Category Archives: Best Practices

Behaviors That Matter: Personalization Based on Data

The importance of a personalized web experience cannot be overstated. In a world where customers already know their data is being mined, they don’t just expect personalization, they’ll avoid experiences that don’t deliver it to them. In other words, if my social media platform exists, I expect to be served ads that are relevant to me, and I expect websites to know what I want even before I do. After all, all of my information is already out there – isn’t it a brand’s job to use it in a way that benefits me as a customer?

Data is the key to successful web personalization, but oftentimes it isn’t used in the most effective manner. It’s vital to set up the correct set of variables that is most relevant to your brand. This can be done by looking at the traffic and engagement you already have on your website, and working backwards from there.

Ask. What patterns are emerging here? Where am I finding trends?

Look at the most popular pages on your website. Determine where that traffic is coming from, and what those users have in common. Your own first party data is the most valuable insight you have because it’s a direct line to your audience. Their actions and origins give you the recipe you need for success.

Target. Determine your targeting variables.

These should be based on the answers you find to the questions above. Variables could include things like location (are most of your users in a few concentrated areas, or more spread out?), device, customer history, and time spent navigating your website. Pay attention to how users interact with every individual webpage or post related to your brand. Mine your data and discover who is always close to clicking the “purchase” button but never does, who buys frequently, when they visit and whether it’s spurred on by a particular event. For example, a customer who visits your site to make a purchase most often around the 15th or 30th of every month may make purchases relative to pay day.  Variables like these  will help you personalize content and experience for multiple audiences.

Personalize. You know your audiences, so talk to them.

When personalizing the content or ads you serve up to your audience, testing is important. Run multiple ads, try out taglines, test headlines and subject matter in your blog posts and social media. There is no magical “one size fits all” personalization guarantee, but thorough A/B testing can help you find the right fit for your audiences.

Register Now for the IgnitionOne August Webinar: Smarter Search Strategies for 2015 Holiday Shoppers

On Wednesday, August 26, 2015, IgnitionOne will host an exclusive webinar that highlights mobile search strategies that marketers will need heading into the 2015 holiday season. Mobile shopping has hit an all-time high and it’s no question that search marketing is on the rise. With the holiday season just around the corner, it is crucial that marketers implement mobile strategies that break through the noise and reach their target audiences.

The webinar, “Smarter Search Strategies for 2015 Holiday Shoppers,” will feature a collaboration between Dave Ragals, Global Managing Director of Search for IgnitionOne, and Rob Lenderman, COO and Co-Founder of Boost Media.

Participants in the webinar will:

  • Gain insight into the latest trends in mobile paid search
  • Explore considerations to impact your strategy development
  • Learn how to optimize ad creative for mobile and why context matters
  • Discover the 10 best ways to engage holiday buyers

“Smarter Search Strategies for 2015 Holiday Shoppers,” takes place on Wednesday, August 26 at 1:00 p.m. ET. Registration ensures access to the recorded playback.

Sign up now!

The Top 3 Benefits of Exceeding Customer Needs

Two weeks ago I had an amazing digital experience. I went to the doctor’s office as I wasn’t feeling well and they performed some simple tests. Near the end of the visit the doctor said my test results, which would dictate if I needed a prescription, would be available online the next day. Before I even received a call from the doctor or access to my online results, Walgreens sent a push notification to my mobile phone alerting me that my prescription was ready for pick-up.

This is brilliant for many reasons. First, Walgreens was able to act on the data shared by the hospital faster than the hospital could relay it to me. Second, in doing so they also gave me the status of the test. Third, while I associate this brand with my health already, their actions continue to prove how much they value my health and me as a person (read: this makes me want to spend my money with them). Finally, all of this happened because they have a top-notch data management platform in place to effectively manage their consumer’s data.

You see, at some point I wandered into Walgreens to purchase an item. Upon checkout I signed up for their loyalty card, slowly giving them more information during subsequent visits. Eventually, I downloaded their app and synched it with my loyalty card. Then I logged into my online account to manage the entire ecosystem. And truthfully, this was not the first time Walgreens impressed me (you can read about my Connected Experience with them here).

But by merely sending me a simple push notification they have exceeded my expectations. By exceeding expectations, brands stand to gain the following:

  1. Customer Loyalty – My default location for all prescriptions is now Walgreens. This experience, along with previous experiences prove that they can do it – and they can do it well. They are loyal to making sure I’m happy and I’m loyal to them by returning every time to spend my money with their brand. With hundreds of other locations to fill my prescriptions, I choose Walgreens because they know me and they can execute efficiently and effectively.
  1. Brand Advocacy – When I have a good experience, I am a sharer. I like to tell my friends and family so they can also have good experiences. If the experience is particularly great I will socialize online as well. Not only does this generate positive news regarding the brand, but it also influences my friends to shop with that brand. I remember once reading a stat that a bad experience is shared 3x more than a good experience – something brands may want to keep in mind while mapping out customer journey experiences.
  1. Exploration of Other Brand Offerings – When a brand exceeds expectations in one area, there is a good chance they excel in other areas as well. In turn, customers will explore their other offerings based on the experiences they have. For example, I learned about the pharmacy app because of Walgreens photo printing app. Both continue to add value to my life and help me simplify. I’m sure I will continue to explore to see what other offerings they have for me.

Regardless of the consumer, everyone likes to be treated well. And the companies that understand the value of treating a customer well will continue to thrive in this ever-changing digital world.

DMP Alchemy: Improving Lead Generation Quality with the Data You Own

As Glengary Glen Ross tells us, leads are gold. While so much of marketing has to do with grabbing the attention of an audience, what actually matters more is connecting with the right individuals within that audience – especially those who are open to eventual conversion.  Harvesting leads isn’t enough if you’re not attracting the right prospects, which is the paradox of modern lead-generation strategy. Contrary to more recent strategies, quantity of content does not create quality of leads. It takes understanding to guide the alignment of content. At the center of marketing alchemy is the ability to use the data you already own within your DMP with real-time relevance.
 
Here are some suggestions to get started:
 
Content Alignment: Identify consistent patterns of specific customer segments. Then align your content, messaging and offers around that specific audience.  For instance, you probably have basic customer segments identified. Look at the data for each to identify trends. Are there similar page views on the website prior to conversion? Are their page views or search activities that are common to those who landed on the site but did not convert? Are prospects who consume one topic versus another more likely to follow a specific conversion path or timeline? For instance, people who need it now versus those who prefer to do their homework and take their time may require a different messaging approach based on those behaviors.
 
Linking with POS: A great place to start is using your purchase history data to influence messaging and content presented, including the cadence of those messages. Have the data from your POS system feed into a DMP so an individual customer’s purchase history can be used to inform content for their future emails, ads and offers. This simple approach to personalized content shows a deeper level of customer love, allowing for a more strategic approach that can result in meaningful ROI increase. Suggestion: Tailor content to suggest companion products, accessories, plus other details to maintain that post-purchase connection with your audience.
 
Using Location: With geographic segments, you can highlight regional interests and images in your campaigns. Consider infusing something as simple as weather information to promote relevant climate-related products and content. It’s about relevance. You can also take things a step deeper with geolocation data, marketing based on proximity to meaningful locations, different communications for in-store versus at home engagement, and so on. Getting outside the box and putting yourself in the consumer’s shoes at that moment can take current location into account to deliver interesting results. Suggestion: Test everything. If you know a particular region is experiencing a weather-related event, your lead generation approach and images can reflect such details.
 
Niche Targeting (and Re-Targeting): Having all your data in a profile-based DMP environment where information can be stored for both known and anonymous users means you have data which can be used to better communicate with each individual in your audience. Instead of the broader strokes of content alignment mentioned earlier, this is more using a fine brush to reflect specific known details – even of those not yet identified as a known lead. 
 
Distilling gold from what otherwise could be content chaos requires the smart use of data. Start small. Keep it simple at first. A few nuggets of understanding can lead to a rush of relevance in the way you engage your audiences to attract more prospects. Consider what data you have, then look for ways to use it as you add to it, supported by integrated technology to remove the complexity and provide real results.

Introducing the DMP Discussions Handbook

When it comes to implementing a DMP, internal discussions are key. Even the biggest arsenal of results-based marketing strategies isn’t effective without clear communication across departments about what needs to happen. The right hand should always know what the left hand is doing, and vice versa.

The Internal DMP Discussions Handbook is designed to take you through that process step by step. In the handbook, you’ll find an in-depth exploration of the implementation process, along with the questions that CEOs, CMOs and marketers will need to ask both each other and the IT team at each point along the way. Questions like:

  • What business KPIs will we use to measure the success of the DMP?
  • Have we created a clear workflow that establishes each party’s role in DMP implementation?
  • How is the data being segmented?
  • And more.

 Download the handbook today.

 

3 Ways Data Influences Marketing Strategy

Strategy – that word is thrown around all of the time. Regardless of your industry, I can guarantee it is uttered, heard or thought about on a weekly basis. The word projects reassurance to bosses, implying that someone has developed a flawless plan to minimize risk and maximize goal-attainment. Now, how often does that actually happen? My guess – not as frequently as it should.

The reality is that the average marketer is swamped. From budget discussions to pushing campaigns out the door, time is precious, short and must be used effectively. Oftentimes you might be dealing with so many tactical objectives that you forget why you are even doing them in the first place. Let’s take a step back for a moment.

The world we live in is overwhelmingly digital. The integration of tech into our lives is so acceptable people will stop conversations mid-sentence to respond to the latest alert – and with the “Internet of Things” on the rise, my hunch is that the our lives in the digital world are only going to intensify. With all of these devices, the amount of data being exchanged on any given device at any given time is not only massive, but extremely insightful for those marketers willing to invest in strategy. While haphazard plans may work from time to time, the reality is that without a solid business strategy it will be a struggle to keep up with competitors who see the bigger picture.

Data can influence your marketing strategy by:

  • Driving Customer Journey Mapping: The path to purchase is dead. Consumers have multiple touch points and entries to discover, engage and buy from your brand. Use your data to your advantage. With the right system in place, you can analyze your data to see where customers are coming in and how they are familiarizing themselves with your brand. In turn, the aggregation of this data can build out a solid marketing (or go-to-market) strategy for the best user experience to enhance the customer’s relationship with your brand.
  • Explaining the Why Behind the Purchase: Depending on your product, it might be an easy or a hard sell to customers. Some products I regularly need to buy, such as contact solution and toothpaste, while others I would classify as a luxury. With each view, open, click or purchase, there a reason behind my action that brands can begin to piece together by connecting the data points. Why did I choose to buy one brand over another? Why did I choose one product line over another? As brands begin to view all of their data on me in one centralized hub, the big picture becomes clear and this deepens brand personas, segmentation and understanding for increased marketing strategy.
  • Influencing Product Developments and Enhancements: The entire reason any business is successful is because of the customer. Customers influence every single decision from packaging to website design, with the end goal of creating an emotional connection to the brand. Data will always vary from customer to customer, which is why it is crucial to look into larger trends. Even though each customer has their own journey with your brand, their preferences dictate the development of new products, features and decisions you are making as a brand. With quality data and the ability to read that data accurately, you are no longer guessing what your customers want – you are accurately monitoring, listening and anticipating it.

We know that data is everywhere – it has been everywhere for quite some time now. As brands, we must shift our thinking from tactical ways to use our data to the big picture of strategy development. What starts out as an insight from marketing data could quickly morph into an insight that redefines how strategy is being developed in all departments. More often than not, everything is connected. Data supports our decisions, but it is up to everyone in the organization to connect the dots and use that information to build a rock star company tuned in to the needs of the customer.

Introducing the Quick Wins Handbook

When it comes to data management platforms, the faster they start working for you, the better. Using a DMP can provide unique strategic opportunities, along with the kind of high-value market insights that allow for a better ROI. But the truth is, very few marketers are truly leveraging the value a DMP can provide.

So, how can you start taking full advantage of your DMP right out of the gate? It comes down to understanding the actionable data you have, and utilizing it in a way that maximizes the value it has to offer. Once you learn how to effectively work with what you have, you’ll be able to explore new opportunities more deeply.

IgnitionOne has created a valuable, fresh new book that provides insight and inspiration to help you get more out of your DMP from the start. “The Quick Wins Handbook” delivers 12 fast, actionable ideas to maximize your ROI and minimize the time spent waiting for the right data.

The Quick Wins Handbook is ready to help you:

  • Get the most out of your DMP
  • Act on easy connections
  • Target location
  • Time communications
  • Avoid potential road blocks

And more!

You can learn more and download the 18-page guide here.

quick wins

Defining Data Management

Contradicting descriptions and claims regarding marketing technologies have caused some real headaches for buyers. Lack of clear understanding of terms and capabilities result in wasted time, wasted budget, departmental dysfunction and overall frustration for marketers who simply want to use their data to better engage their prospects and customers.

In a recent blog post by Roger Barnette, President of IgnitionOne, he describes important definitions to understand the different types of DMPs and platforms within the marketplace. The full post, which can be accessed here, includes the breakdown of the Basic DMP, Media DMP, CRM DMP, Hub/True DMP and DMS.

In fact, IgnitionOne will be hosting a live webinar on April 2 to empower you and your team with everything you need to know about a Data Management Platform. Tune in to find out how you can banish mixed marketing messages to your customers and how a DMP can fuel one-to-one digital experiences across all channels.