As marketers in the digital era, we have new and innovative ways to engage with our customers. Mobile apps, social media and online channels are all avenues to reach customers where they are, often influencing them at the moment of decision. As today's technology gives us the ability to know our customers and understand their buying patterns, we can offer products and services that improve customer experience, strengthen brand affinity and increase sales. What could possibly go wrong?
A lot, actually. Even with all of the data collection, mining and analytics capabilities we have, we still don't know who our customers really are. And this causes problems for brands and the customers trying to engage with them.
At the root of this issue is the fact that we don't have a single customer view. Every engagement point captures separate information about the customer. The result? A single person has multiple profiles that are divided among different departments, apps and business unit data stores. In short, it's messy.
These scattered, incomplete identities show only a glimpse of the whole individual, making it difficult to connect with your customers in meaningful ways. You miss opportunities to understand what your audience really wants and to gain loyalty by providing relevant products and services. Plus, decentralized data makes it hard to follow data security best practices, which creates risk of breach that could irreparably damage a brand.
Customers feel the pain, too. They experience frustrating, disjointed experiences with every transaction. For example, a customer may have one set of login credentials for your mobile app and different credentials for your online services. Or maybe they see that a payment shows "posted" online, but they still receive a text alert that the payment is due--or worse, past due. In today's hyper-competitive market, it's too easy for customers to turn to a competitor, and you've lost their loyalty and revenue.
Having a single customer view in omnichannel environments is an important part of improving customer experience in the digital marketplace. So identity management, once considered only IT's responsibility, is becoming more and more of a marketing concern. Marketers are realizing that collecting customer information from omnichannel sources is only part of enhancing the customer experience. Being able to consolidate it into common, actionable profiles provides invaluable knowledge about who your customers really are.
Plus, a single customer view that spans multiple interaction points gives you contextual insight. It paints a rich picture of your customers' likes, dislikes and needs. With time, your customers' profiles grow in detail and in value. To dig in a little deeper, read our ebook about optimizing your customers' experiences with identity management.