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Phew! You made it — congrats! You survived yet another holiday season. No, I’m not referring to travel nightmares or the boring conversations you had with your 3x removed cousin who lives to tell stories about his cat. I’m talking about the long hours, creative brain power, and top-notch execution you pulled off to launch your marketing programs this holiday season.

But this is not the time to take your foot off the gas. As leading marketers know, this is a critical time to keep that momentum going. During the holidays, retailers see higher traffic and orders than they do any other time of the year, which means you have the highest volume of shopper data at your fingertips. Here are three ways you can harness that data and engagement through personalized shopper marketing during the post-holiday glow and throughout 2019.

 

1. Know your shoppers

Dig into all the data that you’ve gathered across all the points of shopper engagement. That’s a gold mine of information if you manage it with consent and trust. Most obvious, understand email open or click rates. These metrics can help you decide what content is resonating or not performing as well as you’d hoped in order to optimize your email strategy.

Your website is also a big sleigh full of marketing presents with data on purchase history (in-store or online) and browsing behavior. You can capture those behaviors and connect your unknown shopper data with your known data once they identify themselves (typically by entering their email address or account ID) to have a better understanding of your consumer. We know that managing data will be important in 2019 because, according to the 5th edition State of Marketing report, the #1 data management platform use planned for 2019 is audience insights. And the good news is 49% of retail marketers already report having a completely unified view of customer data sources.

Do you have a branded social media channel? This is big! Shoppers have more free time over the holidays, which means, you guessed it, hours spent scrolling through social media. Understand what consumers are saying about your brand. What holiday promotions they got excited about and which ones were ignored? Did you see any correlation? Do your shoppers need customer care on social channels?

Also, note your peak performing days (or even hours) so you can improve your marketing with your 2019 holiday campaign strategy. It’s never too early to start preparing for next year — whether you like it or not.

 

2. Personalize with intelligence

Now that you’ve captured insights about your customers, let’s take some action. You’ve probably identified a few untapped audience segments; For example, maybe you found out that a majority of women who purchase appliances also read Good Housekeeping and listen to top country hits on Pandora or perhaps you had a revenue increase by catering to businesses vs. individual consumers.

When communicating with these audiences, consider their likelihood to purchase. Are they likely to make another purchase right away? Or, if they’ve gone cold, should you message them differently? And make sure your marketing promotions and customer data are aligned. No one wants to receive a 50% promotion for an item they just bought.

Artificial intelligence can put each shopper in a unique category (e.g., most likely to purchase, least likely to purchase, etc.) based on past behaviors. With a little audience segmentation, you can start to personalize your content quickly! This will be well worth your time. Need proof? Personalization influences 38% of all digital revenue, according to the Shopper First Report.

 

3. Engage customers at every step of the journey

By this point, you’re ready to re-engage with your shoppers. Don’t stop at the transaction. The journey involves much more than that. From awareness to advocacy, there are countless opportunities to engage with and influence customers. To take full advantage of these opportunities, consider automating the next best action for that shopper in real-time.

Each touchpoint is going to fuel the platform to take the next best action, offer, or communication to deliver (e.g., offering a customer a discount on their next purchase after a bad experience). Why is this important? Because half of repeat buyers make a second purchase within 16 days of their first.

As you continue your path forward in 2019, I hope you’re able to maintain your momentum from the holidays to continue your success at every step of the customer journey. Cheers to that!