In a rapidly digitalising world, it’s more important than ever for brands to create personalised experiences and digital touch points that bring customers smoothly down the funnel. But without the right data and technology tools, marketers have struggled to connect the dots for effective personalisation.
What many brands don’t realise is that they already have the data they need to kickstart a meaningful digital marketing transformation. This article explores how marketers can lean into data and marketing technology (MarTech) to empower business growth.
There are three types of data brands need to be familiar with. Third-party data, which is anonymised, comprises information collected by an entity that doesn’t have a direct relationship with the user. ADA’s Data Management Platform XACT, for example, combines data from nearly 400 million consumer profiles across South and Southeast Asia to help marketers acquire deep insights on customer behaviour and to create customised audience segments for hyper-personalisation.
Second-party data is the first-party data of an external organisation that’s been made available for purchase or been put into the public domain for free. In contrast, first-party data is collected directly from a brand’s interactions with its customers via offline and online touch points such as websites, apps, emails, or in-store purchases. Lastly, zero-party data was coined by Forrester Research to describe the data a customer intentionally and proactively shares with a brand, which can include their purchase preferences.
Because it’s owned by the brand itself, first-party data can be a marketer’s most powerful tool to activate customers. And with the rise of walled garden platforms such as TikTok and Instagram, brands face additional hurdles in customer personalisation through other forms of data. By collecting authentic data directly from customers in a privacy-compliant manner, marketers can reduce the risk that their data produces false signals. Moreover, first-party data is usually obtained for free, making it a cost-effective resource for marketers.
Nonetheless, brands should be careful to avoid the “data bucket” trap. Customer data tends to be collected at the touch point level and get siloed into their respective data bucket. For example, brands that have a website and a mobile app may interact with the same customer differently on the two touch points. The overlap of that data could yield useful insights about customer preferences, but as long as they are walled off from each other, their potential remains untapped. Without a single source of truth, brands will not be able to notice that when they try to optimise a touch point on its own, the whole customer experience suffers as a result.
To overcome those issues, marketers can leverage customer data platforms (CDP), a MarTech tool that integrates data across all online and offline touch points into an actionable single customer view.
Implementing a CDP solution starts with mapping the customer journey. Brands should remember to offer a strong value proposition to customers in exchange for their data throughout that journey. The next step is to design a data capture system at each touch point that feeds into the CDP. Those data points can include interactions with online advertisements and websites and even in-store visits. The CDP then merges the data to extract insights such as predicting purchase intent, which allows the brand to take the necessary actions on both their online and offline channels to close the sale.
Japanese carmaker Subaru turned to a CDP to consolidate their customer data, and then utilised machine learning to target customers who were most likely to make a purchase. Each of those customer journeys was personalised to get them closer to converting. Now Subaru taps into post-purchase customer data and predictive analytics to design new products and services that further boost customer lifetime value.
To enable personalisation at scale, brands should connect the dots via a CDP. As marketers deal with an ever-expanding universe of touch points and data, their ability to deliver seamless, personalised experiences to customers in an omnichannel environment will rest on the strength of their MarTech stack. To be sure, implementing a CDP is a complex undertaking for brands. But those willing to make the investment will see striking improvements in their customer experience across the path to purchase.
Learn more about leveraging first-party data by watching the video from our Re.Con on-demand webinar.
Chris leads Marketing Technology, a team dedicated to helping businesses understand growth opportunities. We start by looking at their current business, customer and technology, from this we look at their full marketing and sales funnel to identify growth strategies. We then work to bring these growth strategies to life and continuously optimize them.
With over 15 year’s experience in digital marketing technology. He previously worked in Sitecore as Head Of Alliances, helping over 200 partners in APAC deliver marketing technology solutions to customers. Before that he worked at Ogilvy where he built a CX/UX division from the ground up working across 12 countries and as a digital consultant to help businesses drive growth covering digital channels, CRM, data, mobile and ecommerce.
In his spare time, he sits on the advisory board for Republic Polytechnic to help groom the next generation of Singapore talent from the School of Arts & Technology.