For years, Gartner Digital Marketing Conference has been the place to be for marketers that want to gain strategy to drive real business results. This year’s conference was no exception, featuring a theme of “Think Big. Execute Smart. Deliver Growth” with practical information for marketers on how to go beyond merely knowing the customer by using data, insights and technology.
This theme of data-driven marketing is especially relevant, because if marketers can agree on one thing, it’s that data is the new oil. It empowers a higher level of consumer understanding that, in turn, creates an ability to cultivate a highly personalized consumer journey.
However, while the industry loves to talk about all of the benefits of smarter execution, it’s not as important as discussing how to acquire the data assets you need. If you want oil, you need to know how to drill for it. For many marketers, this is beyond overwhelming. Your brand may be a CPG and have only a little CRM data, or perhaps your IT and Marketing teams haven't been so good at connecting back-end systems in the past.
The good news is that there’s no need to panic! You're not alone, and it's a solvable problem. Follow the information, detailed below, from the “Help! I Have No Data” session presented at this year’s Gartner Digital Marketing Conference. These five steps tell you exactly which types of data you need to create a successful data strategy--and how.
The 5 Types of Data You’ll Need For A Successful Data Strategy
1. Obtain market research panel data for a full view of the competitive landscape
Most marketers are all too familiar with market research panel data. It’s the best place to start when developing an integrated data strategy, because it represents the path of least resistance: It isn’t dependent on anything internally, so marketers that start with this data can achieve a quick win by purchasing the data from vendors. The purpose of the data itself is also a great reason to start with market research panel data, because it allows marketers to get a detailed understanding of the competitive landscape, and more importantly, their potential market segments within that landscape.
For example, an alcoholic beverage brand might work with a market research panel data vendor to learn more about the audience for a new fine wine that they are introducing. They’d look to that data to answer questions like, for which occasions do consumers interested in wine purchase a more expensive bottle of fine wine? And what other interests and propensities does that audience have?
Research companies like Nielsen, IPSOS, Millward Brown, and GfK all have competitive offerings for marketers searching for the answers to questions like these. Amobee’s Brand Intelligence is another solution for marketers to consider, taking market research panel data to another level by also allowing marketers to understand what digital content consumers are reading, viewing and tweeting about, and the ability to quickly translate those insights into custom contextual targeting.
2. Leverage third party data to profile the consumers that are likely to convert
Third party data is equally valuable to marketers, but for a different reason: it enables explicit user targeting. In other words, by providing marketers with individual level data, third party data allows marketers to target consumers on a person-by-person basis. The information portrayed reveals information about a consumer’s demographics, interests, or even intent attributes.
Paired with market research panel data, third party data could then be used for highly tactical digital marketing targeting. For example, that very same beverage brand would layer these two types of data to get richer insights to learn that momentous occasions like weddings and anniversaries may cause their audience to purchase a nice bottle of wine, and then target the individual consumers that are experiencing those occasions with a personalized digital marketing strategy.
Third party data is the second stop on the data path of least resistance, since it is relatively easy to acquire for marketers. Get it from data aggregators like Oracle, LiveRamp, Lotame or Experian, or find it in your DMP or DSP.
3. Take advantage of your non-sales first party data to learn more about your customers
Taking the first step into proprietary data territory, non-sales first party data will require the marketer to come up with some data on their own. Like third party data, first party data consists of individual level information about consumers. But unlike third party data, first party data comes from a number of owned-channels such as your website, CRM, digital media impressions, email, call center, store visits, feedback forms, etc.
And while it can take some time to acquire the right caliber and quantity of first party data, there are a few incentives that should keep marketers interested. First, since it’s your data, you don’t have to pay for it. Second, it’s unique by definition--none of your competitors have access to it.
Once acquired, marketers should take advantage of the differentiated nature of first party data to learn more about their customers. What pages did they visit on your website? What questions did they ask your call center? What email link did they click on? A travel company could use first party data to explore the correlation between paid media and the movement of their customers. An analysis like this might reveal that media exposure has a high correlation with customers staying in, thus informing their ongoing media strategy.
4. Make your media spend count by analyzing first-party online sales data
The importance of real sales data in any marketing strategy can’t be overstated. It tells a very important story for marketers about who is buying their products, which products they’re buying, even what products they aren’t buying.
The versatility of first party sales data can be channeled in a number of different ways, but arguably one of the most important uses is media efficiency, such as cross-device frequency capping, or suppressing an ad campaign after the customer has already purchased the product. When executed properly, media efficiency is a win-win situation for both the consumer and the marketer. The consumer never has to see an irrelevant ad for a product they’ve already purchased, and the marketer can allocate spend to consumers that have not yet purchased the product.
Since it’s proprietary, you’ll to devote internal resources to the task of acquiring and analyzing first party data, but it may be easier than you think. For most marketers, getting the data by installing tags on your ecommerce website or app, deploying a DMP or DSP, or from a CRM is entirely achievable.
5. Close the gap between the offline and online worlds by taking first party offline sales data into account
Consumer interactions with brands do not exist in a purely digital environment. Much of what consumers purchase is in the offline world of brick and mortar stores. And while, for some brands, it may seem like a pipe dream, offline sales data is integral to any data strategy for one overarching reason: it shows exactly how effective a digital marketing campaign is.
Most marketers have come to realize that the difficulty of acquiring offline sales data is a bit of a mixed bag--it largely depends on the brand and the vertical. For direct-to-consumer brands, it isn’t an overwhelming challenge since they have proprietary brick and mortar stores. For everyone else, it can be a bit more complicated.
When viewed in isolation, CPGs that sell their products through grocery stores and pharmacies are blind to whether their digital marketing efforts are resulting in offline sales. To solve this problem, CPGs need a need to utilize products like the offline Sales Accelerator that allow them to receive offline sales data in near real time so that they can optimize their digital marketing efforts accordingly.
Take the path of least resistance to get started today.
Developing an effective data strategy takes a lot of time, hard work and expertise. For many marketers, only certain types of data will prove to be important, so first focus on the problems that you’re trying to solve, then work to understand which types of data can best help you solve the puzzle. You want your data to work for you, not the other way around.
You’re not alone. Even the most experienced marketers struggle to develop a fully integrated data strategy. That’s why it’s important to invest the time and have the winning combination of in-house talent and a technology partner with a history of driving results for the best brands and agencies. Amobee has the technology and expertise to help you develop that winning data strategy to drive measurable results to your bottom line.
Contact the Amobee team today to learn more.