Protect Customer Loyalty During and Beyond COVID-19: Part Two- Make Choice, and Insights, Work for You

By: Tiama Hanson-Drury
EVP, Product Development

Check out Part One – The Opportunity and Power of Choice

Leverage consumer trends to re-image the target audience’s need, or use cases, for an established category

Maintaining a real-time pulse on changing customer preferences, and rapidly innovating to redesign journeys and solutions tailored to those trends, will be key to a marketer’s success during and post COVID-19. To be prepared, marketers need a deep understanding by staying connected to trends and needs of both existing and potential customers. Additionally, they must leverage these insights to design and deliver connected consumer strategies that ensure their customers are always choosing them over the competition.

Collecting deeper insights about the attitudes, behaviors and opinions of their desired audiences provides a better understanding of what is authentic to the experience of – and of interest to – consumers during this time. This includes how and where they consume media content, which media channels they use most frequently and how they make purchase decisions. To achieve this precision of insight, marketers can match their CRM database to a data provider’s research panel, providing two vital ways of ensuring customer and prospect understanding.

First is the ability to survey existing customers and new prospects in one place. Marketers can overlay a data provider’s panel with their CRM data, ensuring precision real time targeting in a do-it-yourself (DIY) or traditional research format. This means you can speak to your most coveted audiences, gathering insights which indicate whether your strategies are likely to increase loyalty.

Secondly is overlaying your existing CRM with new COVID-19 era data. Marketers can achieve this by taking a data provider’s panel and overlaying their CRM data with richly-attributed and fully-permissioned first-party data to create new post-pandemic custom audience segments.

Turn consumer insights into sharper targeting and activation, while making data privacy a top priority

Alongside the customer experience (CX) opportunity is the challenge of maintaining customer confidence that the data they give to brands – through website traffic, purchases, email sign-ups, etc. – won’t be misused, stolen or otherwise compromised in a security breach. This is not a time to risk brand reputation and safety by using data in ways not fully compliant with consumer wishes and industry/privacy regulations and requirements. You don’t have to look too hard to find the latest example of a data breach leading to financial penalties (fines, class action settlements, loss of revenue) and/or reputational impacts (bad PR, negative media coverage, poor online reviews) that damage the brand-customer relationship, sometimes permanently.

Consumer choice plays a role here as well. Brands that fail to recognize the vulnerability of personal data, or a customer’s belief that their information is not secure, now face the scrutiny of a savvier, more online consumer. If they feel their data is not being managed or protected properly by a brand, they are more prone to act on this belief by deleting apps, abandoning online shopping carts, leaving websites, or unsubscribing from marketing emails.

In the COVID-19 pandemic, emotions are heightened and consumers more reactive, posing an even greater risk to customer loyalty and emphasizing anxieties of personal security and/or vulnerability amongst prospective customers. Combine that with regulations around data sharing, like GDPR and others, and increasing privacy legislation, it’s become significantly more difficult for brands to maintain traditional practices of using third-party data sources to enrich their understanding of existing customers. Gone are the days where third-party data could be used broadly to drive acquisition or personalization strategies; in today’s world of privacy consciousness, data has the potential to become even more siloed. So, what is a CX-obsessed marketer to do?

Ensure your customers always choose you in a world of increased consumer choice

For brands, leveraging a connected insights platform as a bridge between the access point of existing customers and prospects places key audiences at the forefront of insights generation and marketing activation. This will allow brands to deliver valuable business impact during COVID-19 and beyond with a marketing strategy influenced by informed, actionable insights.

When selecting a connected insights platform, brands should ensure their data provider can offer the scale and quality necessary to reach authentic, current customers as well as prospective, or look-alike, customers. Increasingly, savvy marketers are leveraging a combined pool of permissioned customers and panellists from their data provider to enrich customer profiles for deeper insights. To better understand the needs and behaviors of current and prospect customers, it’s important to work with a data provider that can provide both behavioral and attitudinal insights, and at scale. In a world of increased consumer choice, deeper knowledge of target consumers’ needs, wants and behaviors enables brands to improve products, marketing strategies and CX to maintain customer loyalty and encourage prospects to choose them over the competition.

All of this leads to deeper insights, more accurate, efficient targeting and a clear line of sight into ROI and campaign investment. Convert insights into impact with data- driven activation, promotion and acquisition strategies. Deepening the understanding of existing and prospective customers leads to expansion of customer base, augmented services and brand perception through better marketing strategies, products and CX that speak directly to customer needs, and more accurate targeting.

To learn more about how Dynata can help you match first-, second- and third-party data to protect customer loyalty, improve targeting strategies, reimagine the new normal post COVID-19, enhance customer experience and connect with prospects as well as brand loyalists, please contact us.