UK Managing Director Melissa
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How to drive revenue during Black Friday

1st Oct 2020
UK Managing Director Melissa
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As we enter October, it’s time for marketers to concentrate on having a profitable festive season – something that’s even more crucial during a year disrupted by the pandemic.

A fairly recent, but key diary date in both the UK marketer’s and consumer’s calendar is Black Friday. It kicks off the holiday season shopping frenzy for many.

Brands need to ensure that they are prepared to drive revenue over this vital period, which now sees many businesses delivering offers before, during and after the day itself.

To help fuel marketing success over Black Friday, and in fact all year round, a good place to start is to deliver a clean customer database. This involves: 

Preventing fragmentation of customer data

Customers purchase and engage with a brand across their physical stores, ecommerce site, social media channels, and customer service representatives, for example. It means there’s a danger lots of this valuable customer data could be siloed across different databases controlled by various departments within an organisation. This can cause inconsistencies with customer communications and deliveries, impact on efforts to clean the data and on generating a single customer view. To prevent this customer data must be stored in one place that’s easily accessible to marketers, so it can be effectively cleaned and analysed.

Clean and verified data

Once they have access to data from across their organisation brands need to keep their customer database(s) clean and up to date.

A big issue for marketers is that around 24% of customer records go stale every year because of people moving home, changing jobs, email addresses, phone numbers, their marital status, or dying.

Then there are various other issues that impact on obtaining clean and verified data on customers, such as the customer mistyping an address, telephone number, etc, via online contact forms; primarily due to people increasingly providing their details on a small, mobile screen. Also, there’s formatting issues, such as casing and standardisation, missing information, data in the wrong fields, possible duplicate customer data either due to incorrect data capture at various touchpoints, or due to issues with different databases being merged together.

It’s only by fixing these issues that marketers can deliver increased revenue in the lead up to Black Friday and beyond.

Data Profiling

The best starting point is to identify the common data issues at your business by profiling / auditing the customer records on your database. It’s a fundamental step in being able to gain a clear picture of the data you hold, particularly its quality.

Data verification & standardisation

The next stage is to clean your database, making sure all records are standardised, verified and up to date.

The standardisation part sees the removal of all punctuation errors, the correction of abbreviations, and creating expressions to make sense of data values, for example.

On the verification side customer data needs to be checked for accuracy and inconsistencies, with any issues fixed quickly. Marketers should use data cleansing tools with address, email and phone verification capabilities, that can deliver accurate customer data within existing / held databases, as well as at the customer onboarding stage, in real time. This ensures the accurate delivery of products and communications, eliminating costly returns. It’s also an approach that brings improvements in logistics and customer engagement, helping to deliver a standout customer service.

Enrich & update

To truly understand their customer’s behaviour for improved targeting and better engagement marketers must enrich as well as analyse their data.

They should ideally start by enriching their customer database with IP location, geolocation, demographic and firmographic insight, as well as missing contact information, and use these findings to improve the targeting of customer communications.  

It’s only by doing so that brands can gain a 360-degree view of their customers, and target them at the right time and the right way to drive sales and improve the customer experience.

Data deduplication, matching & merging

From our experience most customer databases will contain contain 10% duplicate records - a percentage that can ruin the delivery of a single customer view.

Also, confusion over customer records leads to the potential for poor customer communications. This risks alienating customers and is a waste of valuable marketing budget. An advanced fuzzy matching tool to deduplicate data is the answer. It enables organisations to merge and purge the most difficult records to improve customer communications, save money and produce a single customer view.

Summary

The quality of customer data directly impinges on any marketing activity downstream – from analytics, reporting and dashboards, segmentation and targeting, all the way through to delivery, logistics and customer care. So if your data is inaccurate everything else will be a struggle.

The answer to deliver clean data is to adhere to the data quality life cycle I’ve outlined in this blog. Importantly, it helps to provide one master golden customer record which aggregates all that additional important information, so you get a clear and consistent view of that customer.

It’s only by taking this approach that marketers can make sensible business decisions and effectively communicate with customers to deliver a standout customer experience, and drive sales in the build up to Black Friday, and beyond.

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