Are your Single Customer View and Marketing Automation platform skipping into the sunset holding hands? | DMA

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Are your Single Customer View and Marketing Automation platform skipping into the sunset holding hands?


You’re convinced of the rewards a true Single Customer View can bring to your business. Internally you’ve worked hard to debunk the myths around the Single Customer View and found a solution that can de-dupe and identify the same person across offline and online channels, amazing! You’re now keen to launch some multi-channel marketing activity using your SCV, but before you do you’d just like a couple of practical ideas to get you going. In this blog, I am going to give you a few ideas based around an old favourite – the basket abandonment.

Why is a true SCV so important?

Just before we do jump into some practical examples, it is important to say that it is no longer (if it ever was) good enough to have an SCV that doesn’t allow you easy access to your data. There is no point being a marketer with grand plans, yet your business has an SCV that needs IT or an agency to access it. As a marketer your SCV solution should be updating in near real time and this means ditching this once a fortnight or once a week refresh stuff. It is depressing to see how many businesses and agencies think that moving from a fortnightly to a weekly refresh is cutting edge! How is this ever going to help you maximise your sales? With the difference between making a sale or not often coming down to hours and minutes, you can’t improve your marketing relevance if the single view of your customer is 24 hours old or worse, seven days out of date.

As a marketer it is crucial to be able to identify that customer X, who is a VIP and is about to lapse, according to your predictive model, has visited your site for the first time in 60 days via their mobile. You need to know this so you can personalise their individual web experience in an attempt to re-engage them. Your SCV can tell your website in real time the best products to serve up first, based on what they are most likely to buy based on their purchasing behaviour.

Okay, let’s get to the real benefits of integrating your SCV with your Marketing Automation platform with some examples

Let’s take a look at a scenario, so in total you’ve got just over 600,000 identifiable records in your SCV. 24% have email addresses and permits, 21% have a postal address and permit and 13% have both. You also have 4.6 million cookies, so lots of potential prospects to collect more information from. Of course the solution you have should be PAF (Postal Address File) cleansing your data as it comes in, so you know that your postal information is good to go should you need it.

It is a given that your Basket Abandonment email is working nicely converting at an average of 55% and importantly, because your solution has cross device tracking you know you’re identifying everyone that visits your website. This is because your SCV is seeing and collecting everyone’s behaviours in real time, whether they are browsing your site at work on their desktop, while commuting and using their phone or sat on the sofa having a glass of wine, using their tablet. Ok, tracking the wine drinking is a bit much but you get the point!

But, how we can we use our SCV to get the bigger picture allowing us to talk to those customers we don’t have an email permit for?

Direct Mail Basket Abandonment

The first example we are going to look at is a Direct Mail Basket Abandonment programme. Yes that’s correct, a piece of DM going out to someone who has left something in their online basket. We’re going multi-channel!

You can do this by simply creating a segment similar to the above, including people who have started to add things to their basket but did not buy. They don’t have an email permit (if they did they would get the Basket Abandonment email) but they do have a postal permit, meaning that you can now output the postal details and any other key information you have against that record via a CSV file every hour or so to a fulfilment house.

What’s great is that your SCV can see the products that were put into their basket, picking up product images, meaning you can pick one to be printed digitally on to a postcard for that individual person. You can then add a personalised message, something like:

“Hi [[Firstname]], we just wanted to let you know that we have saved your basket online if you wanted to come back and review it, unless of course you have checked out recently. Any questions give us a call or visit us in-store if you want any advice or help”.

Of course DM is a bit more expensive than email so you might want to be a bit more targeted to increase conversion to help deliver a stronger ROI. Ideas of extras you might consider are:

Overlay the base segment above with a rule that says they must have visited the site, or browsed a specific category at least three times in the last three months, showing a clear interest in the product from the customer.

Overlay the base segment with a rule that says they ‘must have purchased in the last six months’. Yes, it will cut down your volume but it gives your DM a better chance of giving you a sale.

Add in the name and location of their nearest store by using their postcode to calculate drive times for them. We often see that when someone shops online and in-store, they can be upwards of four times more valuable!

Overlay rules based on RFM, eRFM or predictive models to tailor content. For example, if they sit as part of a Single Purchaser RFM group then you may incentivise just them with a unique discount code, encouraging them to make that next purchase.

A combination of all of the above.

Website Basket Abandonment for non-opt ins

The second Basket Abandonment programme you can run is via your website. What about setting up a hero image that physically points to the basket icon, so whenever a visitor returns who still has items waiting in their basket gets a gentle (or not so gentle…) reminder?

Of course if you have an email permit or postal permit for the returning visitor you don’t want this to happen. You want these people to get either the Basket Abandonment email or DM communication. But this is a great way of using your SCV to ensure you are targeting all potential customers.

By creating the above segment, which should take less than five minutes, then publishing it to your CMS you can serve the specific content mentioned to returning, unidentifiable people, who have visited your site but not purchased their basket. To go a step further you might want to exclude people who have bought in the last three months because they know how the site works, so may not appreciate this prompt.

The Possibilities are Endless...

As you can see from these ideas, the possibilities a true SCV can enable within all areas of your marketing activity is endless. We haven’t even got into using SMS or how POS data or in-store beacons can be used to increase relevance across multiple channels, but we’ll save that for another day.

The key point to take away from this blog is this: none of this highly targeted and personalised marketing is possible without a genuine Single Customer View that updates in real time and is easily accessible by you, the marketer!

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