Individualised marketing is the future. In fact, according to the findings of our latest Global Data-Driven Marketing Survey, 90% of marketers agree, with twice as many companies now claiming to have strategic initiatives in place compared to 2013. In fact 78% of marketers now use data systematically compared to 36% in 2013.
This commitment clearly highlights a move in the right direction as marketers sharpen their focus on targeting consumers’ individual needs and expectations, but it’s only really the beginning of a much bigger story. Brands need to ensure they are not only collecting the necessary insights required to create data-driven campaigns, they need to focus on connecting these data assets together, so they can make data-driven decisions that will give them a real competitive advantage.
Whilst marketers have more than doubled their use of data-driven marketing in the past 18 months, they are still struggling to send individualised offers and messages to their customers. In fact only 50% of those we surveyed routinely apply data to engage customers, whilst 44% admitted to a lack of consistency across their omni-channel marketing efforts.
So what’s the solution?
For starters, brands need to establish a greater understanding of their data and the potential data available to them across all their touchpoints, both on- and offline. Brands ability to utilise these assets to create data-driven decisions, will play a vital role in shaping how effective their customer communications are over the next twelve months, as they actively seek to establish an even richer viewer of their customers. If brands can leverage their data and channel it into insight driven campaigns, their ability to achieve highly effective individualised marketing will only intensify. That’s where the real value to the customer lies now, and what they are starting to expect. So whilst there can be no doubt that data is imperative to any successful marketing campaign, we are now in a period of transition, where data alone is not enough.
In the months ahead we are going to see brands go even further in their attempts to truly understand, target and influence their customers on an individual level. Ultimately, we are going to see brands begin to seek out a greater level of insight, and establish systems which will enable them to understand richer meanings from their data assets. Trustworthy, individualised insights based on credible data are immensely valuable in the market at the moment and critical for any brand looking to communicate with their customers directly on a truly individual level.
Personalisation and segmentation tools, which help to classify and establish specific target pools and clusters, will therefore continue to remain a key component in identifying specific customer needs and preferences, but we need to go even further and recognise customers in a far more detailed way. Whilst these tools successfully help brands to provide order and structure to their data-driven marketing activity, as more and more data becomes available they don’t pinpoint specific individual moments or requirements.
So how do you engage customers effectively?
Brands must ensure they are continually investing in systems, which unite every aspect of their marketing function together so that everyone involved in creating marketing materials and campaigns is fully aware of what needs to be delivered to whom and at what time.
Email is without question a key component in this communication story. In fact, according to eConsultancy’s 2015 Platform Buyers Guide, it is by far one of the strongest channels available to marketers. In the past year it has risen from being a consistent performer in terms of ROI, to the best performing of all other digital channels. Email, powered by effective data, will continue to drive huge benefits for brands, but only if it continues to be fully integrated with all the other channels surrounding it.
With 85% of email marketers believing that email will be fully integrated with other marketing channels in five years’ time, brands needs to ensure they are harnessing the channel’s true potential, so that they don’t end up sending fractured or conflicting messages to their customers. With the digital landscape changing regularly, adaptability is essential. Brands therefore need to seek out ways to positively influence their customers and harness their data in the most effective way possible to deliver on this.
Insight driven-marketing is the enabler of effective individualised campaigns, but brands need to get on-board now if they are going to reap the potential benefits.