By Chirag Parmar

The advent of technology across industries has helped brands accelerate their customer experience (CX) offerings. The martech sector, in particular, has seen innovations lately to engage customers across touchpoints. The integration of emerging technology solutions such as artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) has helped marketers not only analyze data to create personalized experiences, but also make predictions about the buying behavior. Understanding customer behavior is the foundation of successful CX. To uncover trends in customer behavior, martech professionals must continue to leverage cutting-edge new-era technology that will help create retention solutions.

Today’s empowered customers are constantly seeking experiential engagement, allowing brands to revisit data intelligence throughout customer journeys. However, the challenge when engaging customers is not to collect data, but to derive meaningful data that can be mined into actionable insights at later stages. According to Gartner, the average cost of data misuse is $14 million per year. Here’s how companies can consider adopting technology solutions to further integrate data:

AI: AI helps streamline business intelligence by automating data analysis and delivering high-value insights. Using ML-enabled algorithms, AI can automatically analyze data to uncover hidden trends, patterns, and insights that can be leveraged by organizations to improve CX operations.

Block chain: Data analytics that leverages blockchain involves understanding, classifying, and monitoring transaction data, enabling users to gain valuable insights and provide recommendations for better risk assessment. It also provides real-time analysis and traceability.

Predictive analytics: Software solutions associated with predictive analytics can be adopted to discover, evaluate and deploy predictive scenarios by processing big data. This helps businesses proactively analyze potential customer behavior and CX issues.

Prescriptive Analytics: Prescriptive analytics creates opportunities for businesses by predicting the most favorable outcome in a given situation. It provides solutions as to actionable insights that can be undertaken to achieve desired results.

While technology can help companies mine data for actionable insights, challenges come with data silos. A data silo is a repository of data that is essentially controlled by a department, which isolates it from the rest of a business. This kind of disconnected data makes it difficult for marketers to gauge how influential a channel or data source is to the bigger picture. Thus, it is difficult to decide how campaigns should be adjusted to achieve goals. It also hinders understanding of the impact of marketing efforts on revenue.

Data isolation makes it difficult to understand the influence of marketing performance on a particular company’s business operations, with 47% of CMOs struggling to demonstrate that their companies are benefiting from marketing efforts, according to the recently launched report by WebEngage titled “Death by Tools”.

Unfortunately, data silos lead to:

Resources and wasted time: With the growing number of marketing channels, marketers are spending an incredible amount of resources and time on different tools and technologies, instead of storing their marketing data in a centralized location if the data was siled.

Lack of integrated performance data: With a multi-channel marketing strategy and many siled analytics tools offering performance insights, it’s impossible to get a complete view of campaign performance.

Issues with CX: As most companies aim to create multiple touchpoints for customers, companies need to track various interactions with different departments, affecting CX operations.

Limited collaboration between teams: With data silos, each team has to work with their own data, making it difficult to collaborate and get unified insights.

Because data silos occur with different databases isolated from each other, organizations can consider integrating data through the following strategies:

Using the integration software: Integrating data located in different software and systems is the most effective way to avoid data silos. This will help marketers with a complete picture of customer behavior and trends.

Choose a holistic third-party platform: Businesses should consider investing in an all-in-one platform that can help them manage their data in one place, which will align the functions of all teams, but also help users access marketing data. from a centralized location, to help discover relevant information.

Cultivate a collaborative corporate culture: It’s critical for businesses to remember that using a data management platform won’t break down silos. Employees should be encouraged to collaborate and analyze this across all platforms.

Introduce governance standards: Companies should consider establishing governance standards once data is centralized, to further ensure that new silos are not created.

As customers adopt more innovative technologies, it becomes difficult for companies to create differentiating and experiential user journeys for customers. To better understand customer behavior, companies look at marketing data from different sources. Database management is therefore crucial. Businesses should seek to avoid data silos, as this negatively impacts customer experience. However, with the increasing advent of technology, organizations can negate this by integrating different business applications.

The author of WebEngage Senior Marketing Director

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