Marketers often expend a lot of energy trying to get customers’ email addresses. Then they use those to…send emails.
That’s a logical use for such data, but such marketers are overlooking a huge internal resource. Because they developed separately, many companies keep their marketing automation separate from their digital advertising outreach. If you pool data from both though, you can make your digital advertising much more targeted and effective.
A recent example of this is 3 Day Blinds. The company, which sells premium custom window treatments, learned this lesson after it enlisted Marketo and Turn to apply data culled from email to its advertising. The result was a dramatic increase in ad effectiveness.
As Shawn Nelsen, manager of sales analysis for 3 Day Blinds, recently explained, the solution – email – was hiding in plain sight. “We knew that there’s got to be a better way to communicate with our customers once we’ve got this information,” he said. “We’ve got all these leads out there and we treated them all the same.”
The company used Marketo to automate its email communication, a process that involved breaking the customer base down into segments. Then, Turn cross-referenced the data with behavioral targeting and was able to put ads in front of such customers. Turn did so on an anonymized basis. For example, if Turn served up an ad, it might know that you are a homeowner and live in a certain geographic area, but it wouldn’t know your name.
For 3 Day Blinds, this was a big change. Previously, the company’s marketing revolved around “Kathy,” a 35-plus educated homeowner who drove German cars. Kathy was a composite, based on data of previous buyers. Dan Williams, chief revenue officer for 3 Day Blinds,” said he realized this was a flawed approach since it prompted the brand to ignore other potential customers. “At the end of the day, any customer that buys from us is a customer we want,” he said. “A lot of times marketers pigeonhole themselves to find a specific type of person.”
After running an ad campaign that was informed by e-mail-based data, 3-Day Blinds’ click-through-rates jumped 140%. Leads per click also rose 850%. Best of all, the appointments per impression went up 5,000%, meaning the company is now paying a fifth of what it previously spent to get the same results.
What Marketers Can Learn From This
What 3 Day Blinds did wasn’t exceptional. These days, most companies have some sort of email-based CRM program that is used to help get new customers and nurture existing customers. Now, technology is available that lets companies use the same data to vastly improve its ad targeting.
In particular, Marketo introduced a tool in April called AdBridge that connects CRM data with programmatic ad buys. Marketo also announced a partnership with Turn in September. While Marketo focuses on refining CRM data, Turn’s area of expertise is ad targeting. The company mines data from desktop and mobile to discern consumers’ purchasing patterns and preferences.
Such online signifiers, like mobile device IDs and ad IDs, are anonymous. However, by using such data in tandem with Marketo’s Turn can identify users by their profile and serve them appropriate ads. As Matt Westover, Turn’s VP of product marketing, explained, the ads can be used to reinforce an email-based message: “Maybe on the same day that they are sending out an email blast to people who they are trying to get to sign up for a second room they can make sure that they are getting additional frequency against that same exact segment population with their digital advertising as well.”
In addition, data from Marketo and Turn can be used to find “lookalike audiences” – consumers who fit a very similar profile and thus might be receptive to the ad messages.
The infusion of data explains why ads are much more effective. Previously, 3-Day Blinds’ advertising was aimed at a broad swath of people who fit the approximate profile of Kathy. Now, the ads are being put in front of consumers who are much more likely than most to actually make a purchase. Considering the results that 3 Day Blinds enjoyed, it probably won’t be long until many more marketers make the same adjustment.
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