“Change is the only constant” – It’s a phrase we are all familiar with or are getting familiar with, especially during these unprecedented times. 

Starting with the pandemic and then getting saddled by geopolitical issues, there has been a massive shift in the behavior of how a consumer is responding to these new economic complexities.

And needless to say, when consumer behaviors change, so too must marketers and brands. In fact, as a brand, you may be able to tell which way your customer behaviors are changing using your biggest asset, your biggest advantage – DATA. And using your customer data in the right manner can put you well out of reach of your competition. 

While data can become the light amidst the fog of uncertainty, the pertaining thought that remains is – Data is everywhere, but there is no insight to consume

If brands want to maximize, especially during these testing times, it’s imperative that they follow certain tenets associated with the already present data and superimpose that on any data collected or leveraged in the future as well. 

The Basic Tenets to Follow With Your DATA

Let’s look at a few guidelines that should help immensely: 

  1. Clean Your Data or Be Lost Forever: For the uninitiated, data is considered clean when it is error-free, there is no duplication, or the record is complete and not outdated because, in today’s world, unhygienic data can become the Achilles heel for a brand.  When sales and marketing folks are swimming in heaps of unhygienic data, they are shackled from making informed decisions. Therefore, your digital transformation should start with data assessment and answering questions like:

What am I collecting at my store?

What am I collecting at the kiosks?

What am I collecting at various customer touchpoints?

Am I collecting data with similar/same formats across all my different customer touchpoints?

 2. Don’t Let Data Silos Become Your Trojan Horse!: As brands explore going omnichannel (again!), customer experience has reached an inflection point where a brand can either connect the online and offline data or then face a significant workload in conjoining the two. But they must, so they can answer critical questions like  “what percentage of their customers are shopping online post a good experience in their store and vice-versa.” And one of the biggest dividers I see is typically brands not being able to decide what their customer’s unique identifier will be, regardless of them being present online or offline. 

3. What Have You Ever Done For Me, Single View Of The Customer?   

Delivering on a single view of the customer could be very simple or could become a herculean task depending on how brands have kept their data and what they are trying to achieve from the exercise. Regardless of the effort, the most important question to answer is WHY. Are you trying to ensure that you are successful in cross-selling to a customer? Are you trying to get an understanding of the common characteristics of your high-value customers? Or you could be collecting this data to truly move the needle around product development, inventory, and understanding the changing nature of your ideal customer. 

So the sphere of influence is wide, with wider-ranging business impact and results. 

Whatever the case may be – this one would be well-answered by working backward from the goals to deliver the goods using the right DATA, so to speak. As a result, you’ll save your brand a lot of man-hours and realize cost efficiency.

To Conclude – Small Steps to Win the Bigger Race!

The quote – “More is accomplished by a person who is guided by principles,” can become a perfect metaphor for brands following the ‘tenets’ in their pursuit of striving for excellent customer engagement, especially today.

Marketers who realize data as their competitive advantage and use technology as a platform to hone these data into INSIGHTS can become the last brand standing.

Because, in the end, everything will boil down to:

  • How clean is your data;
  • How you bring your data together across different teams;
  • What insights are you deriving out of it.

On a parting note: as we tackle  2023 and beyond, it is time for brands to clean up their house and be ready for that coming V-shape recovery.