Message Relevance Begins With Data Management
Your audience is looking for a reason to ignore you. Maybe not you personally, but certainly the marketing campaigns you're putting out to them. However, there's one silver bullet, one surefire way to get consumers’ attention and boost their level of engagement: cross-channel relevance through the use of universal profiles.
Relevant messaging is nothing new, really. Marketers have forever tried to connect their audience with a message to which they'll be most likely to respond. However, today the roles are shifting — the consumer is in control. It's time to market to the individual. Rather than the classic approach of sending the same campaign messaging/creative to everyone, build your approach around the information/savings/promotions they want most, delivered at the right moment through their channel of choice.
Things get really interesting when you add the element of real time into the mix. The ability to react to in-the-moment consumer data by layering into your messaging the details of search, social posts, email activity, SMS, etc. across multiple devices can take the simple concept of "right message at right moment" relevancy and quickly devolve into a serious challenge for marketers. It doesn't have to be, however.
The good news is that there are tools out there to help you get it right. And if you get it right, your rewards are great. Deeper brand loyalty, increased conversions and soaring return on investment are just a few of the perks for those who do. The path to truly relevant messaging starts with data. Follow this four-step process to better leverage your data in marketing campaigns:
Step No. 1: Unite your data. According to Forrester Research's "The New Messaging Mandate" report, the first step toward relevant, customer-focused messaging is to integrate your existing customer information and cross-channel activity data into a single system. All the information currently trapped in disparate messaging platforms and various data environments needs to come together in a single data warehouse where individual information can be stored within unique profiles, giving you a more complete view of the consumer. Once you're ready to unite your data, your IT team can help. There are also a handful of unified digital marketing providers available to help streamline the process.
Step No. 2: Focus on profiles, not lists. Once your data is living happily ever after in its new profile-based environment, you then have the flexibility to make use of it for advanced targeting, segmentation and increased relevance — regardless of channel. Forget the lists and think in segments. By setting up simple (or advanced) display rules to manage campaign content, marketers can efficiently automate the delivery of relevant messaging to individuals or segments hands free when specific conditions are met. That means you can leverage individual data points such as recent search activity, product preferences, order history, ad exposures, email click activity, etc. to inform relevant email content, display ad images, next-visit site personalization, SMS promotions and more. This cross-channel campaign relevance only works when you have accessible, profile-based data that seamlessly integrates across message delivery channels.
Step No. 3: Step away from the silo. As mentioned earlier, true relevance is possible when you release the data trapped within separate channels to inform messaging. It may also mean abandoning a single channel "siloed" solution for a more robust "messaging engine of record." According to Forrester Research, "Having too many delivery vendors compounds channel silos, obstructs a single customer view and complicates the right channeling of messaging … Better technology options mean that marketers can now use one main vendor as a 'messaging engine of record' that can manage most channels. It's better to find a platform that natively integrates delivery channels with your profile-based data environment. This helps to avoid the time-consuming upload/import/export chaos that comes from piecing together noncompatible ‘solutions.’" It's time to tear down the silos.
Step No. 4: Send smarter. All of this data properly put to use can make a significant impact on campaign ROI when you personalize the content of campaigns around the wants and needs of the individual. It truly can take e-commerce to the next level. Once you begin to make use of all that customer information within a universal profile environment, actionable analytics (e.g., cadence strategies, multivariate testing and advanced segmentation strategies) are within close reach.
Data is the structure that supports relevant messaging. Sending an appealing campaign may no longer be enough. Today it's about getting the right message to the correct person at the precise moment of receptiveness through their channels of choice. It's placing the customer at the center, personalizing the brand experience in a way that makes the recipient feel like you "get" them. Relevant campaigns can certainly help cut through the barrage of messaging out there. When you know what interests an individual and what they're looking for, relevant messaging coordinated across multiple digital channels not only gets their attention but also helps convert browsers into buyers.
(Note: If you'd like more information on the impact of data-driven relevance, access this case study on Knotice customer Oreck: http://www.knotice.com/whitepapers/forrester-Oreck-Case-Study/index.html)
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