Commentary

Why Marketers Should Learn To Love The Log-In

“Another password for yet another site!?” we lament as consumers. While log-in details may eat up our precious brain capacity, there’s a reason that more and more brands are keeping their products and services behind locked doors. Leveraging single sign-on—that is, a single user log-in that works across desktop, mobile, and tablet—empowers marketers to build a more compelling, more differentiated offering that ultimately improves, not hinders, the customer experience.

Implementing this type of technology, however, doesn’t come without its complications. Let’s take a look at a few of the core challenges ahead for marketers looking to dive into the world of the single sign-on.

Getting customers on board

In order to get customers—or, more difficult yet, prospects—to share their information and take extra time to engage with your brand, there’s an element at the heart of this interaction: the customer value exchange. Customers need to understand what they will get out of opening their time—and personal details—to you.

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Joining anonymous and post-log-in data 

You’ve built a value proposition for customers—they’ve created a single sign-on and granted you access to their data. Now what? 

Enter the technology challenges.

It’s easy enough to have a customer record of what a logged-in user has done across multiple platforms—e.g., who has made a purchase from both desktop and mobile. But that’s just the start. The best way to understand the entire path to purchase and customer lifecycle is to have a complete view. This is only possible if the technical systems are in place to unite all of the online behavior of a customer, prior to her creating an account. 

Example: You might have a customer on the Web who always logs in. She eventually downloads your app as well—but then she doesn't log in for months, until she makes her first mobile purchase. Since she was not logged in while she shopped, you’ll lose all the vital information that led her to the purchase—unless you set out to collect it and tie it back to that customer’s account.

Using data for a differentiated experience 

Collecting and understanding data is just the first step. Building the systems to use and deploy this data to delight the customer is where the magic starts to happen.

The personalized shopping app Wish, which has raised more than $500 million in venture capital so far, changes nearly everything about the customer’s shopping experience. It provides tailored emails and offers temporary, personalized sales on products you might like. But far simpler and more attainable is its ability to analyze the products you look at and adjust the app’s navigation categories accordingly. 

While there are many uses of personalization, sometimes just the basics can make a huge impact.

Connecting data within all of your company’s systems

Lastly, tying together all the disparate systems within your organization can reap some of the benefits of single sign-on. Have a user who stopped viewing emails? Add her to an at-risk segment. Maybe offer that customer a win-back campaign the next time she opens your application.

Perhaps most importantly of all, connecting data across systems will give you, the marketer, a holistic view into which of your efforts are bringing new, profitable customers—and which tactics need to be cut from your plan.

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