Data is at the core of all ecommerce marketing today.

Data allows you to measure the success of your email marketing campaigns; shows you what ads are performing well; measures traffic coming to your website; and helps you understand what products are most popular with your buyers.

However, data has proliferated as quickly as your marketing tools have. When every single platform is collecting data, things can get messy, fast. If you manage to pull together all of your customer data, you can gain really powerful insights into what marketing tactics work and what don’t.

But many of today’s marketing tools don’t make it easy to see all the data in one place. In order to succeed, B2C marketers have to be half artist, half data scientist. You have to analyze and understand what the data tells you, and then interpret that information and apply it to your marketing efforts.

That’s exactly why it’s so important to have a single, unified source of data for your ecommerce marketing. Without it, you’ll be flying blind. It’s time for B2C marketers to get a better handle on customer data.

Too many marketing platforms

Marketers today use so many different tools and platforms that it can be hard to keep track of what’s where. The Martech landscape is incredibly crowded and marketers on average use 12.5 different systems on a daily basis. Many of these platforms are completely siloed from each other, collecting your customer data in completely separate and sometimes duplicate systems. For example, your customer data is collected in:

  • An ESP
  • Customer service platform
  • Ecommerce platform
  • …and more.

Unfortunately, many of those platforms don’t always work well together. It can be difficult to do an analysis of your full customer lifecycle or even your true customer acquisition costs when your data is spread out across so many systems. Marketers too often get stuck exporting all the data to a spreadsheet, spending hours sorting through duplicate data, cleaning the data, and then, finally getting to an interesting analysis. For many B2C marketers, this is unsustainable.

Unify your marketing data

Instead of trying to analyze your email data in one place, your ad data in a different place, and your customer behavior data in yet another place, you need all of your data in one single location. You need data on emails, ads, customer support, orders, website traffic, and more in order to truly understand how your buyers interact with your brand at every step in the buyer’s journey.

With a B2C CRM, you can unify all your data in one place and better understand key metrics like:

  • Most effective path to customer acquisition
  • Average time to purchase across demographics, locations, and product lines
  • Rate of conversion from first to second to third purchase
  • Measuring the impact of specific marketing campaigns across channels
  • …and much more.

It’s important to not only understand these metrics today, but also to measure how they change over time. If you can, for example, measure your conversions from first to second purchase over time, you’ll better understand whether your efforts to drive customer loyalty are actually working.

Learn How to Unify Your Data

Use data to inform marketing strategy

Once B2C marketers are able to unify their customer data across platforms and channels, it’s far easier to get deep insights into how your buyers engage with your brand. You’ll be able to run all kinds of interesting analyses into your most effective marketing campaigns, your most popular product lines, and your best-converting email messages. However, just having the data isn’t enough on its own.

You not only have to gather and analyze the data — you have to act on it. The data will tell you what’s working, but it doesn’t tell you why. Understanding the “why” requires you to interpret the information based on your knowledge of the customer, the market, and your brand values. You may find that discounting your products leads to higher conversion rates, but you know that in the long term, it will hurt your brand values. You have to use the data to inform your marketing, but you can’t let it control your ecommerce marketing strategy.

No matter how many marketing systems you use, with all your customer data unified in one place, you’ll be able to understand how your buyers buy. Then, you can take that information and apply it effectively to your marketing campaigns. By measuring and tweaking your ecommerce marketing, you’ll get better and better at reaching the right buyers at the right time.

Cara Hogan is the Content Strategist at Zaius, where she focuses on how technology can drive business growth. She is a grammar perfectionist, a data enthusiast, and a rock climber.

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