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Rethinking the conventional in consumer analytics
“Drive relevance at every consumer touchpoint!” - That’s the rallying cry in the war for customer share of wallet. When customers are met with content that causes them to hit the back button, the real hit comes in at the bottom line. Today, too many companies are floundering in their attempt to infuse relevance and extend reach in their marketing activities: They’re spending even more money on a wider array of channels and pumping up funding in digital assets.
Creating the best, most relevant experience at every customer touchpoint does not necessitate more—more ads, more channels, more cost—but it does require a re-thinking of conventional thought that needs reinventing to deliver the full promise of analytics. Those companies willing to push past the conventional will obtain the remarkable: relevance at scale and an unassailable competitive advantage.
Podcast: Achieving Relevance at Scale Through AnalyticsLearn how consumer analytics can drive relevant marketing experiences at every touchpoint.
Achieving relevance at scale—where the most pertinent content reaches the most promising customers at the moments of greatest influence across multiple channels and markets—does not necessarily require more campaigns, websites and costs to appeal to each segment. It means putting analytics to work, ensuring each campaign experience and every site visit is precise and relevant to each target.
That demands rethinking conventional wisdom and the traditional processes and structures that govern media planning and buying, measurement, data management and everything in between.
There are a number of changes in measurement and targeting, integration, and data sharing that can be made to help companies achieve true relevance at scale:
Measurement and targeting: There is clear evidence that in digital, what content a consumer is exposed to in the current session has the strongest effects on conversion. Being able to leverage real-time behavioral data to gain insights about consumer intent alongside other sources will make the relevance tuning even more precise.
Consider a company that not only knows what searches a potential buyer has performed before entering their site, but also whether this visit is their first or fifth. This specific behavioral data provides insight into exactly what follow-up content is most relevant and drives the buyer to the next stage of the decision cycle.
Integration: Integrated marketing has been the mantra of most companies for decades. The digital age adds yet another stream of data to assess in terms of judging the contribution of a multitude of levers—from mass mailing to online promotion to print advertising. Despite the drive for integration, most marketing organizations are composed of silos all with their own measurement techniques for understanding return on investment.
Smart companies are those that are creating true integration—using the same measurement standards and reporting structures, and feeding them into one holistic view that represents the real value gained through integrated efforts. The result? Less fragmented campaigns, transparency of return on marketing investment and improved marketing planning for the future, and a more precisely relevant customer experience.
Data sharing: Achieving relevance at scale calls for a radical rethinking of how IT should handle data management. Gone are the days of big investments in data warehouses that hold masses of data, most of which fail to shine light on consumer behavior. Now companies are turning toward solutions that enable better decisions by driving the most relevant data—from both digital and traditional sources—across organizations.
So only information that has a predictive power—where consumers have been and why and what is their intent—will be trafficked. And more and more of this so-called “audience management data” is migrating to the cloud so that it’s accessible in real-time instead of being siloed in a data warehouse.
Companies who observe and proactively change their operating modes in the ways shown above should anticipate greater competitive advantage.
March 15, 2012
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