Earlier this week, I came across an interesting finding from a Forrester Consulting Study that highlights how important it is to foster a customer engagement plan with your customers.

The study found that 70% of marketers are struggling to acquire customer data, particularly in this age of consumer privacy, and 65% are unsure who their customers are. This seems unreal. Whether you find yourself resonating with this statistic or not, it seems clear that efforts to know your customer will help you serve them better and give you a competitive edge.

So What Are Companies Doing To Engage Their Customers?

A solution typically starts with something called zero-party data, which is information consumers intentionally share with a brand. This is procured by giving away value in exchange for information that is relevant to that value. For example, if you have a cost calculator or a white paper resource for download, you can ask relevant questions to better tailor the resource to your audience and then you can use that to nurture them with more personalized messages.

To start, I recommend an audit of the essential information about your prospect or customer that you believe will help you serve them better. Then, use that information to actually make their experience more personalized. Turns out that people will give you information if they understand the value in doing so. That’s key to building a trusting relationship and compelling your audiences to share even more about themselves with you in the future.

A deeper understanding of your customers can open the door to bigger strategic decisions, such as identification of new products or services that you can build or partner to deliver, or tradeoffs to lean into offerings that your customers value most and away from those that are costly and don’t actually deliver perceived value.

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