How marketers can keep customers engaged using data
Successful customer engagement depends on good data.
One of the most difficult challenges marketers face is keeping customers engaged long enough to buy. And while there are multiple factors involved, this problem often stems from bad data.
Kate Adams, SVP of Marketing at data solutions company Validity, pointed to some startling statistics in her presentation at our MarTech conference: “According to MarketingSherpa, every year 25% to 30% of data becomes inaccurate, leading to less effective sales and marketing campaigns.”
Adams noted that all these statistics were pre-pandemic, which suggests that the inaccuracies are even higher now. The shifting routines and conditions many consumers face in this new world require effective engagement tactics more than ever.
Here are five ways the Validity team recommends marketers use data to keep customers engaged throughout their entire journey.
“30% of our databases on average is duplicated and that from the start is going to skew campaign results,” said Olivia Hinkle of Validity in the same presentation.
15% of leads contain duplicated data, according to statistics from Integrate. Whether it’s a consumer who contacts a brand via form and phone or one who interacts with both chat and email, there are plenty of places where duplicate information can disrupt marketing operations. This is why understanding the context of your interactions is critical.
“Wherever you live with your data, make sure you focus on your leads in context,” said Hinkle. “That’s what we use to connect with people, so we want to make sure that they’re clean.”
Deduplicating data can help marketers improve customers’ experiences by giving outreach teams accurate information.
Web form conversion optimization
The average web form conversion rate is 2.5%, according to data from Wordstream. Some marketing professionals believe this is due to issues in design, but many attribute it to the high volume of form fields.
“I think one of the core reasons for that is that we’re just asking for too much information on our forms,” said Adams. “I feel like forms on different websites just keep getting longer.”
As long as the most pertinent information from customers is captured, reducing required form fields can help marketers to improve completions.
It would be virtually impossible to ensure each member of your marketing team inputs campaign data the same way. But marketers can implement standardization processes once the data comes together.
“Everybody is going to enter data differently,” said Hinkle. “We are moving through our day fast. And nine times out of 10, we’re not going to remember every single standard for every single field, so we’ve got to get those things standardized,”
“Whatever your standard is, make sure it’s known. Use it, be consistent with it, and enforce it,” she added.
Personalized chat experiences
Many brands shy away from chat services because they believe the technology isn’t right for their audiences. But more often than not, most consumers find value in these experiences. In fact, 92% of customers are satisfied using live chat services compared to phone emails or social media. The key factor is personalization.
“You can provide a more amazing chat experience if you can pull in those variables and provide a really personalized experience for folks,” Adams said.
She added, “As long as your data has been standardized and it has been cleaned up and it’s trustworthy.”
“You can’t expect to connect with people unless you’re verifying your data, “said Hinkle, “especially after learning that pre-pandemic numbers show 30% of our data is going to decay or get inaccurate. And 65% of contact data generated from those forms is invalid.”
Brands that fail to use data verification in their marketing automation systems could end up reaching fewer customers. That’s why Hinkle recommends focusing on verifying the most basic customer information first.
“I think the most obvious one is email verification,” said Hinkle. “You can plug and play at the point of capture. You can go into your CRM and figure out a cadence that makes sense.”
Once an effective data verification system is put in place, marketers can more easily determine the best way to reach customers. The absence of inaccurate data helps brands connect with them based on interests, behaviors, and the other information they’ve provided.
“Find that segment that you’ve deduped and standardized, and then do your email, phone, or address verification,” Hinkle said. “Take note of the results and see what comes back to you. That’s going to help you identify what data vendors work better for you.”
Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily MarTech. Staff authors are listed here.