Data is just…hard. For starters, there is just SO much of it. Did you know that, according to IBM, we create 2.5 quintillion bytes of data every DAY? This is so much that 90 percent of the data in the world was created over the past two years. Mind. Blown.
For marketers, it’s no secret that data drives – or perhaps should drive – much of what we do. Capturing first-party data and building out customer profiles is necessary to improve virtually any marketing program, channel, or campaign’s ROI. I can’t think of a marketing activity or strategy that wouldn’t benefit from a rich understanding of the customer.
But what data should marketers be capturing and leveraging?
This question has been heavy on the mind of marketers over the last couple years, but there hasn’t been a ton of progress. EMarketer reported on a study by VB Insight that found 80 percent of marketers globally don’t understand their customers beyond basic data.
So what needs to be done that isn’t? And where should marketers be putting their focus? Let’s take a look.
“The key to dynamic data starts with the capture.”
Data Capture & Profile Building
The same way the secret to catching a good fish is in throwing out a line, the key to dynamic data starts with the capture. You’ve got to keep the bait appealing and move that line around regularly. Marketers must be able to reel in all the data needed to decipher indicators such as preference and intent. This process needs to be consistent and efficient across channels – whether they are mobile apps or websites.
While it may seem like a common sense tactic to target demographics when attempting to drive conversions, today, this is the lazy way out of good targeting. Figures such as location, age, gender – these data nuggets are too simple to meet the individualization levels that modern consumers demand. Yet eMarketer reported that 40 percent of marketers cited general demographics as the basis of their marketing tactics.
A more granular, diverse approach to data capture is a key component of building out richer segments and more comprehensive customer profiles, which in turn powers accurate targeting and engagement. Marketers need to hone in on individual’s behaviors, interests, needs, etc. across channels in order to optimize the interactions that make up the entire decision journey.
“Step away from the static data points.”
The key to pinpointing the right data is stepping away from the static data points and welcoming the notion that every single customer has a different set of intentions and even those change from visit to visit. Context is the essential feature of good marketing: discerning what the consumer needs in the moment based on multiple types of data. This includes time spent on a given digital property, device recognition, search tracking and intent – all of which need to be mapped out to create consistent customer data profiles from first-party data.
This amazing information – paired with more comprehensive demographic and psychographic information – has the ability to improve a swath of metrics and engage your audience on a more productive level because of its accuracy and actionabilty. This will also allow marketers to utilize past activity combined with behavioral information to better understand which devices are preferable for which users.
Data is such a powerful tool for marketers. While previous efforts were focused on more static information gathering, technology has blown the doors wide open on real-time insights into customer movements and behaviors.
Marketers have a chance to leverage dynamic sets of data to create more interactive and compelling marketing materials. The effective use of the right data allows for greater ROI, higher conversions, increased click-through rates and better engagement.
Think of solutions like look-alike targeting, for example. With this approach marketers utilize the dynamic data they have captured to reach out to new users with similar characteristics to current clients or other highly-valued audiences. This type of approach can help improve customer acquisition efforts and boost conversions but it all hinges on leveraging the right data. Marketers need to leverage marketing tech to deliver better segments of existing customer to more intelligently create cohorts of prospects for targeting.
What we’re trying to say here is that digging deeper into meaningful data is a no-brainer. There is nothing to lose and quite frankly everything to gain. The biggest barrier for marketers today? Technology. According to AdWeek, 32 percent of brands claim that the technology to capture and leverage this data isn’t available and 46 percent cited their legacy technology as a considerable obstacle.
Luckily, the tech does exist and BlueConic can help make the transition from your legacy systems virtually painless. Step up your data game with the right technology and your marketing efforts will surely fall in line.