The pandemic has had far reaching consequences and the skeins of accelerations and disruptions in industry trends are only now being unravelled. Online ordering, click-and-collect, curbside pickup, and endless aisles were familiar omnichannel operations to some degree, but changing consumer preferences have made them a hard reality. The unceasing ebb and flow of the pandemic will still cause growing pains for brick-and-mortar businesses who have far to go, forcing them to adapt. Here’s how the Aislelabs omnichannel CDP can help businesses adapt to the new reality.
Nine hundred trillion dollars were spent at online retailers globally in 2020 and COVID-19 has only accelerated the speed of omnichannel adoption by consumers globally. Brick and mortar retailers globally had to pivot staid, safe operations to multiple channels and discover new tools and processes to capture the demand. However, this is not the oft-prophesied end of brick and mortar either.
While omnichannel marketing has always been an imperative for brick and mortar businesses, there is now a greater need than ever before to ensure that there is a cohesive marketing strategy and engine driving these efforts. According to Deloitte, brands struggle with connecting with customers because of a failure in their marketing in the following ways:
- Missed moments: sending messages at the wrong time
- Inauthentic messaging: sending the wrong message
- Failing to engage: sending a message through the wrong channels
The complexity of the customer journey only increases the moments and touchpoints for these moments to happen. Therefore, truly omnichannel marketing is a process of blending digital and physical channels seamlessly to create a cohesive customer experience, which ultimately results in increased conversion rates and growth. To reach customers on both channels, brands need to tailor content for what they find most useful in that space. This strategy can increase customer engagement and brand loyalty by providing relevant, personalized content and offers at the right time, creating emotional connection between the customer and the brand.
Customer Data Platforms: A better way
Customer Data Platforms (CDP) are the need of the hour, a unified platform that will manage the data, decisioning, and delivery of the marketing strategy across the entire customer journey. The Aislelabs Customer Hub and Connect platforms are purpose-built for brick and mortar enterprises to unify online digital interactions and offline behaviour.
Expanding on the data, decisioning, delivery framework set up by Deloitte, there are several key success factors that are critical in the functioning of the CDP, they are visualized and explored in the blog post below:
1.1. Data sources and types
An important element of successfully deploying a CDP is the requirement to unify many different sources of data, that gives your business the opportunity to leverage the data.
- First party data: this is the most accurate snapshot of customers, it is collected by businesses, with customers consensually signing up to services through WiFi, in-store, website and coupon sign-ups, among others.
- Second party data: this is data that can be purchased to augment any of your own data sources and can be thought of as first party data collected by someone else. An example would be the relationship between airlines and travel websites and loyalty programs such as air miles.
- Third party data: this is anonymized to provide insight at an aggregate level from Data Management Platforms. Vendors often combine several sources of data to arrive at broad demographic, psychographic or behavioural elements.
A truly omnichannel CDP should easily ingest structured data and unstructured data from all these sources to be of maximum utility. However, not all insight is equal so businesses must choose the best tool for the purpose. The further businesses step away from the source of the data, the more accuracy decreases.
Aislelabs boasts a wealth of integrations that seamlessly augment the existing workflows for all levels of users – casual to power users.
1.2. Data management
Integrations with multiple data sources lead to increasing complexity and this requires the omnichannel CDP to have powerful data management tools to ensure data management capabilities. Some key considerations should be removing duplicate entries (deduping), detecting or correcting incorrect data (cleansing), and ensuring privacy regulations (GDPR, CCPA).
The Aislelabs platform hosts a powerful decisioning engine that identifies duplicate customer records and verifies email addresses. The flowchart below shows how the Aislelabs platform automatically validates and verifies customer email addresses.
Enterprise CDPs are usually accessed by teams with multiple functions and it becomes important to protect this data. Customer data on the Aislelabs platform is easily accessible and protected with Role Based Access Control (RBAC) features to protect customer privacy. The images below show the different levels of security built-in to the system for various teams who have access to customer data.
2.1. Unified profiles
Omnichannel customer journeys are growing exponentially complex, spanning multiple online and offline touchpoints devices, apps, and locations. The Aislelabs omnichannel CDP unifies offline behaviour and online digital interactions in a single view, providing all departments with a single source of truth to leverage. Brands that operate in the formats listed below, can leverage a wealth of data on their customers to avail themselves to.
- Store visits: store visits offer multiple ways of capturing customer visits and data such as customer experience surveys, check-ins through tablets etc.
- Guest WiFi: WiFi is typically a cost-center for businesses and letting customers sign on to the WiFi provides a wealth of behavioural, demographic, and psychographic data which can be used to drive ROI.
- PoS and loyalty programs: customers filling in their loyalty programs at the PoS is an easy way for brands to gather purchasing behaviour.
- Website and app behaviour: All website and app behaviour can be exported to the customer profile view.
- Marketing campaigns: interactions with marketing campaigns can provide insight into customer intent.
- Ecommerce: online stores are the path of least resistance to capturing customer information, for brands that operate with a brick and mortar format, unifying the data is imperative.
- Compliance: privacy compliance is an important element of customer data that can not be overlooked. Having a dynamic record of customers who have opted-in or out of communications will ensure regulatory risk is minimized.
Activating the customer data is where the rubber meets the road for omnichannel CDP’s. The customer profiles must be easily accessible, segmentable, and dynamic enough to accommodate new interactions from the customer. The Aislelabs platform allows marketing, CRM, partnerships, and analytics teams the following advantages:
- Dynamic segments: create appropriate audiences and segments based on a multi-modal view of the customer, using both offline and online touchpoint interactions. These segments are dynamically updated to any interactions to the marketing campaigns.
- Channel activation: activate the segments across email, SMS, smart coupons and Facebook in a unified interface to reach customers across multiple touch points.
- Insights: the dashboard accessible to all teams provides insights to multiple teams to collaborate from a unified dashboard.
Email marketing has long been a standard feature of marketing clouds, however, the Aislelabs omnichannel CDP goes far beyond email marketing to provide businesses with multiple omnichannel solutions. Advanced marketing automation provides an easy way to build dynamic audiences that drive ROI. Some of Aislelabs’ omnichannel offerings include:
- Smart coupons: deploy redeemable coupons without the need for IT teams and provide the clearest path to offline attribution for your marketing campaigns.
- SMS campaigns: trigger SMS campaigns with sophisticated journey builder and automation to go beyond simple SMS marketing campaigns.
- Smart Reviews and surveys: measure the attitudes of your customers by collecting qualitative feedback. Use popular review sites such as Yelp , TripAdvisor, Zomato to get positive customer feedback, triggered after customer visits and rule-based automation. Negative reviews can be directed to a private portal where customer feedback can be managed internally.
The complexity of multiple channels requires advanced connected analytics for marketing teams to truly calculate and drive the effectiveness of their campaigns. The Aislelabs omnichannel CDP delivers two distinct advantages that go beyond marketing clouds and other CDPs:
- Offline analytics: Offline visits to the store that are usually part of the ‘dark funnel’ in most marketing clouds, however, the Aislelabs platform offers several different means of capturing offline visits to the store. Smart coupons, guest WiFi logins, PoS, progressive profiling, are all means through which offline attribution can be captured at scale.
- Omnichannel analytics: All ongoing campaigns across channels are represented in a single view that can be drilled down from an aggregate to the individual profile level. Cross channel analytics are also available in a single campaign view, allowing marketing teams to understand the ROI driven from their campaigns beyond clicks.