Sean Shoffstall, Vice President of Global Marketing & Consulting Services at Teradata, examined the "multi-channel" experience and what it means for today's marketers during his presentation at the 2016 Chief Marketing Officer Leadership Forum in Atlanta on May 26. In his presentation, "You Know More Than You Think! Using Anonymous and Known Data to Be Truly Multi-Channel," Shoffstall explained how marketers can leverage customer data to deliver a better customer experience across all channels.
According to Shoffstall, today's marketers are responsible for driving anonymous customer insights from social media and other digital sources and incorporating them into their everyday marketing efforts. However, doing so remains an uphill climb for even the most diligent marketers.
Driving actionable customer insights requires marketers to use all of the data that is available to them. To accomplish this task, marketers must be able to collect data across all channels and discover innovative ways to leverage it during every step of the customer journey.
"When we think about multi-channel, a lot of times we're thinking about how we marry together maybe email and web and social and some other sort of engagement," Shoffstall said. "But really, when we think about the anonymous and known data that we have, we can start to go across the complete customer lifecycle."
In addition, marketers must be responsible for the data at their disposal.
Customer data, for example, empowers marketers to learn about their target audiences at any time. However, this information should be used responsibly, and failure to do so may do more harm than good for a company.
"As we start to get more information about our customers … how do we continue to make sure that we're having a conversation (with customers) and not stepping over that line of starting to become a stalker?" Shoffstall asked. "In all things around conversations as marketers, we have to remember to listen."
Today's marketers have more points of data than ever before, Shoffstall said. As such, marketers commonly are able to connect with consumers and retrieve actionable insights into customers in real-time.
"In all things around conversations as marketers, we have to remember to listen."
Mobile data gives marketers insights into where consumers are engaging with a brand, along with competitive insights that marketers can use to learn about a company's rivals.
Also, mobile data enables marketers to better differentiate between shoppers and buyers. Marketers are able to see what type of content they can deliver to engage consumers as well as the conversion point in which a shopper decides to become a buyer.
"We're actually able to get that big information that we've always been messing with and actually start to drive that into what we can do with our known audiences," Shoffstall noted.
The customer journey today varies depending on the consumer. But with customer data provided from a wide array of anonymous digital sources, marketers now can better understand how customers want to engage with a brand.
This information then can be brought into known channels, Shoffstall said, to ensure brands can engage their customers more effectively.
"We're now able to not only use data to target customers, but we're actually able to use that data to come back into our businesses and say, 'What kind of content should we be creating?' … [We're] this data to come back and say with our marketing teams, 'This is what we should be focusing on,'" he pointed out.
Marketers need to be able to drive "lookalike" audiences, aka target audience members who follow a specific path to engage with a company.
"As marketers, we want to build not just a one-time interaction with a customer, but we want to build loyal customers."
Having the ability to identify and address lookalike audiences guarantees marketers are able to find unique ways to connect with consumers consistently.
Furthermore, customer data ensures marketers will be able to fully support the demands of lookalike audiences and bolster their chances of foster long-lasting relationships with these audiences.
Marketers who understand how to track data from a variety of digital sources also will be better equipped to overcome any customer experience challenges that they encounter.
"As marketers, we want to build not just a one-time interaction with a customer, but we want to build loyal customers," Shoffstall said. "We want to build a relationship with our customers."
Data can serve as the "driving lead" along the customer journey, one that empowers marketers with the ability to support their clients both now and in the future.
Thus, marketers who recognize the value of customer data from myriad digital sources can capitalize on the vast assortment of customer information at their disposal. And ultimately, these marketers will be able to help a company gain a competitive edge over its rivals, as this business will be equipped to fulfill customers' requests for years to come.
A digital marketing executive, Sean works with top global brands providing leadership, strategy and execution in both B2C and B2B settings. He has a keen ability to successfully execute multi-channel marketing in his unique way. His innovative thinking makes him a desired board member and strategist for companies trying to break through crowded market spaces or enter brand new industries.
Over Sean's 20-year career, he has been a founder, board member, executive and strategist. From starting up a successful practice management software company to growing a digital marketing agency to double their revenue before acquisition, he is driven with the eye of a business leader and the mind of a marketer. The breadth of his experience allows him connect the needs of executives with the passion of the marketers and the insight of a consumer. He knows how to lead teams and drive business in times of growth and change.
His unique insight into marketing trends have made him a desired speaker at industry events such as AdTech, Argyle Executive Forums and DMA. His philosophy around Quantifiable Creativity has been published in articles and featured in webcasts for CMOCouncil, MarketingProfs, B2BOnline and more. In 2013, Sean was recognized as a runner up for the Marketer of the Year (MarketingProfs).