Bridging the Divide Between Digital and Non-Digital Marketing Engagements

by Nate Smith

posted on 11-02-2016

We all have people in our lives to whom we only speak and interact with at work. They’re nice people — we enjoy working with them. For whatever reason, we just haven’t gotten to know them outside of the office. While we know some things about these people — how they structure their emails or whether they prefer iOS or Android devices, for instance — we don’t really know who they are or what they do outside of work. As a result, it’s unlikely that we’d be able to piece together complete profiles of these people, let alone predict the choices they would make in given situations. The only people you truly know are those with whom you interact in all facets of their lives.

To a large degree, the same is true regarding your customers. If you don’t understand the full spectrums of their interactions with your brand — online, offline, and through every possible channel — you don’t have complete pictures of their behaviors, traits, and preferences. As such, you can’t really know whether they’re satisfied with your brand, much less anticipate what would make their experiences with your brand even more positive.

Marrying Digital and Non-Digital Touchpoints
Digital marketing data often comes from a number of channels — email, social, web, and more. When you add non-digital data sources to that, understanding omnichannel customer engagement and campaign attribution can start to seem overwhelming. However, if you don’t have insight into things like real-life phone conversations customers had with call center-support teams or point-of-sale interactions they had with your store managers, you don’t really have complete pictures; which could impact the customer experience in unintended, possibly even negative ways — and ultimately, the bottom line.

For instance, let’s say a first-time customer purchases a pair of adult ballet shoes from your store. You may try to entice her to make additional purchases by sending her an offer for tights. But, that offer may miss the mark if you don’t know more about what she’s doing offline. Perhaps those shoes were a gift for someone else. Perhaps those shoes were for a new hobby she had hoped to start — until it stimulated an old injury. If you know she’s recently been searching your site for ankle braces, you can send her personalized offers about ankle support and rehabilitation, so your offers are as well-received as possible. If you know what is happening offline as well as online, it’s much easier to make sure your marketing efforts actually hit the mark.

Creating an Integrated Customer Profile
So, how do you bridge the gap between digital and non-digital marketing data? To do this, you need to capture and integrate several types of event and attribute data. First, though, you must make sure your digital house is in order — is your email integrated with your web analytics so that you can combine pre-click email-campaign data with post-click site-engagement data? Do you have your survey data connected to add qualitative dimensions to your customer profile analysis? As you become adept at new types of analysis, you can then add offline datasets to enrich the customer profile. Make sure to start small — integrate one new dataset and see what new insights are revealed. Common next steps can include:

1. Customer Attributes
The base of most customer profiles can’t be ignored. This data typically comes from your customer-relationship management (CRM) system (or some type of enterprise record-management system). This can also include demographic data (e.g., gender, age) as well as psychographic data (e.g., interests, hobbies) and is a key component in building an integrated customer profile. Start with this basic information and build from there.

2. Customer Engagement Data
Once you have customer-attribute data in hand, you should integrate customer-engagement data such as event-level campaign and activity data. If you are a B2B company, you’ll want to look at this data from an account view as well as individual views. To build a truly integrated customer profile, you need to include both online and offline customer interactions with your brand.

3. Non-Marketing Data
Customers can communicate with your organization in a number of ways — with more than just marketing touches. A common next set of data revolves around the customer-service part of your business, typically post-sale. Phone calls, texts, or chat conversations with customer service are important engagement points that must be part of the customer profile. A customer who is unhappy with his current purchase won’t want to be contacted by email with an offer for a complementary service. This data can provide you with a rich understanding of what your customer’s disposition really is.

Making the Connections You Need
Bridging the gap between digital and non-digital marketing data and marketing efforts is no longer an option. In today’s marketplace, customers expect personalized messaging and seamless brand experiences. It’s critical that you start creating an integrated customer profile to marry the information you receive from all marketing platforms and customer-engagement points. Learn more now about how to integrate digital and non-digital marketing data.

Topics: Analytics