For all that’s been said about customer experience management, customer loyalty, and engagement, there’s a simple statement that explains what’s happening today that’s so different from the past:
The customer is becoming increasingly digitally defined.
Some call it Big Data, but the truth is that that data involved can be large or small, streamed or not, but it has to be managed wisely.
People will engage when it feels right
Both people and machines are creating data about themselves and their circumstances at a rapidly increasing rate. If a customer feels that a brand offers better engagement and choices because of better use of their digital definition (digital self), they’ll be willing consent to data being collected and put to use. They’ll gladly take part in customer loyalty programs and respond to marketing if they see a two-way street of value exchange between themselves and a brand.
It all comes down to the consumer’s impression of how their digital self is being exploited.
That Gives Us Two Choices
Some brands understand that and are taking the steps to digitally define customers by capturing an increasing amount of information that data starts as real-time data and gives context to in-the-moment engagement. After the moment has passed, that same data becomes a part of a historical record of interaction, used to segment the customer base and create propensity models that analyze when and why a customer is most likely to buy, tweet, or attrite. It is a virtuous cycle.
The alternative to becoming digitally savvy is to rely on impersonal offers for discounts made to an anonymous audience. There will likely always be a market for the impersonal, but that market is a hotly competitive place where price is the only driver and increasing volume is the only path to success. This is a vicious cycle. Is that where you want to be?
For as much as we’ve been warned about consumer backlash to use of their data, there’s been no mass movement away from digital marketing. For the most part, governments have stayed on the sidelines because consumers see the value when brands use data wisely.