By Smita
28 Apr 2020

How to build the most accurate picture of your customers

Marketing personas have been around for as long as we can remember, but if you’re still basing your customer communication around sketchy customer profiles, it’s fair to say that you’re not generating the kind of results you could – or indeed should – be.

Data and technology have changed the game entirely. Businesses no longer need to make educated guesses about their customers. Brands can now draw a complete picture of what their customer looks like. However, just how many businesses are successfully doing so?

According to a survey by Forrester Consulting, commissioned by Oracle – titled ‘Getting Customer Data Management Right’ – just slightly more than one in ten (11%) brands can effectively use a wide variety of data types in a unified customer profile to personalise experiences, provide a consistent experience across channels, and generally improve customer lifetime value and other business outcomes.

The report states brands using customer data platforms effectively are 2.5 times more likely to increase customer lifetime value. So, what’s preventing brands from being able to maximise the potential of their data?

Joining the dots

For a business to get the most out of its data, all the customer touchpoints need to be factored in. Departmental silos may be to blame for incomplete or inaccurate pictures. When sales and marketing aren’t joined up and collaborating openly, data becomes fragmented.

Achieving an air traffic control-like view of all communication activity by bringing together all the customer data is proving tough going for many brands.

Technology’s power to bring all customer data together in a single view of the truth is arguably the biggest asset to a business. Not only can it lead you to a better understanding of your customers’ unique behaviours, it will highlight the channels they prefer to engage on.

Monetary and experiential improvements

Paragon worked with a UK building society who wanted to digitally transform their communications and their members’ engagement and experience. We held a series of discovery sessions to establish a roadmap to more positive customer experiences, which included the delivery of a single data platform using trusted data from all their customer touchpoints.

By establishing these positive experiences and a single view of truth, the client increased revenues and won customer experience awards. All of this came from the level of understanding customer data.

This is where attribution comes into play. Attribution, defined as “the practice of evaluating the communication touchpoints a consumer encounters on their path to purchase”, is the key to optimised spend and improved sales figures.

Having access to continuous, consistent, comprehensive and comparable (4Cs) data allows you to attribute spend with growing granularity, providing insights which help you understand the messaging and channels preferred by individual customers. This leads to more effective targeting and use of media channels throughout the customer journey.

While a growing amount of data has made the communications landscape more complex, understanding it is theoretically easier than before. But only if you have full visibility of the data from every channel to understand the impact created by all your activity.

Without full attribution, you don't know which communication activities have the greatest impact and which are simply eating into your budgets.

Making it happen

No digital transformation project is easy, but with Paragon put in charge of delivery, it won’t be long before you’re using your data to create outstanding customer communications.

Paragon has an experienced team of individuals who’ve been creating data-driven, omnichannel communications for over 20 years. We mine that insight from the data, through strategy and planning into creative messaging, bringing the insight to life with communications that connect.

And we provide a full end-to-end service across all channels (digital and physical), but tailor our approach and the technology we use to your requirements, the needs of your customers and our in-house capabilities.