Why Contextual Customer Data is More Critical Than Ever

By Kerry Young on May 15, 2020

Even in good times, providing buyers with targeted offers differentiates sellers and boosts customer loyalty. In trying times, the importance of delivering proper messaging and relevant offers is magnified.

In our current crisis, what makes things tricky for retailers and other enterprises is the fact that different segments of their customer-base are facing varying levels of hardship. That means they can’t fall back on strategies that blanket large portions of their market with identical offers. The risk is too high. They have to utilize new, data-informed methods to ensure appropriate offers.


How Customer Data Provides the Path to Relevance

Normally, a non-relevant offer is simply ignored by customers. But in the midst of a pandemic, an offer that strikes the wrong tone with its messaging can elicit frustration and a slew of other adverse outcomes.

For instance, a grocery chain shouldn’t distribute the same offers in New York City as in rural Wyoming right now. An offer in New York would likely focus on essential items and contain a highly sympathetic tone. In areas less affected by the pandemic, businesses have more leeway to be promotional without coming across as insensitive to the situation.

Leveraging customer data gives enterprises the ability to truly help their customers right now, and provide them with a level of personalization that makes a difference in their lives. That’s the type of personal connection that builds loyalty for the long-term.

So how do retailers, manufacturers, and other providers deliver messages that strike the right tone with customers? They get to know them better. That’s where Customer Master Data Management (MDM) steps in.


Digging Deeper with Customer MDM

With the sheer amount of customer data available to merchants now, organizing it into actionable information is a growing challenge. Relying on a collection of spreadsheets and a few frequently-run reports just doesn’t cut it. And with the stakes as high as the tensions in certain areas, companies want to ensure that people in hard-hit areas receive a message that’s tailored to these sensitive times.

Fortunately for enterprises, MDM with a Customer Data Domain provides far more customer information than just their position on a map. Using Customer Data MDM can help organizations personalize offers formulated around specific data sets, including:

  • life events
  • customer preferences
  • past purchases
  • occupations
  • demographics
  • and associated family members

With Customer MDM, companies can understand and manage the data complexities that accompany customers and their life events. Then, organizations can utilize Customer MDM to establish survivorship of records and data relationships for an accurate view of customer information in the right context. In this case, the context may be a family in self-isolation that would benefit from some in-home game ideas with coupons for the supplies; a senior citizen living alone who would want to know about special shopping hours; or a medical professional looking for convenient meal delivery options and a discount for frontline workers.


Adding Context for Increased Effectiveness

When Customer Data is combined with other data domains, its impact can reach incredibly deep and wide into areas such as supply chain efficiency, pricing optimization, product assortment improvements, etc. This can be accomplished as part of a cross-domain data strategy with Multi-Domain MDM.

For example, in a time when supply chains are severely strained, looking at Customer Data in the context of Location Data and Product Data can help organizations regionalize marketing and pricing based on surpluses and shortages. It can also help enterprises inform customers when to expect products to arrive, understand their fulfillment options, and make a selection that meets their needs.

Businesses can leverage Multi-Domain MDM to gain cross-domain intelligence and improve their decisions and offers based on the context of who (Customer/Supplier), what (Product), where (Location), etc.


Your Customers Need You

Times are hard right now, and customers will remember which companies came through for them. Difficult circumstances create a rare opportunity to build strong customer loyalty, but only if companies deliver offers that capture customers’ attention with a positive and thoughtful approach. Leveraging your customer data as part of any overall Multi-Domain MDM strategy is a powerful way to use your mountain of data to ensure you can meet the real-time needs of your customers – now and in the future.

To learn more about Customer MDM for B2C, read our solution overview.

About the author

Kerry Young

Kerry Young joined EnterWorks in 2006 when Ennovative, Inc., the multi-channel publishing software company he co-founded, was acquired by EnterWorks. He directs EnterWorks’ operations and leads EnterWorks’ professional services and consulting organization, ensuring effective customer implementations and ongoing success. Mr. Young brings more than 25 years of technology and business management experience to EnterWorks, having served as CTO for a subsidiary of the Dow Chemical Company, and earlier as VP, Information Technology for Marshall Industries, a $1.7 billion industrial electronics distributor. He previously managed information systems for a subsidiary of McDonnell Douglas Corporation. Mr. Young holds a B.S. degree in Computer Science from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo and an M.B.A. from California State University Fullerton.

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