Guest post by Dan Guy, CTO, Clutch, a NetSuite SuiteCloud Developer Network (SDN) partner

It’s no secret that today’s consumers have unprecedented real-time access to an incredible amount of information on your company, services and products, as well as all of your competitors in the market. These shoppers are complex, ‘always-on’ and well informed, meaning they can find what they are looking at any time. 

With all the information consumers have on your brand, and all the digital clues they leave behind across online, mobile and social channels, the majority of your customers now expect you to know and understand their interests and preferences like never before. In fact, nearly 80 percent of consumers expect personalized experiences from the brands they engage with. However, according to a PricewaterhouseCoopers study, 43 percent of businesses admit they gain practically no benefit from their data and certainly aren’t using it as a benefit to customers.

This issue is not as hopeless as it sounds though.

With each interaction customers have with your brand, they are becoming more and more transparent in their behaviors, tendencies and preferences. 

The average brand manages upwards of 10 customer systems, including four internal components, like point-of-sale software and ecommerce platforms, five social networking accounts and one mobile application. For these, the brand is receiving a massive flow of data. As challenging as that may sound to get a handle on, the issue largely arises not in finding the data, but in accessing and controlling it in order to analyze it for customer insight.

Traditional CRM software, which many marketers have been forced to rely on for their data management, is built for sales contact management and largely lacks the data synthesis, analysis and campaign execution capabilities modern marketers require. This is driving brands to replace their traditional CRM with more advanced and adaptable Consumer Management platforms designed and engineered specifically for the complex needs of today’s customer.

The data synthesized by a Consumer Management platform creates a holistic view of your customer base, operating on a multidimensional level to reveal all of the ways your customers are interacting with your brand. The synthesized data is then segmented and scored to further identify and understand individual customers in order to gain a clear, detailed, cross-channel picture of them, helping your brand to design strategy and campaigns to influence and motivate their behavior.

Aside from adopting the right technology to advance an effective customer strategy, there are several steps your brand should take to reign in and manage your fragmented customer data across the disparate systems within your marketing technology stack.

1. Pull It All Together

Synthesize your organization’s cross-channel data to drive strategic decision-making, customer understanding, and personalized experience. Most consumer businesses are already collecting an ongoing wealth of data. Pulling it together delivers a tremendous competitive advantage.

2. Who Are You?

The key is identifying and understanding your best customers by allowing the cross-channel data to tell their story. From here, your brand can construct an array of customer dimensions including segments, profiles, and scoring based on consumers’ interactions with your brand.

3. Get Customer Centric

Design an exceptional customer strategy that includes both a customer engagement and an experience initiative. Leverage the segments, profiles and scoring your data to drive this. Then apply the information from the previous two steps to create a strategy that motivates your customers.

4. Make It Personal

Personalize engagements that are included in your design to motivate customers and deliver an exceptional experience to them at each touch point—focus on relevancy and value. Don’t simply focus on discounts and transactions, but rather let your data reveal what motivates your customers in order to guide your marketing engagements.

5. Optimization Overdrive

Optimize your campaign performance by understanding shifts with your dynamic customers and react to these changes in their behavior. Maximize engagement at each touch point and stay focused on personalization. And don’t forget to focus on those lapsing customers to reengage them.

Implementing your data-driven customer strategy is even easier with Clutch’s Gift, Loyalty and Automated Marketing Platform built specifically for NetSuite’s ecommerce solution, SuiteCommerce. Learn more about how Clutch’s customer marketing solutions can help you identify, understand and motivate your customers here.

For more proven, in-depth steps to developing a data-driven customer marketing strategy for your brand download your complimentary copy of The 25 Must Haves to Supercharge Customer Experience, which serves as an essential guide to unlocking your organization-wide data to benefit both your customers and your brand.