The best marketing strategies evolve and grow with the consumer. In this six-part series, we focus on Relationship Marketing and how to get started with a marketing strategy that matures as a consumer’s relationship with a brand changes. Find the first part here.
Between social media platforms, Google analytics, and data collected through your website or other owned efforts, you probably have so much data you could swim through it, à la Scrooge McDuck. All of that data can be overwhelming. Is it reliable? Is it accurate? Are you actually doing anything with it?
By: Jennifer Yeadon, Cheetah Digital
It’s time to stop collecting data just to collect it. It’s time to start being intentional about what you’re collecting and why you’re collecting it.
The gold standard of relationship marketing
The gold standard for a relationship marketing strategy is collecting and acting on data. But not just any data, the right kind of data. In my last article, I spoke about collecting zero-party data using a value exchange. It’s one of the best ways to collect data points that go beyond the first-party data you can passively collect through forms, purchase data, and the like. Zero-party data is the preference data that helps you get to know a consumer, that turns them from an unknown consumer into a known customer — one you can start building a relationship with.
But here’s the truth about collecting zero-party data: you’re never really done collecting it. People grow, circumstances change and there will always be something new to learn about your customer. This is important to grasp, as relationship marketing is about building and then nurturing the relationship. Just like your personal relationships, it involves consistently checking in.
Instead of casting a wide net to capture data points you don’t need, try working on enriching your data by collecting preferences, interests, and other psychographic data. Think of maybe 20 or so things that you'd like to know about your customer. Then, start asking them 1-2 questions at a time, aligning the conversation with the information you're trying to collect. Understand their needs and how you can meet them, while also promoting how you can meet those needs. This way, you can take the relationship beyond just transactions, and increase personalized communications.
Cruising along to your final destination: a better understanding of your customers
A great example of enriching the data you have is how American Airlines engages its customers. Instead of simply sending out promotions and getting that one-time hit of engagement, they wanted to see if they could encourage repeat engagement with months-long campaigns. And not just for the sake of getting more clicks and possible purchases, but to genuinely listen to their customers.
They started by asking customers to opt-in to an opportunity. From there, they worked to get to know their customers by asking them specific questions in fun quizzes. Where do you like to travel? What would you pack on your next trip? Will your next trip be for business or personal? Every time customers engaged, they’d get points for participating, while in the background, the airline assembled profiles that would inform personalized campaigns and offers.
One such campaign involved creating personalized destination recommendations powered by preference data gathered from their quizzes. They wanted to encourage customers to think about new places to travel to that they hadn’t considered before. By personalizing messages based on their zero-party data insights, American Airlines saw 50% open rates on these emails, with an 84% completion rate on their quizzes. On top of that, they have enriched profiles that show that American Airlines cares about listening to and engaging with their customers.
Safeguarding a modern data strategy
A zero-party data strategy is one that respects consumers and their data, by making sure that the data collected is done willingly, consensually, and with full transparency about how it will be used.
But there are other issues on the horizon surrounding data use, one being how it will be used in new digital landscapes like Facebook’s metaverse. Chris Wylie, the Cambridge Analytica whistleblower and author, will be talking to Cheetah Digital CMO Richard Jones about the metaverse, the future of marketing, and how privacy will be affected by these new technologies. Join the conversation by signing up for this webinar: The Metaverse, Marketing and Future of Privacy.
Jennifer Yeadon is the Managing Content Editor at Cheetah Digital. She enjoys writing about marketing, technology, and everything in between.