Personalizing Your Marketing? You're Gonna Need Bigger Data

In an increasingly saturated marketplace with a growing number of offline and online advertising channels, how can you, as a marketer, expect to cut through all the noise and reach your target audience?

Enter personalization. It’s the present and future of marketing.

Gone are the days when advertisers could focus their budgets mostly on big TV spends and generalized mass targeting. These days, you’ve got to get personal, and marketers have to make omnichannel personalization the cornerstone of their strategy to be successful.

Omnichannel Marketing Personalization

Tailoring experiences to individual consumers is nothing new. Think about omnichannel marketing like a personal shopper, a dedicated consultant following you around as you shop, helping you find what you need, and hoping you’ll spend big.

Omnichannel marketing personalization is fundamentally the same, except that instead of one personal shopper targeting one customer in one store, omnichannel marketing is doing it on a massive scale—personalizing experiences for thousands of consumers across different channels.

In theory, omnichannel personalization enables marketers to serve segment-specific ad content en masse at every touchpoint along the conversion path.

The problem is that multichannel conversion paths make it difficult to track, understand, and optimize a user’s buyer’s journey.

Moreover, customers discover brands from a wide range of digital and offline media. In fact, it can take 7 to 13 (or more!) touches to generate sales-ready, qualified leads.

Think with Google’s Customer Journey to Online Purchase tool perfectly illustrates the multi-channel touchpoints that contribute to a user’s conversion journey.

 

With so many different channels and content media for every touchpoint, how can you predict where users will go next, and make sure you’re there to guide them along the buying process?

In addition, marketers must also make sure that they’re not only customizing their content for each medium but also personalizing their messaging for each user. For example, marketers must optimize for the buyer drawn by Facebook ads and email coupons, just as they must optimize for the buyer drawn to Google searches and blogs.

Today, there’s a growing and demanding expectancy that everything be personalized. Customers expect brands to solve their unique problems, not simply offer a one-size-fits-all solution.

No longer willing to wait for answers, consumers want immediate resolutions. As a result, customer service and marketing communications need to adjust to the Netflix era by being available on demand.

And why should you take the time and make the effort to reach consumers on an individual level?

A Proven Revenue Driver

Infosys’s consumer study found 78% of consumers would be more likely to purchase from a retailer again if the retailer provided offers targeted to their interests, wants, or needs. And marketers agree: VentureBeat’s survey of 506 global marketers recently found that between 70- 94% of respondents achieve better results from personalization, based on upticks in metrics like email open rates, app installs, website visits, and return visits.

So how do you actually optimize the conversion journey on the user level? Two words: Big Data.

Big Data Explained

Big Data is the buzzword you can’t stop hearing—but it’s not going anywhere. Big Data not only provides the volume, detail, and complexity of audience information you can access but also gives you insights into what you can do with that data.

For example, you’re probably already targeting consumers based on personalization signals: social ads based on geolocation, remarketing as a result of click behavior and site searches, and more. But you’re only seeing one part of the picture, namely what the user has done and where he or she did it.

What if, instead, you could create comprehensive and predictive communication campaigns that automatically engage with the individual users most likely to buy in? Big Data can help you see this bigger picture and then actually act upon it.

Solving the Personalization Problem

Big Data provides invaluable information about your consumers. If you’re able to connect every channel and capture all of your customer data, including interests, behaviors, and purchases, you can produce a truly unified view of your customers.

At this level, you’re able to personalize your targeting and give each user the information he or she needs and the experience desired. The insights you gain from Big Data will help you drive better marketing decisions, resulting in improved customer engagement, increased customer retention, and optimized marketing performance.

Getting Started With Big Data Marketing

Big Data is a beast. You’re going to need a plan of attack to identify, measure, analyze, and store the precise data you need to accomplish your objectives.

Step 1: Determine Your Goals

What are you aiming to accomplish? Establish KPIs from the start and be prepared to measure your results.

Step 2: Partner With Your IT Team

Your marketing team needs to work in partnership with your IT team to launch a successful campaign.

Technology is at the basis of Big Data collection, storage, analysis, and action.

Some 49% of global marketers report that they needed to align with sales, service, and support more closely to provide connected customer experiences.

Before getting started with Big Data marketing, you need to create an open line of communication and ask for your IT team’s feedback on capabilities. In doing that from the start, you will achieve greater results together.

Step 3: Audit Your Existing Data

Take a look at what data you already have that is readily accessible and necessary for your campaign, and ask yourself the following questions:

  • Is the data meaningful, measurable, and actionable?
  • What insights are you able to gain from your data that can inform your marketing strategy?
  • How clean is the data?
  • Is it complete, up to date, and organized effectively? If not, what steps must you take to clean up existing data to make it work for you?

Step 4: Determine What Additional Data You Need

What data do you not have that you think would be valuable for your campaign? Create a wish list, and work with your team to access the information that will drive your marketing strategy.

Step 5: Evaluate Your Current Data-Management Process

How do you currently collect, store, and manage data? If your data management process isn’t efficient, you’ll have trouble finding what you need and taking smart actions. If your data is unorganized, inefficiently pulled from a wide variety of sources, or outdated, a data-management platform may be crucial in getting it under control.

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The possibilities of Big Data are endless, and with the right tools, you can harness its power to drive revenue through marketing personalization. If you give your customers the experience they crave, they’ll keep coming back for more.

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