Today's consumer is undergoing a significant change in behavior surrounding purchasing decision and media consumption. The consumer engages with the brand in multiple channels at different times in a very fragmented journey to get to the purchase decision. These changes in consumer behavior have a significant impact on advertising, media and B2C industries such as retail, healthcare, insurance, and automotive.
The big challenge for marketers is to answer key questions such as:
- Who is consuming the media that we produce?
- Which ads are doing well on which media channels?
- What is influencing the consumer's purchase decisions?
- What are consumers buying and where are they buying from?
Historically, when marketers and business strategists dealt with a limited set of content formats and channels with sequential and predictable consumer journeys, it was reasonable to expect to make an educated decision on the approach to engaging the consumer with the brand. In today's world there are:
- Multiple content formats and are constantly changing
- New ways to consume and publish content are emerging every day
- No clear path to a purchase decision and consumers are in control of defining their own
- Consumer expections for frictionless experiences that are personalized, real-time, and contextualized
There is a significant need for marketers to capture and draw insights from effective performance metrics across multiple channels and unify them to a single consumer to understand their behavior. With ever-increasing marketing spend, it is imperative for marketers to optimize spends and show actual measurable ROI to the organization.
To optimize their spend and prove ROI, not just at the end of conversion but at every stage of the purchase process, marketers need to get a deeper understanding of the consumer's behaviors that lead to decision and actions. It's not just about last click or imprint attribution but it is also about the understanding of "cause and effect" behavior patterns and its influences.
This requires a significant change in the way data is collected, processed and used within the organization. The traditional model was based on a small group/sample and making generalizations for a broader set of people. The new digital reality requires technologies and processes to be more data-centric and real-time, based on actual data input from large-scaled audiences. This change from traditional methods to data-centric methods is happening very quickly.
For example, in a January 2017, Winterberry study that interviewed 100+ top marketers, and it was found that increasing the quality and measurability of their data is very high on their priority list.
Question: Which factors do you expect will be most important in driving ahead your data-driven marketing and media initiatives in the year ahead?
Source: IAB/Winterberry, "Outlook for Data 2017" – Jan, 2017
The same study found the cross-channel measurement and attribution was the #1 area on which the surveyed group planned to spend their time in 2017.
Question: Which use cases do you expect will most occupy your time, attention and resources during 2017?
Source: IAB/Winterberry, "Outlook for Data 2017" – Jan 2017
This approach to data-driven marketing will require new technologies or platforms (Customer Data Platform; CDP) that are focused on real-time data capture, analysis, visualization, and segmentation. If we ignore all the hype and the out-of-this-world promises of a CDP, at the core, such a platform will provide marketers the ability to:
• Ingest real-time data streams
• Unify disparate customer data channels with a single customer view
• Make this unified data visible to external systems to take action
Such a platform will enable marketers to get a single view of each customer and allows them to make better use of their first-party data to more accurately segment and drive hyper-personalized experiences. A data-driven approach to contextualizing experiences and delivering personalized advertising will not only help marketers optimize their spend, but also increase their effectiveness and be able to prove ROI for various activities performed by their organization.
Identifying the right customer data platform for your business and then developing a strategy to effectively utilize and implement it is the key to success. We at HGS Digital help our customers manage through the development of a strategy, selection, and implementation of CDPs and digital experience platforms. Contact us at email@example.com if you think we can help you.