Digital Customer Acquisition in the Age of Privacy: 2 How-tos
Customer acquisition online is getting more and more difficult, because privacy laws are picking up speed, most e-commerce marketers offer steep discounts and, despite all of that, customers expect relevant offers.
In a report released yesterday, WBR Insights and SheerID find that two solutions provide answers to those woes. Those are the main concerns of 150 marketing leaders at retail, travel, financial services, consumer-packaged goods and food services brands. Most respondents’ companies generate at least $1 billion in annual revenue.
“We found a certain irony in the results of this survey,” stated Jake Weatherly, CEO of SheerID, a digital verification platform. “At a time when a seemingly unlimited number of advertising vehicles are available to marketers, these professionals are struggling more than ever to get the attention and business of consumers because of oversaturation. What also seems clear — certainly in the context of promotions — is that marketers who take a more selective, targeted approach with their campaigns are the ones who are feeling less pressure to meet their acquisition and revenue goals.”
Here are SheerID’s recommendations for marketers looking to increase customer acquisition:
Gate Targeted Offers
It may feel like this will limit volume, but SheerID assures readers of its survey that gating targeted offers that are personalized — as much as their messages are now — will increase conversions.
Requiring college students to verify their status in order to receive opted in back-to-school offers, for instance, not only aids in customer acquisition, it complies with new privacy regulations that are making digital targeting more difficult — like GDPR and its American equivalents. Surveyed marketers rated online privacy worries — from legislation and popular advertising platforms, like social media networks — as the biggest worry for 19 percent of marketers and the second-largest challenge in customer acquisition for 21 percent of those surveyed.
The plurality of survey respondents, 36 percent, say they’ll use gated offers as part of their promotion mixes, going forward. A plurality, 23 percent, also said brand differentiation is a problem at the moment, with 61 percent of respondents regularly using universal price discounting as a customer acquisition tactic.
Add to that the omnipresent noise, reads the report:
“Overall, 90 percent of all marketers run promotions quarterly or more.”
Gating offers allows marketers to target opted in customers based on criteria including occupation, life stage or affiliation — such as teachers, students, seniors or the military, reads the research.
Ad Targeting and Personalization Can Cut Through the Clutter
The research states that marketers are spending more on advertising and upping the frequency of their outreach, but that and universal discounting is making ad relevance even more difficult. For instance, the Americans among Instagram’s 2 million active users see between 4,000 and 10,000 ads a day.
Offering universal discounts hits travel and retail marketers the hardest, but financial services marketers are faring the best. SheerID says 63 percent of FinServ marketers have enough information about customers to offer selective or exclusive promotions to, for instance, military veterans.
“The prevailing wisdom in marketing has been that more personal and targeted campaigns drive results.”
Target Marketing blogger Stephen H. Yu writes that marketers can personalize offers based on known behavior — which is much easier after customer acquisition:
“If marketers set up personas that ‘they’ need to push their products, and update them periodically (say once a year), they can gain tremendous momentum in reaching out to customers and prospects more proactively. If they just rely on specific product purchases to trigger a series of product recommendations, outreach programs will remain at the level of general promotions.
“Further, even inbound visits can be personalized better (granted that you identified the visitor) using the personas and set of rules in terms of what product goes well with what persona.
“The reason why models work well — man-made or machine-built — is because human behavior is predictable with reasonable consistency. We are all extensions of our past behaviors to a greater degree than the evolution rate of products and technologies.”
What do you think, marketers?
Please respond in the comments section below.