Using Data To Empower Your Customers

Data is more than a one-way selling tool we use to create relevant or meaningful email content that targets and remarkets to customers and prospects in order to persuade them to buy more from us.

Here's a radical idea to build value and engagement: Give the data you have on customers back to them in highly personalized email content that helps them make better buying decisions or engage with you in ways they otherwise wouldn't have.

Data in Action

Take the standard hotel-loyalty statement, which usually reports how many points you have accumulated and which benefit tier you qualify for.

It's all good information. But when you view the data as a tool to serve the customer's needs as well as your own, you see it misses opportunities to move customers farther along in their journeys with you: 

  • Show how many points I need to move up to another tier and list the amenities I could qualify for with more points. 
  • Offer incentives in the cities I visit to encourage me to rebook there instead of at a competitor.
  • Tell me how many more points I need to have a week's dream vacation stay in Hawaii, Bali or the Caribbean.



Your company probably has much or all of this data already. You just need to tie it all together in a way that provides better value for your customers.

Remarketing 2.0: The Data Concierge

This isn't the remarketing data that triggers messages to customers who browse your product pages or abandon shopping carts.

These are important messages. But they might not be enough to push you to the top of the consideration set or to generate the kind of repeat business that turns a casual buyer into a loyal one.

In this new data vision, you collect or interpret data in new ways and give it back to your customers through email content they can use to progress in their journey with your company or brand.

A colleague calls this the "concierge" role of data: You're giving your customers useful information based on what you know about them. They, in turn, can use your email content to solve problems, be more satisfied with their purchases or move closer to making that first purchase.

The loyalty example I cited above uses two data points -- my current year’s and total points. Now, combine that data with frequency, location or program requirements, and translate it into meaningful email content that could prompt me to book right from the email in order to score more amenities or hotel nights.

The result: I get a nicer room or free WiFi, and the hotel gets repeat business. Everybody wins.

New Data Sources

This concept of data-driven marketing requires you to interpret data differently or to look for data sources that your company captures but doesn't bring into your marketing database or simply doesn't leverage in the right way. These data types might include: 

  • Rewards level
  • Product/service usage
  • Membership anniversary
  • Family birthdays, anniversaries 
  • Weather forecasts
  • Product lifespan
  • Purchase dates
  • Like-kind customer comparisons/benchmarks

Data Givebacks for 1:1 Marketing

This is behavior-driven email marketing done at an even higher level than your best transactional messaging. It requires the ability to do real-time data integrations, specific data rules and content modules that you can switch around to meet those rules. But the result can be a higher-value message that creates great value for each individual customer.

Here are two examples:

1. Health clubs: By matching club attendance and membership records, you could detect whether a new member has fallen off the workout wagon. Use this data to generate a message that encourages newbies to come back, perhaps by offering a free session with a personal trainer or suggesting newcomer-friendly classes or routines.

2. Resorts/cruises: Use rules that incorporate real-time weather forecasts into reservation reminders. If the forecast calls for rain, for example, your data rule could switch in a content module advising visitors to pack umbrellas and promoting indoor activities like spas, classes and workout facilities.

Have you seen examples of brands that excel at this kind of data-giveback marketing? Let me know in the comments.

Until next time, take it up a notch!





Next story loading loading..