Why Profiles Matter When Reaching the Hyper-Connected Consumer
Interactive marketers are becoming increasingly aware of the value of collecting and storing data within individual profiles while shifting away from lists. What does this mean, especially for traditional marketers trying to better reach their audience in a multichannel, multidevice age?
Profiles offer an opportunity to "know" each consumer on a more intimate basis. Just as the best salespeople never forget a face, profiles allow brands online to never forget a consumer they "meet," albeit digitally. When you engage consumers through a website experience or email, for instance, there's an opportunity to record information about each interaction (with permissions), enriching a data profile that holds within it information about that specific consumer. Data can include page views on your website, email clicks, searches, preferences, purchases, interests, etc.
When people interact with your brand digitally for the first time, a unique profile is created to store that information. These profiles can then be identified as that person via email address, browser cookie, mobile phone number, etc. More advanced systems can even create and track profiles for anonymous visitors to your site, which can later be updated or appended with the correct addressable information (e.g., email address) once the person engages with your brand further.
Once enriched, a profile is like a digital short story of a person's life online. When configured properly, profile data allows marketers to interact with their audience on what feels like a first-name basis. This higher level of relevance has been shown to increase conversion rates and campaign return on investment. Once information is stored in a robust profile-based system, data on each individual's preferences, online behaviors, and search and purchase history can then be used for more meaningful communications.
Of course, many marketers are already using the value of profile-based data for basic segmentation and campaign targeting. Some message delivery platforms are better at this than others. Even if you think your technology has what you need to properly leverage customer data, you may want to dig a little deeper to see if it's robust enough for the level of customer-focused messaging expected by today's consumer.
Related story: Message Relevance Begins With Data Management