Database: Customers Rule
1. Integrate Your Customer Data
An integrated customer data platform is a key element of ICM. It not only requires that you bring together disparate customer data for executing customer-centric marketing programs, but it also embraces a more mature vision of data integration—one in which transactional, behavioral and even attitudinal data are represented in the ICM database. Whether it’s self-reported or inferred from third-party sources, attitudinal data is a key requirement. For example, I once lived in a major city airline hub and was a frequent traveler. Behaviorally, I appeared to like the dominant airline for the hub city. However, in reality I had grown to loathe the airline and the “service” it provided. If given an alternative, I would have taken it. But I had no other realistic choice.
Given my attitude, the airline’s traditional cross-sell and upsell marketing attempts only compounded my frustration. However, if the airline had my attitudinal information “baked” into my customer profile, the content and tone of communications could have been tailored for relevance.
2. Adopt a Customer-Centric Mind-set
Adopting a customer-centric mind-set falls under the category of “easier said than done.” Most organizations still operate with a product- or brand-centric mentality. Their marketing efforts are company-centric vs. customer-centric.
To produce the best results possible, marketers must shift to a customer-centric mind-set. Assess current marketing communications starting at a high level. Ask yourself: Are you pushing offers to customers in an attempt to drive results, or are you basing your contact on customer insights to create the most relevant offers?
3. Tackle Internal Challenges, and Drive Change
ICM is difficult for multibrand organizations. Why? Because individual brands are often accustomed to marketing in an independent fashion with little regard to a customer’s needs beyond their brands. Tough questions have to be addressed. For example, you need to determine who really “owns” the customer and how communications can be governed in a way that benefits the organization while optimizing the relationship with the customer.