The odd couple: Big Data and video combine for customer experience excellenceby
Big Data provides marketers with an unprecedented ability to decipher, anticipate and address a customer’s needs on a one-to-one basis. Brands have an opportunity to impress their customers at each and every touch point by leveraging Big Data for more personalised and contextually relevant communications. Brands that take advantage of this ability – and those that understand how to identify data types and where to apply data – are the ones that will acquire and nurture long-lasting brand loyalty.
This much is accepted wisdom.
But did you also know that by combining Big Data with online video, brands can reach consumer acquisition and engagement goals with truly personalised customer experiences? Why online video? As brands prioritise digital customer experiences, they’re focusing on one in particular – video – because it is the most compelling digital medium. More people reported watching video on a computer than they watched on a TV during a one-month period, and brands can deliver more engaging and targeted messages and calls-to-action via video. This means they can increase take-rates on offers, such as creating an online account or enrolling in a rewards program.
Companies can’t afford to miss out on Big Data…
Segment marketing is no longer enough as customers are quickly becoming accustomed to one-to-one marketing, and they expect personal connections. With contextual relevance, marketers can deliver extremely tailored messages at mass scale that get to the heart of a customer’s buying criteria. Brands can understand their customers’ needs and expectations throughout their journey with the brand, and by delivering on them through tailored messages can ensure optimal customer experiences. Companies can differentiate themselves from competitors and maximise acquisition, retention and growth.
Brands that don’t leverage real-time big data can stand out from competitors in a negative light and incur costs. For example, consider a wireless subscriber who makes a change to his monthly plan. If he goes online to check his account later that day and that change isn’t noted, his experience with the wireless provider is negatively affected. Not only that, but he will likely call the customer service line to sort out the issue, which is an added cost to the provider. A brand’s ability to access and use Big Data in real time is critical for companies to get, grow and keep customers.
…because the benefits are great
Industry leaders such as AT&T, Cox Communications and Office Depot are now applying profile, historical and situational data in real time to online video to acquire new customers, combat churn and drive up customer value. For example, a big-box retailer can leverage this data to help combat showrooming – browsing products in-store to later buy online for less – by delivering a mobile video experience based on geo-location of the store and featuring the last product the customer viewed online, where in the store it is located, and a call-to-action to buy in-store with special pricing, existing rewards points or free shipping. That same retailer can support omnichannel initiatives by encouraging customers to make an online purchase and pick up in-store by delivering a smart video ad experience and leveraging available inventory data and nearest physical store location after a customer browses products online to compare prices.
For telecommunications operators, insurance providers and banking institutions, customer experience is a top priority to maintain competitive advantage. One of the most complex touch points with customers is the monthly bill or statement. Instead of sending a paper bill or statement, service providers can tap into customer data, history and usage patterns to deliver a personalised video to educate new customers on their first month’s activity. These videos improve the customer experience and reduce related calls – and incurred costs – to the call centre. They can also be used further into the customer lifecycle to right-size, retain, upsell and reward.
How to define Big Data success
The shear amount and perceived complexity of big data makes it daunting to companies and their marketing teams. Plus, collecting personal data can be a challenge, as it is becoming a growing concern from both consumers and government regulators. However, companies can provide a value proposition for customers to willingly opt-in to sharepersonal data to receive tailored offers, personal messages, and deeper engagement in return. Many brands have built successful loyalty and rewards programs that ask customers to provide information about themselves, and then win their customers’ appreciation by delivering a personalised experience.
The most important consideration when applying Big Data is how to define success. It’s necessary to measure standard video engagement metrics such as views and completion rates, but brand marketers must set performance criteria for each initiative. This includes determining the expected return on investment by setting strategic methods to measure the incremental impact of a personalised video strategy. Depending on where in the lifecycle a personalised video is deployed, this could be measured through return on ad spend, effective cost per acquisition, care cost reduction or targeted lift in upsell revenue.
Brands also need to evaluate their desired take rate on value-added services. Brands that encourage consumers to opt-in to self-serve opportunities can create brand stickiness and improve customer retention because consumers are more apt to use those opportunities. By using personalised video to educate customers on their full product or service benefits, brands can increase the perceived value of the cost the customer paid.
For any customer-facing brand, it is important to benchmark customer satisfaction and loyalty metrics by measuring a lift in Net Promoter Score or J.D. Power Rating. This will help a brand determine if its customer base weighs heavier with promoters or detractors, and how personalised video impacts the customer experience.
The desired outcome may differ for each video strategy, and each should centre on a defined set of success criteria. Brands should measure performance against a control group to have a clear look at the incremental impact of personalised and contextual engagement initiatives.
Smarter applications of video that leverage Big Data support efforts for better customer experiences by creating personalised, real-time videos that are always relevant and reflective of the most recent information. Brands that understand how to combine the power of Big Data and online video can solve customer experience challenges and beat out competition.
Kelly Ford is vice president of marketing at SundaySky.