History has shown us that time and again, innovation is synonymous with revenue. Think Apple, Starbucks, and Disney. The question is “what” or “who” is at the origin of innovation? The answer in the digital world is Data. What does data have to do with innovation? In a word, everything.
For today’s customers—both B2C and B2B—the experience they have with brands outweighs the actual usage or consumption of products and services, particularly if you honor the customer's most scarce and treasured resource: time. When you make interacting with your brand seamless, customers will latch on and guide you where you need to innovate. Customers are the true originators of innovation.
This is the crux of a business transformation and we categorize this as the Experience Economy. Not only are customers your innovators, they’re also fully in charge of their relationship with you. They dictate what, when, and how they consume your product. Successful brands are those that gather intelligence at every interaction and know their customers intimately so they can resonate with them on a deeper level.
Listen to your customers at every step and they will drive you to innovation—and synonymously, revenue. However, with every step—including sales, marketing, service, commerce, and numerous back office functions—harnessing data into a holistic, actionable view of the customer is much easier said than done.
Data Is at the Center of the Experience Economy
Succeeding in the Experience Economy is about discovering, engaging, consuming, and serving at the highest level—with data at the center. With a large enough data set that merges customers’ digital footprints with contextual third-party data, algorithms can start to read customers’ intent signals and find patterns to best anticipate their needs. Then, organizations can meet those needs with personalized interactions. The more attributes you can track for a customer and the more connected those attributes are to the overall experience, the more value you can deliver. This will help improve customer engagement, loyalty, and, ultimately, revenue.
In order to do that, we must align the data with a solid data strategy.
Data Strategy Challenges to Conquer and Win in the Experience Economy
A data strategy starts with determining your business goals in the context of operating in the Experience Economy. How are you going to create value, and for whom? Where are you going to capture value, and from whom?
Then consider and identify where the value points should be. What data will you use to design the customer experience? Will it be your own first-party data, or second - or third-party data? Or, maybe a it's a combination of all three?
The task of integrating, analyzing, and leveraging data to optimize customer experiences and reach business goals is not easy. Not only do organizations face internal hurdles with disparate data sets and no way of turning their data into an actionable asset, but today’s external data environment doesn’t make it any easier. Several challenges reside between business goals and their actualization when it comes to data.
1. Data structure: Because customer journeys in the Experience Economy are non-linear and data comes from numerous sources, data is fragmented and often unstructured.
2. Data acquisition: In addition to synthesizing their own data from numerous internal sources, companies can acquire third-party data from the high volume of digital connections around the world. This anonymous, consented, aggregate data from Internet of Things (IoT) devices like wearables and smart home assistants, adds context to first-party data to better understand deeper customer psychographics, predict future actions, and deliver the most value across channels.
3. Data security and governance: Organizations using data must follow existing and emerging data privacy regulations, such as the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and California’s Consumer Privacy Act. These new laws dictate how organizations can collect, store, and use customer data, and give consumers the power to “be forgotten” by brands. Organizations must follow these guidelines or risk fines, legal action, or worse, damaged brand perception and loyalty.
To that end, data security also has a tremendous impact on consumer trust. Organizations must ensure they have the proper security protocols in place as they expand their use of customer data. As cyber threats become more sophisticated, security must be an ongoing priority across all areas of the organization.
How Oracle CX Unity Empowers a Unified Data Strategy
Oracle CX Unity, fueled by the Oracle CX Cloud, can democratize data so that everyone has the same opportunity to compete and drive revenue in the Experience Economy. It unifies disparate data touchpoints across the entire customer experience without disrupting current in-house transactional systems. Organizations’ first-party data can be hydrated with third-party data from Oracle’s marketplace—the world’s largest—in strict compliance with all domestic and international regulations. In turn, organizations can deliver seamless experiences and hyper-personalization—requirements for thriving in the Experience Economy.