Accurately segmenting and targeting customers is critical to developing a successful marketing campaign. As a marketer, however, you know that task is easier said than done. As marketing channels have expanded, the number of touchpoints at which you collect customer data has grown, causing fragmented customer views. Marketers may struggle with how to compile and use their data to reach the largest and best qualified consumer audiences.
One emerging solution to this problem is cross-media linkage—the process of identifying and linking together partial customer data to reconcile online and offline databases. This practice especially works well when using anonymous data, as opposed to practices relating to reverse appending lists with data from identifiable consumers.
Cross-media linkage is an effective tool that can be used to make sense of the bits and pieces of information consumers provide every day at points of sale offline, through online registrations and while surfing the Web. This data is collected at each touchpoint by marketers who, in turn, are challenged to recognize who the consumer is and match the new information with current information in their databases. Does the same consumer exist multiple times in customer and prospect databases? Do different consumers live in the same household? Without the ability to link pieces of data together, marketers cannot answer these questions and are limited in the ways they can both remarket to and best communicate with those consumers.
For example, organizations might have limited marketing options due to incomplete online or offline information, such as customer name, address and telephone number, leaving only the channels with the lowest return on investment—direct mail or telephone marketing—open to reach them. By using cross media linkage to enrich the data view, organizations can open additional marketing channels—such as commercial email, Internet display advertising and mobile—to market to customers based on each customer's channel preference.