We hear a lot about the digital revolution nowadays - but how much do we really know about it? One thing is for sure, data plays a pivotal role in expediting digital excellence, with new sources evolving by the day.

This new digital world has brought with it key themes, some of which many marketers are still trying to get to grips with.

Data and digital – the perfect pair

Digital and data exist side by side. Customer experience is already being improved by the intelligent use of data, and digitalisation has been a game changer. The contemporary customer expects experiences to be all about them. If they’re making a return visit to your website, they expect you to know that – it’s a demand smart retailers have responded to.

But we’re only in the early stages. There’s so much more data can do when it comes to customer experience. To really crack it, marketers and advertisers need to bring together data from multiple sources and take that as one entity to serve their audience with relevant content based on intent, location and interests. Of course, all of this needs to be done with the necessary management of consumer consents and permissions, frequently in real-time.

Getting intelligent with the Internet of Things

As momentum continues for the Internet of Things, so too will brands’ capability to collect real-time data about how, when, and where consumers use their products.

It takes more than a series of objects connected across a network for intelligence. That’s just the starting point, and predictive analytics need to come into play. Applying machine learning to data travelling across the network means information can be translated into an outcome that will eventually make the network self-sufficient. And here enters the opportunity for Artificial Intelligence (AI), as the network makes it move to become self-aware and self-regulating.

As we see products create data in an Internet of Things world, brands will be able to understand how a product or service is actually being used. From there, they’ll be able to deliver a better service, using the product as an interface for data-driven support. Faults will be detected and even remedied before the customer notices them, and product upgrades will be made automatically – a winning situation for both parties.

Painting a 360-degree picture

The biggest benefit of collating and analysing data for most marketers is in gaining a better understanding their audience. Painting a 360-degree picture is crucial to boosting the customer experience, but the proliferation of digital channels makes it a complex undertaking. Consented first party data has been the primary contributor to achieving this, but second and third party data can’t be left out.

To get a detailed view of consumers, multiple data sources are required. The more quality data there is, the richer the insight.

Modern marketing and advertising survives on data, and it can’t be ignored. By taking a deep dive into data, brands give themselves the best opportunity to target their audiences in the most effective way possible – the overall purpose of the marketing function.

 

By Tom Blacksell, managing director of UK & Ireland marketing services at Experian


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