Marketing isn’t just about having a great message. You need to be able to deliver your message to your customers how they want it and when they want it; otherwise, it will be missed or ignored. You cannot know how to best provide your marketing solutions to customers unless you have the critical data that allows you to optimize the customer experience. Unfortunately, the many channels from which customer data must be acquired and deciphered can make this difficult to discern. That is where the Integrated Customer profile, one of Adobe Campaign’s six major capabilities, can help.

Acquiring All Critical Consumer Data

According to the  United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, the data acquired from market research helps identify sales opportunities. While that is a fairly obvious statement, how you should acquire this data is not always so clear. Nowadays, people are supplying information via numerous platforms, and this data is constantly changing. As such, you must remain connected with these platforms (and more importantly, the customer data that they provide) at all times. Unfortunately, this is not always possible. According to a 2012 study from Columbia Business School, “91% of senior corporate marketers believe that successful brands use customer data to drive marketing decisions. Yet, 39% say their own company’s data is collected too infrequently or not real-time enough.”

The first step toward integrating your customer profiles is streamlining your access to data. Demographic data, behavioral data (responses to marketing messages), and transactional data (shopping habits) are all acquired. With Adobe Campaign, this happens regardless of where the information is acquired—physical points of sale, mobile transactions, email responses, online shopping habits and social media interaction are just a few examples.

Unifying Consumer Data

As I discussed in a previous article, a cross-channel approach is the best way to get the most out of your marketing campaign. In order for your cross-channel marketing plan to be successful, you need to make sure that all your marketing initiatives are utilizing the exact same customer data. This is a challenge for organizations across all industries because multiple points of information acquisition can create a fractured picture of a customer’s needs. This problem is so huge that the 2012 study from the Columbia Business School revealed that “65% of marketers said that comparing the effectiveness of marketing across different digital media is ‘a major challenge’ for their business.” Unifying all consumer marketing data into a cohesive portrait of their wants and needs solves this problem.

This needs to happen regardless of where the customer information was absorbed.

How does Adobe Campaign create the Integrated Customer Profile? It starts out by tracking every customer interaction, regardless of what tool is used to absorb it. This includes all online and offline sources, allowing you to bridge the gap between online and offline marketing, where the most fragmentation normally occurs. These information sources include those that are a part of Adobe Campaign, as well as outside resources.

The Integrated Customer Profile is updated throughout the customer life cycle.

Industry Success Story

Stadium is the number one sports retailer in the Nordics with 120 stores in Sweden, Denmark, and Finland. To enhance their loyalty program, which includes over 1 million members and actively communicates with customers via direct mail, email, Internet, call centers, and retail stores, Stadium needed to build a more engaging brand experience across legacy and emerging channels. To do so, the retailer needed to analyze past and present customer behavior to make predictions about future buying intent. Unfortunately, years of collecting data through varying marketing technologies resulted in the fragmentation of existing information, making it impossible to manage. As a solution, Stadium established a single marketing view of the customer by integrating disparate data sources within Adobe Campaign.

This easily read data allowed the company to quickly identify three critical areas that needed to be addressed to improve the relevance of marketing communications. First, they needed to create one-to-one customer communications through consistency of all marketing efforts: marketers created brand templates for newsletters, surveys, and Web applications; and paper-based loyalty applications were moved to digital so the company could enhance the efficiency of customer data collection. Second, Stadium needed to establish cross-channel campaigns based on purchases, campaign responses, and data collected at various touchpoints. Third, they recognized the need to enact customer reactivation campaigns established to occur after a certain period of nonpurchase or declining activity.

All this was possible because the customer information provided by a variety of systems was centrally available for use in the conversational marketing platform, which formed the basis for real-time, preference-based channel communications.

Building Personalized Customer Messages

The Integrated Customer Profile is shared with all Adobe Campaign resources to ensure that you have a truly customer-focused marketing plan that is based on what the customers truly want and need—not what you think they need.

This article is the first of a six-part series. Stay tuned for my next installment, which will discuss the targeted segmentation element of Adobe Campaign. If you would like to further discuss how the Adobe Campaign Integrated Customer Profile works, feel free to post questions or comments here.

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