Ross Moses, senior director of analytics and insights for the US Soccer Federation, saw the need to re-evaluate how the organization interacts with its client base. Despite the vast amount of digital resources available, it has been found to fail to deliver interactive fan experiences.
“We were sitting on an outdated digital infrastructure — there wasn’t much there,” Moses said in his presentation at the MarTech conference. “We had an outdated website, no mobile app, and a lot of manual tasks that we were using to keep track of our customers. So, we knew we had to invest heavily in this area.”
Building your brand’s digital infrastructure is important, but it’s nothing without creating strong customer connections. To do this, US Soccer needed strategies and tools to better identify its customers – who they are and where they come from.
“The next challenge was identifying our fans, and getting a 360-degree view of the customer,” Moses said. “This tends to be the Holy Grail, not just for us, but for many companies out there. Putting that in place will allow us to get that business intelligence to get more efficient feedback loops, and then enable personalization.”
Moses and his marketing team worked with customer data platform Treasure Data to develop a robust customer experience strategy. Here are some of the insights they gained in the process.
Use automation to customize experiences
Moses highlighted the American Football Loyalty Program, which rewards customers based on their interaction with the program. Using the CDP framework, the organization was able to customize each customer’s experience with automated messaging that suits their group.
“This is our loyalty program known as US Soccer Insider,” Moses said. “Depending on what level you’re at, from Standard to VIP, you get a different message.”
He added, “This shows how once you create that clip in a CDP, you send it somewhere else. Then you use those audiences to program step-by-step journeys.”
Brands should remember that CDPs are not designed to fit within every organization’s framework – some won’t fully meet automation or customization needs. However, many allow users to develop custom solutions.
“There are a lot of pre-built connectors [in CDPs],” he said. “But if something is not available, you can develop it on top of it. So, if there are some obscure data sources, you can build these pipelines so that they come in a batch or a stream. “
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Gather relevant business information
Moses and his team extracted relevant customer information from all of their platforms using CDP, pulled relevant information such as average annual spending, renewals, etc., and used this data to make better business decisions when choosing locations for American football matches.
“There are a lot of things we have to choose from where we take the team,” he said. “Not everything depends on where the customers are. There are a lot of other factors, like the opposing team, or how long it’s been since we’ve been there.”
“This information helps us understand where customers are coming from and where we think there may be an opportunity,” he added.
Getting this valuable business information from many customer sources is critical for brands that want to develop a sustainable customer experience strategy.
Develop a future vision
Using insights gathered from its audience, US Soccer has developed a new game plan to deliver improved customer experiences. By knowing what fans want from its digital assets, the organization has developed new ways to connect with them.
One of the most popular upgrades allowed customers to predict 11 novice players, which also extended to other aspects of the game.
“Football fans like to discuss who should be in the starting lineup, or who should be called up on the list for a particular match,” said Musa. “This is a way to build a community and discussion about it. Inside the app, we allow people to easily create a field map and then share it on social networks, continuing the conversation.”
“A lot of the personalization we do is in advertising or email marketing, but we need to factor that into our inbound experiences,” he added.
Having a complete view of clients and extracting insights from their journeys serve as foundations for future strategies. But to be sustainable, marketers must exercise proper data governance to keep everything in line. This is where CDPs work well with Data Management Platforms (DMPs), informing the latter to create more relevant audience experiences.
“Our CDP is our master data MarTech, but we need to do more in terms of bringing in these other data sources and getting this overview,” Moses said. “We need to make sure that we master this data so that we have the most confidence in our analyzes and personalization.”