What's needed for personal digital marketing?
Capturing the innumerable actions made online every minute of every day is a big challenge. Buyer expectations are on the rise and the modern consumer expects to have interactions from brands that are personal to them. And simply bombarding consumers with impersonal content just doesn't work anymore, according to Teradata and Celebrus, who argue that an even more personal approach to digital marketing is needed.
Put simply, consumers find unpersonalised approaches highly disengaging. A key result of this is the growing requirement for 'real-time marketing', which gives marketers the power to shape one-to-one personalised messages during live website visits or call centre interactions.
The recent 'Digital Marketing Insights Report 2014' showed that many digital marketers understand the importance of real-time one-to-one personalisation and are committed to exploiting accurate customer analytics to help them achieve it.
Digital marketers with access to insightful customer analytics are reaping the rewards, with 71% reporting better customer targeting and 59% citing increased conversion rates. Unsurprisingly, web analytics is the most common analytics undertaken with almost three-quarters (72%) reporting they actively use it to support their digital marketing efforts. While web analytics still has a critical place in the digital marketer's armoury, when it comes to attempting to achieve the goal of a Single Customer View (SCV) it appears that many marketers have taken to using web analytical tools and data to try and obtain the level of detailed data analysis needed.
Delving further into the Digital Marketing Insights Report 2014, one reason for marketers' reliance on the web analytics tools becomes clearer: over 70% of respondents said they collect web analytics or aggregated web data, making it the primary method of data collection across the survey - whereas only 37% are collecting the individual level data needed for SCV development. Perhaps this reliance on tools and data designed for another purpose - i.e. to understand the web channel not individual customers - is a contributing factor to why so few (21%) have so far achieved a true omni-channel SCV.
Understanding how an individual customer interacts across multiple touchpoints is becoming more and more critical to digital marketers as they increasingly develop more sophisticated methods of engaging with customers. These customer interactions represent vast quantities of data that are highly diverse and dynamic, which makes any analysis a challenge. This new world of data-driven marketing has different requirements and needs a new approach - the ability to perform advanced analytics, such as pattern analysis, to enable the discovery of new insight.
The power to interpret these signals and take an appropriate action - increasingly in real time, across multiple devices, channels or locations to deliver a true one-to-one experience - is the key to success. This capability is transforming CRM from where it has been languishing for many years, to eCRM activities like personalisation of websites and emails based on customer behaviour. These activities are just the beginning of an engagement led customer contact strategy drawing upon product affinity, path analysis for customer journey optimisation and process re-engineering, fraud analytics and behavioural based pricing - all of which combine to provide an informed level of customer analytics only recently available to digital marketers.
Spend attribution is also a very hot topic. The ability to look at customer journeys and understand the importance of every interaction leading up to and including the final purchase highlights the inadequacies of using first or last click analysis. Some brands are receiving up to 30% budget savings by optimising paid search bidding and affiliate payments.
Through integrating online with offline data, digital marketing activity is more likely to be a success. Digital marketers are missing a trick by not coupling great online behavioural data with equally-great purchase history and other types of offline data. The integrity of a brand's SCV and personalised approach is bolstered by the depth of the data it contains and is crucial to driving a successful personalised communications campaign.