The Art of Leveraging Commerce Data to Create Personalized, End-to-End Marketing Campaigns
By Kait Spong
Welcome to part three of our “The Way to Data” series, where we discuss the combination of data and e-commerce personalization. Follow along for best practices, insights, and tips to create winning business strategies and better customer experiences.
We get it — big data can be intimidating to businesses. Whether you’re experiencing inadequacy with data quality, literacy, or tools, it can be tough for both B2B and B2C companies to make headway with data. But the fact remains that data is an integral part of our lives — we are projected to create and consume up to 97 zettabytes of data globally by the end of 2022. For context, a zettabyte is equivalent to a trillion gigabytes, and by not effectively using this data, you’re letting valuable information go to waste.
These days, good data really matters because it takes more money than ever to acquire new customers. Quite unsurprisingly, 2021 turned out to be a year of unprecedented growth in worldwide ad spending, even with the lingering impacts of the pandemic. After an increase of nearly 20%, both digital and traditional ad spend reached $780 billion — nearly 5% (or $33 billion) more than the numbers previously projected by eMarketer.
Even though it’s hard not to gawk at these numbers, it’s even more difficult to feel like you aren’t completely throwing your money down the drain at times to reach your business’ full potential. Since customer acquisition costs (CAC) are climbing higher, today’s marketing spend should continue to focus on technology solutions that can expedite and enhance workflows. Yet, like the ultimate double-edged sword, you’ll put yourself in a tough position if you invest in a disjointed tech stack that only creates more manual processes.
Fortunately, there are options out there that can easily create a seamless end-to-end commerce strategy. It all starts with commerce data, then finding ways to use this very data in the most effective and efficient ways possible.
Get a 360-degree View of Your Customer
To succeed in today’s market, you can’t simply collect customer data — you also need to apply that data in relevant, creative, and personalized ways. While a customer data platform (CDP) is an excellent addition to any tech stack, there’s only so much you can do with this standalone piece of technology. After all, data is essentially futile if you can’t make any sense of it. Once collection happens, you need ways to crunch and utilize your data — meaning, it should be unified under a single customer view and presented through easy-to-digest analytics, predictions, and recommendations.
Next, you’ll want to put that data into action, and nothing can get the ball rolling like marketing automation. With it, your business can activate data in real time through emails, text messages, push notifications, web overlays, and other points of contact. Available in any scope or context, the agility of such singular platforms that combine a CDP with marketing automation and web personalization can fill in the gaps or even replace entire legacy systems. This aspect alone makes these multifaceted solutions so much more valuable than an isolated CDP.
Transform Your Search Bar for More Relevant Results
Not only can data create more personalized marketing efforts, but it can also enhance the search experience on your website and present your products and services in a more accessible, appealing way to consumers. With an intuitive product discovery tool, your business can apply contextual knowledge to your online product catalog. Over time, the artificial intelligence (AI) embedded in the solution will study the ever-changing patterns in consumer behavior and use these learnings to improve your site search results. With the help of self-learning AI, you can choose exactly where and when you want to exert your manual resources.
One of the key ways to combat some of the problems inherent in site search — like misspellings, overly-specific or ambiguous queries, and numerical understanding — is with recall and ranking algorithms. An effective recall algorithm, often referred to as “semantic understanding,” can fully grasp your company’s offerings by separating attributes from product types. Then, an intelligent ranking algorithm will step in to prioritize and position certain products or services based on customer behavior.
Build Brand Trust and Loyalty
Now that you’ve segmented, optimized, and activated your customer and product data, your next step should be to focus on your website. Think of your site as a resume for your business. Like any resume, you should tailor its contents to appeal to the person evaluating you on the other side of the screen. While 90% of companies view personalization as critically important to their business strategies, only 39% of consumers report receiving relevant brand communications. The disconnect between brand intentions and consumer expectations comes down to a data scalability issue. When attempting to delve into all this commerce data on your own, you’ll only run into major bottlenecks.
By linking your CDP, marketing automation, and product discovery tools to a dynamic content management system (CMS), you’ll have the foundational information necessary to begin laying the groundwork on your content strategy. The best tools on the market today will not only allow users to add, arrange, and manage website content, but also structure a site’s navigation, pages, and products. By fully mapping out the customer experience in these ways, you can successfully drive engagement, create tailored experiences, and improve lifetime value.
Your company’s commerce software should be aligned with the vision of the future, and this vision increasingly requires an equally excellent digital experience. For the stumped commerce professional, Bloomreach boasts an end-to-end solution, combining its Engagement, Content, and Discovery pillars to promote cohesive online experiences that convert. Ready to start planning for the inevitable future of commerce? Contact us today for more information.