What makes for effective, brilliant marketing today? You need to do everything that marketing has always done – reach the right people with the right message at the right time. And in the right place (or on the right channel). And at scale.
And it’s about personalization. Massive amounts of personalization. 70% of millennials are frustrated with brands sending irrelevant emails. Customer-centric companies are 60% more profitable than companies whose focus is a little fuzzy.
Which means it’s really all about data.
Data: The Known Unknown
At three recent marketing summits, we asked close to 200 senior marketing leaders from across Europe and North America for their thoughts on some of the most common marketing data challenges.
“Everybody has a lot of data already,” said Markus Klöschen from digital marketing analytics company Searchmetrics. “The key challenges are really to understand what is missing, what can we do with the data that we have, how can we find the data that we need, and how do we get from data to actionable insights.”
Moving From Data to Insight
“I think data can become overwhelming when you don’t know why you need it, what its purpose is, when you cannot organize it, read it and turn it into insights,” said Tiffany Grinstead from Fortune 100 insurance company Nationwide. “As marketers, it’s our job to figure out how can we get that data, harness it, with our technology partners, and figure out what are the insights.
“For us, useful insights often take the form of problem statements that allow us to figure out how to use the data, aligned to organizational purpose, to drive change. For example, we have a lot of data about the causes of accidents. When we get meaningful insights from that data, we share how to avoid these accidents. And more people are alive today because of the way we use that data.
“The big question we’re always looking to answer is: what are those insights that are going to make a difference to our customers’ lives?”
Getting Ready for a Cookie-less Future
Beyond insight, our attendees also talked about the death of third-party cookies, something that will affect every marketer who currently achieves personalization by blending first- and third-party data.
We asked our CMO summit attendees, what are you planning to do in a cookie-less world? Five percent said they will be partnering with companies to fill in the gaps. 16% said they’ll be offering incentives for consumers to opt-in to tracking. 32% will be shifting advertising spend for effective targeting. But nearly half of our delegation, 47%, said they’ll be investing more in first-party data.
There is much evidence that companies can expect a substantial return on such an investment – PwC said consumers will pay a 16% price premium for great customer experience. But don’t rush to the company credit card just yet, because an Accenture study said 83% of consumers are willing to share their data to create a more a personalized experience and BRP Consulting said 64% of consumers are fine with retailers saving their purchase history and preferences if it allows them to offer more personalized experiences.
So maybe you only need ask?
First You Need Trust
The answer is yes… If your customers trust you. “It does intersect in a big way with purpose,” said Tiffany Grinstead during a panel discussion on unifying creativity, analytics, and purpose. “92% of consumers think that more should be done by companies to protect their privacy. Seven out of ten customers want personalization so long as the company is not using data they got from somewhere else. Trust means so much right now. Do I trust you and do I trust your purpose?”
Second You Need Speed
But winning first-party data is not only about trust. It’s also about creating a powerful value exchange. “If you provide helpful content, people will opt in,” said James Meyers from customer data platform company Action IQ. And while this may appear to favor larger companies with a bigger footprint, speed is seen as a real competitive advantage – especially by larger companies. Walt Disney’s Jennifer Miles put it best: “Sometimes smaller companies move fast, so they can be scrappier.”
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