How to unlock the power of first-party customer data

marc pearsonIt is widely recognised that the ever-increasing digitisation of media is generating a wealth of data, which, if harnessed correctly, has the potential to deliver previously unheard-of levels of consumer insight and personalisation.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, this “data gold rush” has triggered huge demand for data expertise, with a recent KPMG study highlighting that nearly two-fifths (38%) of global CEOs say that investing in data and analytics is a key business priority.
This in turn has contributed to the rising prevalence of data and technology consultants, as businesses grapple with adoption and use of an ever-widening field of data and technology related subjects.
And whether it is data management platform (DMP) selection and management or machine learning to drive automation and econometric modelling to determine the true contribution of media investment or data privacy regulation, marketers need to embrace data and technology-powered practices that were once the preserve of the CRM team or performance marketing specialists.
Areas like audience building and segmentation, statistically valid testing matrices, non-linear attribution, and continuous optimisation rigour have become mainstream prerequisite skills of marketing.
For clients to unlock the power of their first party data and deliver more personalised and effective brand and performance marketing communications, I believe there are four key areas they need to tackle:
– By using econometric attribution modelling, client marketers will be able to better understand how improvements in a brand’s health metrics (awareness, consideration, etc) directly affect sales. Often when comparing the cost of growing sales through increasing brand health, we see that this is a more cost-effective route than investing in traditional performance channels, where the point of diminishing returns has already been hit.
– Many clients have invested heavily in DMPs, yet few have really got to grips with extracting the value from their first party customer data. This insight can be used to inform both media targeting and creative messaging, resulting in more effective personalised advertising activity. Crucially, businesses should also be using this view of their customers to power all their media and creative development, not just in addressable media channels.
– The adoption and use of marketing maturity frameworks will help judge current capabilities and create plans that identify areas of the business in need of time and investment. Having these clearly stated plans also provides clarity for all areas of the business and agency partners tasked with delivering against the developmental plans.
– Agile working practices can assist firms to plan, implement and optimise marketing campaigns and technology and data projects. By providing clear definition of the component tasks, associated business outcome benefits and clear ownership, the speed of delivery and overall marketing campaign performance are massively improved.
We know that technology, and therefore the digital media landscape, is ever evolving, and at pace. Regardless of the size and capabilities of your marketing team, or the sophistication of your operation, outside support can provide a dispassionate view and a wider market perspective that will ensure you are getting optimum value from your investment in performance marketing.

Marc Pearson is global head of performance at Wavemaker

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