Ah, February — the season of love. But how do you show your customers you care?
For marketers, developing a relationship with your customers is a lot like courting them: The better you know the person, the better the relationship.
But marketers also often see their customers in silos. They fail to know the one, single person behind these fractured channels. Worse yet, they can’t connect that individual’s email address to a postal address, or their online behavior to their in-store purchases.
Customers don’t see it that way. They have big expectations for their experience with your brand, and hold all the power in this relationship.
Does this sound familiar?
- You know a customer’s email address but not their postal address, or their mobile ID but not their email.
- You have several of unique identifiers for each customer — such as emails, order numbers or usernames — but struggle to link them together.
- You follow a customer’s browsing habits after they have registered with your site, but you can’t tell what they looked at beforehand as an anonymous user.
- You know what they’ve purchased before, but can’t predict future interests.
Cue the breakdown in communication, or worse yet, a breakup with your brand. You need a unique, central identifier to follow your customers across mediums. You need to create a complete picture of who they are, where they are and what they want from your brand.
Don’t shed any tears just yet. Enter your customer relationship savior: Identity Matching.
What is Identity Matching?
Identity Matching is process of tracking and pairing user behavior, demographics and identifiers across channels. Revolving your customer identity creates a connected web of consumer data, which can be used to deliver a seamless brand experiences.
Identity Matching is an imperative for the customer experience. Today’s multi-channel customers are empowered and value brands that make their lives easier. Identity Matching is essential for creating a smooth, delightful customer experience.
What Does Identity Matching Look Like?
Let’s say you’re a 35-year-old woman shopping for professional wear in-person at a department store. The next day, they email you an offer for men’s athletic shoes. Later, you see display ads with a coupon for the dress you just purchased at the brick-and-mortar retail location. The final straw? Getting a mailer with ads for junior’s clothes.
It’s frustrating and impersonal — the store took no effort in understanding and connecting your behavior. As a customer, you might no longer show that brand any love. In fact, more than half of customers say brand experiences factor into their purchasing decisions.
But what if the brand saw you, their customer, as a multichannel buyer, understanding your needs and anticipating your needs?
During your trip to the department store to try on professional attire, an associate might collect your email and your preferences. The next day, they might email you an offer for a free fitting, or mail you a coupon code for a blazer. Because they also connected your email with additional demographic information, they know you are a high-end buyer that lives in a cold area; in turn, you’re targeted with relevant ads for fashionable outerwear.
The brand using Identity Matching techniques creates an experience that is relevant, empathetic and seamless across channels.
How To Get Started With Identity Matching
Identity Matching is about breaking down channel silos and connecting customer identities, including their name, email, mobile ID, postal address, loyalty ID, purchase behavior and demographic information.
Here are 5 quick tips to get started:
- Understand your internal silos: Know where your channels are disjointed, and create connections as needed.
- Collect data at every touchpoint: Think about where you could ask for additional customer data, such as in stores, through online forms or with surveys.
- Organize your internal database: Ensure your teams use established company practices to add information, and schedule regular clean ups.
- Fill in your knowledge gaps with appended third-party data: Add postal, demographic or mobile ID data as needed to complete your customer picture.
- Empathize with your customer: Consider how you can use their data to make the brand experience smoother.
Remember that Identity Matching is not an all-or-nothing approach. Brands that start small can still see stronger customer loyalty. But those who fail to show their customers love through seamless experiences could be left heartbroken.