A Blog series on Shopper Marketing.

By Cyndi Pyburn

Hint: Big Data is at the core of cracking this code. For some companies, ‘digital’ is about technology. For others, ’digital’ is a new way of engaging with customers and still for others it is an entirely new way of doing business. For sure, digital needs to be seen as less of a ‘thing’ and more of a way of doing things.

As customers desire more and more personalized experiences, big data is the key to unlocking the insights to develop customized, receptive messages. Research from Nielsen shows that based on browsing or buying behavior that: Bottom-line: data-driven marketing drives ROI. So how does one ‘map’ the digital shopper’s DNA?   Companies must create a complete picture of the customer using Big Data across a comprehensive set of characteristics.

  1. Customer decision journey captures customer behavioral pathways and attitudes at each stage of a purchase decision.
  2. Digital channel preferences highlight how shoppers prefer to interact with a brand.
  3. Product affinity details what products and product attributes customers prefer across brands and categories.
  4. Response to offers details how customers respond to various offers and what incrementally results from these interactions.
  5. Life moments and context looks at episodes in a customer’s life (such as a new job, having a baby, buying a home)
  6. Demographics, preferences and needs provide insight about shoppers based on information beyond interactions with a specific e-commerce company

What’s required: to crack the code? It is both technology and people. First technology. Data is found in many places across an organization. By merging these information sources or systems of data into a single repository, consumer details come together into a 360 degree view – customer purchase history, service interaction, website-navigation behaviors and social media conversations. With the application of analytics, you can begin to accurately understand what your best customers look like and find answers to key questions such as:

  • What products have they purchased and what is their purchasing behavior?
  • How do I keep my best customers loyal?
  • What channels do my customers and prospects prefer?
  • What opportunities are there to maximize customer value through up-sell and cross-sell offers?
  • What patterns may indicate unhappy customers and how can a brand mitigate attrition risk?

In short, technology provides a complete and dynamic picture of the consumer. However, there’s the need to balance the number of digital communications.

Next – people. Often teams are organized by function – loyalty, media buying, e-commerce. McKinsey suggests in their experience that companies should begin to address organizational silos by creating teams that ‘own’ a customer segment across the full journey. In this way a much deeper understanding of the customer experience across all channels is at the core of this capability. Add advanced analytics and a unified 360 degree view of the customer, the shopper DNA can be better understood, both on and off-line. This requires Omnichannel Journey Management where omnichannel context (sharing of information from one channel to another), interaction modality, journey orchestration, and journey lifecycle management can provide personalized and content appropriate experiences expected of today’s digitally driven customer.

Big Data analytics help to crack the digital shopper code.   The emerging customer (shifting path to purchase decisions due to digital influences) can be better understood. Big data will be the key to unlocking marketing success.