Most retail marketing teams have a good handle on who their customers are. They know what they may love to buy and understand their habits well enough to make intelligent recommendations for upsell and cross-sell campaigns, who to target for initial price and who will be motivated only with the ubiquitous BOGO or clearance sale. However, it’s not always easy to acquire new retail customers who would have the potential to love your brand but have yet to be properly acquainted.
It’s a constant challenge: finding and then tapping that pool of fresh and eager buyers.
Most retailers already plan and/or prioritize marketing programs that are highly targeted and personalized, for example, this Valentine’s day, centered on that special gift for your sweetheart. Traditional channels like television media buys are expensive, and the return on investment continues to drop as consumers split time between streaming, apps, and podcasts. As media consumption becomes increasingly fractured, how can you guarantee that you’ll hit the hearts of the right types of consumers in precisely the right ways to convert?
Building on today’s best practices, businesses across sectors from retail to hospitality, financial services and automotive are using contextual intelligence to build more nuanced and granular consumer profiles. They’re then using those profiles to inform their search and discovery to convert shoppers with an exceptionally high strike rate.
By taking owned customer data and bolstering it with third-party contextual intelligence, Oracle Retail Consumer Insights helps retailers fully appreciate who their most loyal, profitable, influential customers really are and move to the next practice in identifying potential customers that possess similar attributes. With better understanding of consumer characteristics – and the subtle links between them – retailers are equipped to identify similar customers and reach them out ‘in the wild.’
Do your customers typically have kids? Play sports? Go on road trips? Belong to a specific community or club? Go all out on Valentine’s Day? Understanding your customer base is the key to finding and selling to other likeminded consumers. Owned data like website and app interactions, point of sale transactions and store interactions give you enough to know who they are, but contextual insight can help you come to really understand them beyond the interactions with your brand.
Along with identifying new prospects, connecting with and acquiring new consumers can also be improved with greater context. Combining owned data with external consumer intelligence offers brands a much better handle on how to approach and acquire prospective customers. After all, as humans, we respond very differently to different types of marketing, and finding the most appealing vehicle can be key to conversion.
It’s not that your potential audience will all necessarily respond to the same stimuli, but knowing who they are in more detail should give you the intelligence you need to make the right decisions about who gets served a Facebook ad versus a direct mail piece or reached via a text message or another channel.
Advanced AI in retail solutions like Oracle Retail Offer Optimization can inform the best marketing to customers (for example, a 15% off coupon on all camping gear), and likewise to the lookalike consumers that a retailer desires to activate. Offers can further be informed by other concerns, like inventory levels – if camping gear inventory levels are excessive, perhaps a 25% off coupon would be a better offer.
Once you’ve secured that initial interaction with a new prospect, contextual intelligence can again be leveraged in a variety of ways. Via cookies, your brand will receive stronger and more accurate signals about how and where to catch the attention of good prospects. Internalizing these customer habits will help your brand get ahead of the competition. For example, if you know a target customer goes camping each year in the fall, then you also know to reach out on their preferred platform – and device – in the preceding months with relevant offers on equipment and gear.
Additional layers of detail that create a ‘multi-dimensional’ persona for your customer will help you understand your customers and potential customers’ habits, preferences, lifestyles, device usage and browsing habits. Each little bit of detail should drive your acquisition strategy.
Though we’ve all moved on from ‘spray and pray’ marketing tactics when it comes to customer acquisition, it’s clear that in this new decade a good marketing strategy will require some new tools and a move beyond the current best practice and on to the next practice. Foremost of these will be contextual intelligence to bring new insights to customer acquisition and hopefully life-long interactions.
This data will come from a variety of external sources and provide the much-needed context to enable nimble marketers to truly hone their gaze, finding and attracting new pockets of customers by coming to truly understand the faithful fan base they already have.