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.