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Ideas for innovative data-led marketing to optimise the buyer journey

Consumer Marketing Data Digital Services


Live-marketing-techniquesDigital media and the availability of personal data have transformed the marketing landscape. The way to make the most effective use of your spend, as with all types of marketing, is to closely identify your target market and to catch them with the right ad, at the right time. ‘Live marketing’ – advertising to customers when they appear to be ready to make a purchase – and the ability to identify the ‘right moment’ in the purchasing cycle is key to selling digitally to consumers.

Whilst e-tail is on an upward curve, the high street is suffering as online sales volumes increase across all areas of retail, from clothing to groceries. During this transformation of consumer buying habits we’ve seen the demise of several iconic names who have been unable to move with the times. However, super brands like Tesco or Selfridges or niche players such as End Clothing demonstrate the important role for physical shops in today’s new retail world if the marketing, presentation, infrastructure and logistics are right. Indeed, this is where the strength of an omni-channel approach underpinned by a great data strategy come into play – shoppers can be influenced by what they see online before going to the store and making their purchases. The challenge is how to pinpoint the actual right marketing activity at the right time.

The key to reaching this nirvana is to understand when prospective customers are in the mood to buy. If paid digital media is deployed to engage the most relevant audience at the most appropriate time, then your ROI figures will start looking seriously healthy.

Acknowledging the elephant in the room

Google and social media platforms such as Facebook can provide a very sophisticated level of information for effective targeting and as well as the means to deploy it. Recent events raise questions about security, use of data and the authenticity of the messaging being promoted. From a marketers and consumers perspective it’s encouraging that these incidents are facilitating an open and critical discussion.

Furthermore, in EU countries at least, the imminent arrival of GDPR means consumers can have greater confidence that their data is not going to be abused and data-led marketers will need to work in a way that is compliant to the new standards expected of them.

Effective targeting to make meaningful connections

Within this context let’s take a look at some examples of marketing that uses data and insights in a creative and effective way.

“Facebook data can still be employed to good use, giving brands the opportunity to get in front of consumers at the right times,” says Sean Masters, Creative Director and Partner, Masters Allen, a creative agency with over 10 years’ experience of digital and traditional campaigns.

“Kleenex found this to be particularly brand boosting when they sent 50 Facebook users a care package after having spotted their statuses mentioning that they currently had a cold. Working together with users’ friends in order to ascertain approval and the right home addresses, Kleenex distributed their kits to their chosen users, all of which then posted pictures of their box. The campaign received over 1,800 interactions and some people even started changing their Facebook status just to get the brand’s attention.”

A similar approach was used by Mars to promote its Snickers bar in Australia. Its “You’re not you when you’re hungry” advert used social media to heighten activity around the campaign. Analysing 14,000 social posts per day, the team responsible measured the moods of Aussies; those who were on the high end of the ‘angry’ spectrum were sent a personalised promo code so they could purchase a discounted Snickers bar. The campaign received 6,600+ interactions with the price of the chocolate bar being reduced 5,000 times over a five week period.

Filtering out irrelevance

Data is the lifeblood of the marketing industry; the more we have, the better we can serve our customers. However, collecting it – ethically – is only part of the task. Smart marketers are implementing new solutions for real-time data and honing in on what really matters for their customers; aggregating single customer views of that data, and refining what drives engagement and continued sales.

Digital marketing company Sojern uses data from over 350 million traveler profiles and billions of ‘travel intent’ signals to help some of the largest brands in travel, such as Hilton, Starwood, Disney, Hertz and American Airlines. If a consumer is searching for a flight for their family to New York, Sojern would help a hotel brand target that traveler and serve them an offer for a family hotel room for the specific dates in New York.

In the financial sector, the Ad-Lib agency built multiple creative iterations from a single creative shell for an HSBC bank credit card campaign and tested effectiveness across imagery, copy, headline and CTA, with algorithmic learnings’ to drive performance.

It generated over 200 variations to personalise messaging based on media signals, which were then delivered on Double Click. They achieved a 50% click-through rate, 59% cut in production costs and 55% cut in production time.

Spend in the most effective way for improved ROI

Recognising that customers can be understood before they are encountered through thorough and effective segmentation is, according to Rick Lamb, director of award winning digital agency Latitude (part of the Callcredit Information Group) is a powerful step in the right direction. With years of experience in paid media, Latitude set about utilising CAMEO, which provides customer profiling and segmentation down to the postcode level, for programmatic media buying via Congeto, Callcredit’s Trading Desk offering. Cogneto offers clients great accuracy and efficiency, and a transparent type of ad buying.

The beauty of it for Lamb is that; “If you go very granular on an audience buy, impression costs may look very high but then this is offset by higher performance…CPA [cost per acquisition] is a better way of measuring reach and effectiveness than CPM [Cost per Mille – per thousand clicks]. Pay-per-click ads on search engines and social media sites can look like they are generating a lot of activity, and at a low cost per click, but it’s the action that is taken that matters. If the clickers aren’t buying, then the advert becomes expensive.”

“We can track an enquiry through to visit and on to purchase, and integrate that data with the client’s CRM system, such as Salesforce,” he continues. “We can then relate purchase practices to online activity and identify the type of people who we actually want to engage with and who we don’t.”

Tracking reaction to online adverts helps to identify those who act on their searches and those who don’t. Upcoming legislation, particularly GDPR, may give some pause for thought but it should not be too much of a concern.

“Granularity is about types of people, not individual people,” states Lamb. “We view this as providing a better customer experience, based on the likelihood of purchases.”

Consumers want targeted offers and to be promoted goods and services they like but brands should make sure that any notifications are personalised and sensitively delivered. This can be achieved via a whole host of ‘appcessories’, that use customer social profile data to influence real-time decision making, giving chains and independents alike the opportunity to engage at a more personal level.

For insight into marketing and consumer trends, why not download our recent Marketing Report

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