American Marketer


Consumer data should influence customer experience: Acxiom exec

June 22, 2011


affluentconsumer2NEW YORK - Creating a personalized, meaningful customer experience should be the main focus for brands, according to experts at the Forrester Customer Experience Forum 2011.

Consumers are in control of how, when, where and why if they interact with brands. Brands must market themselves in personalized and integrated ways that enhance the customer experience.

“Yes, consumers have power, but now they have all the power and they are increasingly unaccepting of yesterday’s brands mass models,” said Tim Suther, chief marketing officer and senior vice president of Axciom, Little Rock, AR.

Axciom is a marketing services and technology company that provides information to help marketers successfully manage audiences, personalize consumer experiences and create profitable customer relationships.

Don’t waste data

Through new technology, companies are tracking consumer behavior and habits more than ever before, and yet most brands are not considering this data when planning their marketing strategies.

Companies often collect data and track consumer behavior and fail to implement these findings into marketing strategies.

“A study concluded that $112 billion is wasted every year in this country on advertising and much of that is grounded in suboptimal communicating and suboptimal targeting of consumers and suboptimal frequency,” Mr. Suther said.

A mass, undifferentiated approach is annoying to consumers and ultimately not successful.

This is where consumer data comes into play. Brands cannot cater to their consumers’ needs and wants if they cannot recognize them.

Many brands spend millions of dollars tracking consumer behavior and then do not implement this information into customer relations and marketing strategies.

This is where the panelists believe that change needs to occur.

In the future, leading brands will learn what customers do when interacting with the brand and what they are doing elsewhere when they are not engaged with brand, according to Mr. Suther.

Brands should aim to provide personalized, integrated and longitudinal customer experiences.

Based on experience

Consumer behavior data can be used to successfully build a better customer experience.

The key to a building a more loyal consumer is not offered in a new form of technology, according to Nick Primola, senior vice president and director of direct marketing for Citizens Financial Group, Providence, RI.

“[The key] is grounded in the development of a relationship of mutual trust, accountability and value along the way,” Mr. Primola said.

Marketing should be value- and customer-centric, which is done by using data and insight to provide personalized communication with consumers.

“Customers are looking for brands they can trust, that are going to put them in control, who value their business, and give them the best experience,” Mr. Primola said.

Providing consumers with exceptional customer service experiences will travel by word-of-mouth and through the growing presence of social media.

The importance of building a loyal community of consumers cannot be overlooked by brands.

“If you treat your customers right, it’s going to drive financial value for you,” Mr. Primola said. “The single most impactful thing that brands can do is nurture the relationship of those who already know and trust them.”

Final Take

Kayla Hutzler, editorial assistant on Luxury Daily, New York