are spending far too much time stitching together the scattered customer information, which has resulted in inconsistent and fragmented customer engagement.
“Companies and governments now understand that their digital presence — web, mobile, social — makes the difference between being present or absent in the customer’s journey. The data is irrefutable: companies delivering stellar digital experiences outperform the stock market by a factor of three while experience laggards have lost 34% of market value over the past five years. However, many organizations have not been able to consolidate their IT solutions to extract maximum value from them and deliver comprehensive cross-channel experiences.”
To sum up the above, the Experience Profile can be used immediately to segment and target audiences using any demographic and behavioral information collected by Sitecore to personalize specific content and offerings in real-time. In that sense, Sitecore XP 10 allows you to:
- Gain better customer insight
- Take prompt actions on the insight
- Improvise your strategies and planning as per feedback from the in-built data analytics
Key benefits of Sitecore XP 10:
Sitecore XP 10 provides a clean, consistent user experience for every Sitecore user. This would help us grasp functionality of Sitecore easily while bringing down training and support costs. Because every feature works in the same way, marketers can easily master all aspects of the digital experience marketing within Sitecore.
Single Customer View: The highlight of Sitecore XP 10 lies in the Sitecore Experience Profile. This offers a single view of each customer, which is used for real-time personalization, segmentation and analytics. Through the data it collects, Sitecore offers a customer experience irrespective of the time and place of its occurrence. This it makes immediately available to the marketers so they can continue their conversations with their customers and thereby provide them relevant and personalized experiences.
Pervasive analytics & insights: Because it collects data in real-time, Sitecore XP 10 speeds up the process of deciding and/ or taking an action. Using the Engagement Value tool to measure what’s working and what’s not, it suggests actions that marketers could take via the Sitecore’s Experience Marketing tools. Sitecore’s Experience Analytics offers insight into the performance of the strategies and also harnesses and analyzes data from non-Sitecore sites, CRM, ERP, and POS systems.
Continuous testing & optimization: Sitecore XP 10 allows optimizing the customer experience. All content changes can be A/B tested by a content creator. Personalized content can be checked against its default content control base. Using the advanced tools that are available, optimization experts can set up test scenarios, such as multivariate tests built into the platform. So, every component and channel can be fine-tuned for performance on a continuous basis.
Dynamic segmentation & automation: Besides the above, Sitecore also enables creating target segments on the basis of the information in the Experience Profile. Tools such as demographic data and behavior help in creating real-time content personalization, email communication and automated nurturing campaigns.
Cross-channel experience delivery: Sitecore facilitates cross-channel experiences for marketers. This allows new customers to leverage the Sitecore functionality on their existing sites. Marketers can also inherit legacy sites and rapidly bring them under the brand umbrella.
H3: Benefits enjoyed by digital marketers
With numerous ways to reach and engage directly with customers, information and tools have become available in abundance. Marketers can now use these to enhance the success rates of marketing campaigns.
The world of digital marketing is ever evolving. There are new entrants to it all the time. Nonetheless, customers today are better informed of the available digital data and they know exactly how it can be used to interact with brands. In turn, they expect marketers to use that information and use it wisely as well. This has given rise to an urge in which they want personalized experiences in place of the traditional one-size-fits-all approach.
Connector between Sitecore <> MA tool
The era of digital marketing is quickly giving way to experience marketing. And who better can tell you this but you yourself! While traditional marketing tactics are long gone, customers today aren’t too excited about digital marketing as well. This is simply because the lines demarcating the online and the offline are fast blurring and people do not expect brands to market their products to them simply for the heck of it – even if it means that brands are making the effort to connect digitally. Customers prefer a personalized experience and expect brands to adhere to this desire. They are looking at an enriching experience – digital or otherwise – and brands better offer them that to remain on top of the game.
H2: Experience marketing – more than relevance
So, how do you understand the nuances of experience marketing?
Big data: As Digital is now everywhere and is being generated every moment. So, you need to know how you can sort the information you need as per relevance.
Channel propagation: There are plenty of channels out there and you have to recognize the ones that you can make use of to reach out to and connect with people.
Technology consolidation: To enable a customer to enjoy experienced marketing, it is important that you capture all the relevant interactions with the customer at both the online as well as offline levels. This will offer the customer a complete experience – one that is consistent, integrated, and connected.
Practically speaking, it’s about expectations
The customer of 2022 will be more informed and will decide on the basis of the experience they receive. Customer will expect companies to know their individual needs and personalize the experience.
The above sums up the customer expectations and the possibility for brands to realize them. Nonetheless, it is for the brands to utilize the understanding they have of a customer and make use of the relevant data (accumulated both from the online and offline channels) that they have to devise prompt and personalized marketing experiences. The pace of change has accelerated and digital has become ubiquitous and all-encompassing very quickly. Customer needs and expectations can change before you blink your eyes. Hence, you’ve got to be ready.
So, technically speaking, are you ready?
In the digital marketing era, brands rely on the talent with channel-specific skills that can implement channel-specific (even multichannel) campaigns. Furthermore, it’s practically impossible to consolidate the thousands of available tools to help you realize your aspiration of creating the single customer view. Therefore, what is of utmost significance here is that you have to identify the tools, methods and skills that will best work for you and your customers.
Having said that, whether you are ready or not, experience marketing has arrived. So, based on the expectations of your customers, you have to deliver just that. And, whether you realize it or not, you’re delivering experiences already.
So, how do you own that experience? You can:
- Collect the customer data that can showcase their preferences and past experiences
- Automate the process so you can offer relevant and prompt experiences across channels
- Analyze and calculate the outcomes
- Devise better strategies to make the experience even more holistic and appropriate
H2: Get started with Experience Marketing: Marketing owns the experience
Successful brands don’t just deliver products and services; they also deliver experiences that people value. This is the experience that customers expect today, and modern marketers should be able to deliver on this expectation. Needless to say, it isn’t a one-time effort – rather, it is a continuous cycle that starts right from the time a customer interacts with your brand till the time she continues this trend. Therefore, to keep this going, meticulous planning and timely and accurate execution are required.
While it’s easy to replicate products, it’s the experience that is difficult to re-create. This is where you can appear unique to your customers even while you are competing with thousands of other brands in your industry offering similar products and services.
Data - We can’t see our customer
In today’s digital world, everyone talks about “big data”; but for experience marketing, it’s all about collecting the “right” data in one place. This task begins much before you start to work on designing the experiences that can create happy customers for your brand. Relevant data enables you to visualize every customer and her experiences, across all channels - in real time.
Definitely, working on experience marketing implies dealing with a lot of data. Also, the data repository will have to be constantly fed with updated information as old data can quickly become redundant. Therefore, you will have to look at both the aspects – continuously collect data and filter it to retain and manage the relevant parts. Add to this the importance of collecting data from multiple sources and you’d have even more information to sieve. So, to be able to effectively manage all of this you need a robust tool.
The built-in Experience Database platform on Sitecore helps you manage data like a ‘pro’. It receives data from different sources, collects the same, and connects the data to individual customers for you to enjoy a single customer view. Using these inputs, you can easily decide on the delivering the next experience.
However, before you get there, here’s a few questions to which you ought to seek the answers.
- Would you be confident using your existing data to build real-time customer experiences?
- Can and should your data be considered before the next customer interaction?
- What kind of data approach would you need?
Below are a few pointers to keep in mind when approaching experience marketing:
Be where your customers are: Experience marketing requires you to collect real-time data of your customers promptly capturing their actions. No matter what channel they may be using – social media, mobile, physical outlets, the web – you need to have access to the data so you can understand them (their requirements, preferences, etc.) perfectly.
Integrating the different departments of your business: When we say multiple data sources, we don’t simply mean the external sources. Rather, we are also hinting at your internal sources such as the IT department, the finances and sales departments, and so on. Besides your marketing team, all the other teams too can have valuable data with them, and it is important that you recognize these points, so all the data is brought in to one place.
Real-time data is useful: Old data can easily become redundant. Therefore, it’s important that you have the latest data. Also, you must be aware of your customers’ expectations. This can keep you competitive and enable you to put your best foot forward.
Distinguishing and organizing customer and business data: It’s important to track all customer interaction histories and retain the useful ones by segregating the same from the rest. All online and offline interactions are significant and should be included in your profile to keep it current.
In addition, to be able to efficiently realize your aim of experience marketing, you have to identify the data patterns and measure the outcomes.
Decisions - Trust analytics: Experience marketing requires a deep understanding of your customers’ expectations, the industry standards, the value maximizing propositions, etc. This should be done in real time and you have to trust the analytics to be able to create the matching strategies. To realize this, you need a technological tool that you can trust. This tool should be able to offer you correct data analysis and recommend you solutions to maximize the experience marketing benefits.
The experience starts here
Experience marketing is part art, part science and, has become possible only due to the use of technology. Experience, by its very nature, is individualistic, subjective, and full of nuance. While customers are adopting new technologies to enhance their buying experience, marketers too should follow suit in order to create better experiences for their customers and maximize their benefits. So, all you need, as a marketer, is a connected platform that can help create a unique client persona of your customers. This you can use as a base to design appropriate personal experiences.
Adopting a single customer view is all about maximizing the value of an organization's most valuable assets – its customers. More than technology and data, moving to a customer-focused approach would require organizational changes, such as structuring the credit and marketing teams around customer segments in place of product portfolio. Additionally, training of the customer-facing staff in platforms that can facilitate customer service benefits is essential too.
What value you derive from single customer view will also depend on other factors such as the size of your customer base as well as the number of potential product relationships your brand has with your customers. Creating a single customer view is therefore the first step. Adding supplementary data will enhance the client's view and facilitate more accurate credit policy analysis to support limit setting. Implementing the single customer view across the organization and using it to inform all customer decision-making is the essential next step.
In short, this implementation is a journey in itself rather than being a short-term project. All the departments of your business will have to get together to achieve this jointly. Creating a single customer view is all about commitment, discipline, and team work. To get started, create a unique and correct customer ID and start collecting relevant data from there – you will be able to build a persona for your customer that in turn will help you realize your goal of creating a single customer view.
With this we conclude the series of the in depth into Sitecore 10, and, have discussed the four major aspects of Sitecore10 in the series: