Category Archives: Using Your Data

The Art of Nurturing

Recently, I’ve been thinking a lot about the power of connection between people. My group of family and friends is close and at any given moment we all have different wants from each other. Sometimes I rely on them for advice and sometimes they come to me for a listening ear. Over time these relationships have become very strong due to reciprocity, loyalty and consistency.

Each one of these friendships is strong not by chance, but because both parties invested the time necessary to build up something of value. At any given moment one friend might need more attention than another friend. In my mind I place them in different buckets based on where our relationships currently stand, as no two friendships are alike. Much like these friendships, the connections brands have with their ever-changing customer needs alter on a daily basis.

While one customer might be thrilled with the quality of service and personalized advertising/marketing efforts, another customer may feel as though you don’t know them at all. There is an art in nurturing to be able to assess where your customers are at on an emotional level to tailor messaging to them appropriately.

Here are a couple of tips to help you better nurture your customers:

  • Implement a Data Management Platform: You need a centralized hub to intake and store all of the data on your customer. This must be able to intake known/anonymous data from all sources, including offline, to help you have a 360-view of your customer before determining what data you need to collect.
  • Collect Relevant Data: You may find that you’re collecting data that doesn’t matter. If this is the case, pitch it. There is no need to collect data that doesn’t directly benefit the customer or you. Continue to monitor what is working and what you need to refine the data you collect.
  • Create Buckets and Segments: As you setup any campaign, you will want to have triggers that move people into appropriate buckets. For example, after a customer has made two online purchases in one month, you may want to move them to bucket indicating they are more likely to make online purchases than other customers. This can help with future targeting. As you go through all of your segments, begin to create logic on which bucket your customers should be in and how to craft strategic messaging around those buckets.
  • Measure and Test: Once you have success criteria setup, it becomes easy to measure whether or not you hit your goals. From there, you can refine your nurturing campaigns and adjust continuously as needed.

There is an art to nurturing your customers. Think of it like a conversation in person – you start by saying hello and then go from there. By keeping it real, authentic and genuine you have all of the makings to allow the conversation to grow organically, ultimately building a stronger relationship with customer.

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.

Register Now for the June 17th Webinar: Harnessing the Power of Data You Own

The IgnitionOne June webinar, “Harnessing the Power of Data You Own”, is happening this Wednesday at 11 a.m. ET. But there’s still time to register!

Odds are, most DMP users are sitting on a mound of usable information – knowing how to put that information to work in the right way is what creates greater success. Harnessing the power of data means better results, better insights and better business.

“Harnessing the Power of Data You Own” will feature Luis Caballero, Chief Data Scientist at IgnitionOne. Luis will explain how to get from the point A of raw data to the point B of real results, providing registrants with clear direction and insights on how to get quick wins, create better customer experiences and uncover key trends. Participants will also:

* Learn what data points to use for stronger ROI

* See case-study examples of recent DMP success

* Get fresh ideas for faster results

And more!

“Harnessing the Power of Data You Own” takes place Wednesday, June 17 at 11 a.m. ET.

Register here before it’s too late!

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.

Introducing the Customer Data Integration Handbook

The purpose of true data management is to obtain that holistic, 360- degree view of the customer. Not just at the point of conversion, but also throughout the buyer’s journey. That clarity gives you insights to grow your business and the ability to interact with each individual in a personal and relevant way.

But how do you get the most value from any DMP investment? It requires the integration of customer data assets from across the organization, also known as CDI or Customer Data Integration.

IgnitionOne has created a valuable new book to walk you through the process and educate you on data integration: “The Customer Data Integration Handbook.” This new 24-page guide provides a blueprint and step-by-step considerations as you approach the consolidation of data to maximize its effective use.

You can learn more and download the Guidebook free here.

cdi guidebook

 

Life After Big Data

For the past few years, we’ve been hearing the buzz words, “big data” without having a tangible, concrete answer around it. What is it and what does it actually mean?

With hundreds of millions of devices in people’s hands, and millions of more people coming online every year, there are billions of data points.

The smarter question to ask is, ‘What does big data mean to marketers and advertisers?’ There is a constant quest for understanding target audiences. There are multiple point solutions that try to create a ”digital data-graph” of customers and prospects.

Imagine piles and piles of data that are siloed and don’t actually bridge towards one another. Beyond the imagination, it’s a difficult reality that the digital world grapples with. Marketers need to climb that metaphorical Mt. Everest and get a hawk-eye view from the highest place. But they still need a telescope in hand to zoom down to the minute details of their ecosystem.

But what if there is a foundation to launchpad all of your digital marketing efforts? Yes, there is big data, and it’s only getting bigger and complex. Marketers need a solution that can gather and make sense of their data from critical mass down to individual personas. This requires a Data Management Platform solution. A DMP with cross-channel, cross-platform and cross-attribution capabilities.

What would life be without a DMP? Data scattered everywhere. To have a DMP or to not have a DMP? It’s not a philosophical question, but a frame of mind.
Forrester’s report helps you get started on how to think about DMPs. Check out Forrester’s DMP report on, “Measurement is a Digital Media Buyer’s Best Friend.”

How to Make the Most of Your Data

During my time in undergrad at Miami University, I was fortunate enough to take a research course while studying for my degree in Marketing. This course taught us how to conduct, analyze, and report findings based on acquired data. In turn, this data-driven research could be used to provide strategic business recommendations on product launches, segmentation, brand enhancements, and targeted communication efforts.

It was in this course that a light-bulb went off in my head where I realized the key to succeeding in marketing is all in the data. The brands, consultants, and people who are able to ask the right questions, store the data properly for easy access, and analyze it for strategy development are the ones who will excel in their marketing efforts. Every day we collect thousands of fragmented pieces of data, from both anonymous and known online users, that can be pieced together to form a clear picture of your buyer’s wants and needs. As a marketer, this is a goldmine.

The key is to step-back from the daily grind and look at your strategy from the top down. Our inboxes tend to be a blur of new priorities from various stakeholders rapidly changing at any given moment. By stepping back and putting on your strategy hat, you can start to make the most of your data by following these four steps:

1. Collect the right information: Anytime a visitor wanders onto your website, opens an e-mail, makes a purchase or clicks an ad, your system is aware of this activity. Other times, you collect information from buyers by asking about their preferences and noting their purchases. While data is extremely valuable, it is even more valuable when you can directly apply it to your business needs. Make sure that the information you’re collecting is not extraneous, but targeted and strategic – always have a clear goal in mind.

2. Store everything in a central hub: From my experience, it is common for companies to have their data scattered about multiple systems. Some of it lives in outdated excel sheets, while some is stored in CRM systems not optimally designed to achieve your goals. Now that you know what data you are collecting across the entire organization, it needs to be stored in a central hub to help you build out segments. By allowing all departments to have access to all information, it provides new insight to make the most informed decisions in any department.

3. Analyze your data: With all of your data being in one central location, it suddenly becomes easier to perform data analysis. Anytime I start to analyze data, there are two approaches I take. In the first, I have a specific question in which I want to find a solution. In the second, I explore the data to see what I can find. You do not need to be an expert with data to discover what is working and what needs improvement, but you need to be curious as you look at the information that you have. If you have a Data Scientist, this would be a good time to pull him or her in to see what insights can be extracted.

4. Implement Insights: The last, and most crucial step, is to implement the insights you just discovered. If you notice that your customer base makes 3x more purchases on weekends then during the week, you might want to setup an integrated marketing campaign to monopolize on insight. By setting the campaign up as an A/B test, you can test the validity of your research. Always keep testing – nothing is every constant and your business needs will always continue to change.

Data is everywhere. It provides unique understanding of your customers where you get to know them individually, instead just a line in a list. Make the most of your data and make it a simple process for you. Marketers have enough on their plate without having to dig through 30 different vendor software platforms for information when it is time to execute a simple marketing campaign.

For more information on IgnitionOne’s Data Management Services, click here.

Who is the Winner in Digital Marketing?

I recall my grade school days when I learned something new and eagerly raised my hand in class. In excitement, I would tell my teachers, “But everything connects. This new thing we learned reminds me of what we did in that previous subject. Things can’t be isolated. We must connect ideas together. Diversity is important and so are different points of views!”

Some Briggs-Myers and StrengthsFinder exams along the way into my adulthood, I learned that being a connector was my dominant strength. I fast-forward to my present life and ask myself if I hold true to my philosophy? As a Product Marketing Manager, I find myself tapping into various ideas, and product leaders to understand and narrate the bigger vision of our products.

Looking at my career, I found myself entering the world of social. I saw its huge opportunity for becoming an economic driver for companies big and small. But I knew there was more out there.

In the sea of digital, I could only begin to make sense of product offerings and what clients needed. Social was a fantastic way to enter digital because there was that people-centric focus of your audience telling you exactly what they want. But what about the rest of digital? There is email and search and display media with so many different systems and solutions. Hungry for more, I kept exploring Digital Marketing. I wanted more and I realized so did clients. With so many systems out there, I realized a marketer’s life could be wasted learning too many point solutions without actually accomplishing their campaign goals.

I came across data management systems and my mind blew away. It seemed like the perfect time to come of age as a millennial emerging out of the social media world. I needed to ascend my mindset into something bigger in digital. Diversity, different points of views, connecting things were all things I found myself yearning for. Why was I not thinking about data management platforms? I came from a world of APIs where relying on data pulls from other companies was the norm. But what about clients owning their own data and repurposing it?

In my current role as a Product Marketing Manager, I get to approach digital from a holistic perspective. I get to work with a Digital Marketing Suite which is a full stack of digital product offerings that covers all of a marketer’s digital needs. It’s not just about one channel, it’s about being cross-channel. It’s not just about one point-solution, but an integrated approach of taking all of your marketing efforts to manifest the bigger goals you have with your products and your clients. As an adolescent, I didn’t want to be a cookie cutter mold of anyone. In my role as a marketer, I find the needs of many marketers and advertisers are diverse as well. I’m happy to work with a digital hub that is as flexible as my thinking and the needs of digital leaders. You can finally get back in the driver’s seat and design your marketing experience and execution.

So the important question to ask yourselves is, “Who do you think is the winner in Digital Marketing? What is the right approach to the vast sea of digital?” Connect the dots to your digital marketing goals with perspectives from IgnitionOne and Netmining’s, “Big Book of Digital Marketing” found here.

The Rise of Human Data

Pause for one moment and think of just how much data your company is collecting on a daily basis. Between transactions, ecommerce, email, display, mobile, social, marketing automation, attribution, call-center data, offline data, cookies, and all other sources of data, there is a lot of information being provided by your customers. Upon collecting this information marketers have traditionally found commonalities among this data to create lists or segments to message out to their clients and prospects. While this can be an effective form of marketing based on the campaign objectives, marketers are gravitating towards highly-personalized messages tailored to the very specific data points they have managed to collect from their consumers.

While at DMA 2014 the Managing Director at FedEx, Mike Rude, spoke on this very topic to discuss how FedEx is using this “human data” as a way to drive engagement. As marketers, we are accustomed to looking at numbers and segments all day. Imagine in a perfect world if you had the capability to personally craft the e-mail to each member on your list instead of doing a blast e-mail. It would be engaging, highly-relevant, and extremely personalized, as you could reference the customer’s file and pull in the most important details as you were crafting their copy. While it might take ten years to finish each campaign, you would be using the data in a way that reminds you each number in your data base is actually a person with feelings, emotions, passions, fears, and families…something often forgot in the day-to-day hustle and bustle of getting your campaign out the door.

Although it may be impossible to personally craft each e-mail, we can use the data we have to provide a more humanized experience for the consumer. In fact, during this presentation, FedEx recommended the following three tips as a way to effectively begin your marketing efforts:

1. Know your customer – This is a phase we hear a lot in the ad tech space. As I’ve mentioned above there are many ways we can know our customer from the data that we can collect on them. However, this should be a two-way street. Just as we capture activity data, we should allow the customer to be able to personalize their preferences and needs. This data can be used to be customer-obsessed, only serving your customers the most relevant content at the right time.

2. Converse with the person – Instead of just pushing out your marketing efforts to your prospects and clients, make sure you are actually engaging in a conversation with them. Take a moment with your team to list out all of the types of people who come into contact with your brand, then list out all of the channels used. For example, FedEx has 16 million interactions on a daily basis with deliveries, often times leading to conversations with the end-users. Perhaps drivers could take the knowledge they learn about their customers and compile it into a single database for all drivers and employees to access when needed to add that “personal touch” during deliveries.

3. Don’t automate bad behavior – While technology has advanced and can help businesses achieve all types of goals, it cannot first be done without a sound strategy. Rude spoke on this topic by emphasizing the importance of optimizing people and process before implementing technology, as this should help to “enable experiences, not drive them.” Marketing automation is an easy thing to do, be it process or e-mail, but oftentimes complicates communications instead of adding an element of simplicity to the customer experience. Observe the paths of all of your processes, both internal and external, to help you determine how automation is negatively affecting your business and what can be done to improve it.

The most important idea to remember is that behind each piece of data is a living, breathing person with feelings, emotions, thoughts, opinions, beliefs and ideas. Remembering this will continue to help your brand build execute smarter, more effective campaigns leading to results as the recipients.