Tag Archives: data management

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.

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.

Start Summer Off Smarter with Exclusive Webinar and Summer Reading List

IgnitionOne is working hard to help you have a smarter summer. Take part in our exclusive webinar: “Harnessing the Power of the Data You Already Own” and then brush up on industry knowledge and ideas with the top summer reading recommendations from our team.

Get More Out of Your Data with the June Webinar

On Wednesday, June 17 IgnitionOne will be hosting a free live webinar: “Harnessing the Power of the Data You Already Own.” In the 45-minute session, we’ll take a deep dive into specific ways in which you could be benefitting more from your data. Odds are, you’re sitting on a mound of usable information – you just need to get it working harder for you.

This exclusive webinar will show you how to get the most out of every nugget of information. You’ll learn how to put your data to work, distilling it down to key customer insights and using those insights to better engage your audiences to deliver better results faster. You’ll learn about the shift from reporting analytics to predictive analytics, using data to deliver stronger customer experiences, how to read data to uncover trends and more.

Don’t miss out. Get the data you own working for you faster. Register now.

Kick Back with the Summer Reading List 

Keep your smarter summer moving along by checking out the IgnitionOne Summer Reading List. This free download includes a compilation of industry books recommended by our team. From marketing technology to humorous nonfiction and beyond, browse through our favorites and take some time to relax and recharge professionally.

Download the reading list here.

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.

Introducing the Big Book of Digital Marketing

IgnitionOne and Netmining proudly present the Big Book of Digital Marketing. This all-inclusive resource provides marketers with an overview of the latest trends and fundamental changes in the marketing landscape, a compilation of articles and thought leadership from recent months. Use it as a roadmap to marketing success in 2015. This gorgeous guide is now available as a free download here: www.digitalmarketingsuite.com/big-book/.

Get fresh insights on topics including:

  • Understanding Ad Tech
  • Mastering Programmatic/RTB
  • Using a DMP with Cross-Device Customer Data
  • Navigating in the Marketing Landscape
  • Best Practices for 2015

This hefty edition is loaded with information designed to help digital marketers and agency rock stars stay on top of their game. Download your complimentary copy now.

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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.

IgnitionOne and the House of Code

Throughout the digital marketing landscape, there are but a handful of major players that are capable of servicing the online advertising needs of large companies. IgnitionOne is firmly recognized in the ad tech industry as a leader and innovator in the field. With clients such as General Motors, CenturyLink, Bridgestone, La Quinta and Fiat, as well as advertising agencies such as 360i, GroupM and iProspect ,and a fresh new round of funding, the company is growing rapidly and working feverishly to keep up with demand.

But like any technology company, all of this activity begins with, and ultimately falls back on, the core software product and the engineers who build and support it. IgnitionOne was founded on basic principles of service and innovation and that’s exactly what continues to resonate in the conversations I have had with a handful of engineers from the IgnitionOne team.

As a talent specialist, I often refer to IgnitionOne as the ideal environment for software engineers. And not just because of the beer on tap or the ping pong tables or casual dress code, but the camaraderie within the different teams. It is something very tangible you can experience even just by casually walking by the open cubes on the floor. Either it’s church quiet, or there’s the low buzz of chatter that signifies the collective intelligence of the group collaborating to achieve their goals. And you could just as easily encounter a toy helicopter buzzing around amongst gales of laughter.

The Digital Marketing Suite (DMS) is IgnitionOne’s flagship product that helps marketers to navigate the muddy waters of digital advertising. It is a beast of a system that is simple on the outside and unbelievably complex on the inside. According to engineer Michael Bower, this is one of his primary motivators. “The goal is to make life easier for end users, so that whatever we do is taking away from their daily activities and not adding to it.” For engineer Alexander Fisher, motivation comes from a different angle. “Since there isn’t really one traditional ‘architect’, a lot of that responsibility has been spread out to the rest of the team. And because of that I, get exposed to a lot of new technologies.”

But what makes teams do great things? Or, what are the makings of a great team?
Collaboration comes to mind. I don’t care if you’re a football team or a team of carpet cleaner salespeople, the attributes of a good team are the same. “Collaboration keeps everyone engaged.” Says Donella Cohen, Sr. Product Manager on the search team. “And we strive to get multiple perspectives in the development process. And for a team that’s a little over a year old I think there is unbelievably good chemistry.”

This hints at a larger process that everyone on the floor seems to appreciate compared to their previous experience; the fact that engineers and product are in such cahoots with each other – in most companies that is not the case. “Product is our collaborators” Bower says. “I’m not just sitting down banging out code just to get things done. It is a process that involves everyone.”

It is a testament to the technical leadership at IgnitionOne that Thorne Melcher, a 7 month veteran, would have the same impression as some of the more seasoned engineers.

“In other companies, developers just sit around waiting for the product owners to say ‘go’. Not here, we know what they know and we have the ability to just
start on our own as long as we know we’ll be finished by the next release, “says Thorne.

The consensus is that IgnitionOne is not just a ‘code factory’ but an idea factory that everyone in an unspoken way is responsible for making a contribution to.

It’s also very creative and I often say that the aesthetics of the environment was designed with creative and technical people in mind. Bower concurs with this idea; “It’s water cooler type collaboration vs. scheduling a time and place, and the elephant in the room of ‘don’t waste my time’. We talk about problems over lunch, on the way out the door, through Skype, etc. And the good ideas keep generating conversations that ultimately lead to solutions.

For Craig Alexander (who just celebrated his one year anniversary) the IgnitionOne technical environment is a never ending challenge. “We move mountains of data from one place to another on a daily basis, so there’s a lot of challenges around performance and scalability and the tradeoff between the two. The scale of the DMS is challenging for most of us and it was an area that was lacking in my career and something I was looking for when I was seeking employment.”

This is what is great about our intern program because an intern can come in, whether they are right out of school, still in school, or have 5 years of experience, there is a tremendous upside for them in the knowledge and skill sharpening that’s going to happen in the first 30 days.

In other words, IgnitionOne is one of those shops like Facebook or Google or Amazon where you go to raise your ‘A’ game. And it takes a particular kind of developer. Someone that’s knee deep in the technologies and “someone that’s not just a ‘Tinkerer’” as Troy Larson, VP of DevOps has often said.

But for Thorne, programming isn’t just a way of paying the bills. It is a lifelong passion that has lead her to a place that can really support the kind of thinker and collaborator she is.

“I’ve always found programming to be interesting. It’s a weird way of deconstructing completely unrelated things, picking them apart, figuring out how it works. There’s something very philosophical about programming because you have to understand the inner workings of something in order to build the virtual version in your program. It’s also incredibly rewarding.”

“The problems that I solve on a daily basis continue to be interesting and challenging.
And I think that’s very important to a lot of developers. There are challenges that don’t get boring and remain new” says Fisher.

And given the nature of the ad tech industry, there’s no shortage of challenges to solve and the team that we’ve built and continue to build at IgnitionOne are meeting those challenges head on in a way that’s all their own.

To view our available careers, click here.

New Infographic Reveals Data Flow, How it Can be Used to Benefit Customers

It’s the age of data. Did you know there will be 40 zetabytes of data by 2020? (That’s 40 with 21 zeros after it.) There’s so much of it available to marketers nowadays that it’s easy to get overwhelmed by thoughts of what to do with it and how to best use it.

To help you get a better understanding of all the data that’s out there, where it comes from, how it’s processed, and how we can benefit from it, IgnitionOne worked with other members of the Application Developers Alliance to create an infographic outlining all of this information and more.
Interesting tidbits include:

• 90% of the world’s data was created over the past 2 years.
• 80% of organizational data is unstructured. (For more on structured/unstructured data, check out this post.)
• Data can include sentiment, behavioral, demographic or descriptive information.

Check out the entire infographic:

Introducing Sitelink Builder: Providing Simplification for Search Marketers

Today IgnitionOne announced Sitelink Builder, a new and intuitive tool that drastically simplifies workflow for search marketers. Sitelink Builder allows marketers to upload, manage and report on sitelinks across multiple campaigns and groups within its paid search solution, a fully integrated module of the Digital Marketing SuiteSM (DMS), making a previously cumbersome task quick and simple for anyone using the DMS.

The innovation simplifies the process of uploading and assigning sitelinks to campaigns and groups within paid search, eliminating countless hours from a search marketer’s workload. The intricate process of adding individual sitelinks to paid search campaigns and groups can now be done in bulk.

Key Benefits:

  • Streamline the creation and editing process of sitelinks by giving search marketers the ability to create, edit text, descriptions, destination URLs and device preferences of multiple sitelinks in bulk. Marketers can create sitelinks independent of campaigns and groups and then later make those associations.
  • Easy scheduling of sitelinks with options to run on specific days and times, individually or in bulk.

“Consistent with our principle of simplicity, IgnitionOne’s release of Sitelink Builder is another innovation that gifts the marketer with the ability to be more efficient,” said Roger Barnette, President of IgnitionOne. “IgnitionOne helps marketers shed hours of manpower and resources and makes something that was once daunting an easy task.”

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