An in-depth understanding of consumers sits at the heart of what we all need to do, but we know it’s not always easy to uncover insights that will unlock a true innovation opportunity.
Accessing and analysing higher volumes of data enables marketing pros to delve beyond demographics into greater depth about the behavioural and attitudinal characteristics of each consumer, while also enhancing the brand/agency working dynamic.
A recent report by Forbes Insights, sponsored by Oracle, featured a number of crucial tips from industry veterans that are spearheading data-driven success. Here are some of their secrets:
1. Harness real-time insights
Today’s richer data reserves are creating a generation of risk takers and innovators, as marketing execs become quickly able to understand how well something is working, and adjust it accordingly.
“There is less emphasis on waiting to make the perfect decision and more focus on being agile and nimble enough to make adjustments as you get more information,” says Lisa Donohue, CEO of Starcom USA.
Starcom is a great example of data mining success, with marketing teams able to capitalise on the significantly more detailed consumer personas as a result of strategic data gathering.
“We have a richer understanding of the consumer and a richer understanding of how and when we need to talk to him or her to change behaviour in a way that’s positive for a brand,” says Donohue.
Real-time insights also help DX Marketing and its clients adjust quickly to new business opportunities. For example, when new data released during a so-far successful campaign to promote smartphones showed a sudden change in spending patterns.
“The influence of holiday shopping was starting to emerge,” says president Ray Owens. “We saw this change very early and were able to shift midstream in the campaign to capture this business.”
DX Marketing prides itself on its predictive analytics capability, able to move a new digital campaign from conception to launch within two weeks, based on relevant consumer triggers and behaviour.
2. Share data between partners
Gathering large volumes of data doesn’t necessarily mean marketing teams are fully capitalising on what the information has to offer. In order for data to be fully utilised, brand and agency partners should be sharing data with each other, says Kevin Koh, CEO of DDB Group Korea.
“We are aware that a client will have their own data and their own opinions on what they believe will be best for their brand. But we will also have our own data. We need to collaborate together so that we can share the data and create campaigns and strategies that will create long lasting impact with consumers,” Koh says.
Starcom’s Donohue agrees. “A single data platform [both brands and agencies] would then enable any of us as partners to access and use that data. But often there are walled gardens where data sits in places where only one group can access it, which doesn’t benefit the brand.”
For example, Starcom collaborated with Kraft Heinz Co. on a marketing initiative that uses streams of information from digital media to continuously refine the profiles of all the audiences for the Kraft Heinz product portfolio based on the different Kraft Heinz brands they buy, and use those insights to plan future campaigns. This strategy allows for the continual feedback utilising data sources that are reliable and can fully integrate back into the campaign cyclically.
3. Avoid analysis paralysis
According to the Forbes Insight/Oracle Marketing Cloud survey, 40 per cent of respondents say their organisations don’t effectively use customer data to create new marketing programs.
Also concerning is that almost as many respondents — 38 per cent— says that despite having access to this information, their organisation doesn’t effectively create and deliver timely content tailored to specific customer personas. Patrick Adams, head of consumer marketing for PayPal North America says ‘analysis paralysis’ is one explanation.
“Companies make the mistake of gathering every little tidbit of information, and then they just don’t know what to do with all of it,” he says. “The guiding rule at PayPal is data should be used to create outstanding products and features, and drive a stellar customer experience—if it doesn’t do that, or if it doesn’t enhance the consumer journey, then we don’t need it.”
Data-driven insights have allowed digital marketing to move far beyond the world of simple email. Top brands like Woolworths, Telstra and Forever New are using sophisticated, multi-faceted and cohesive digital communications to build brands and create and foster seamless customer experiences across channels and touch points.
Following this lead, marketers should be looking to harness new data sources and other digital capabilities to shift beyond being simple ‘idea factories’ to unleashing creative campaigns that challenge the status quo.
Read the full Forbes Insights report, sponsored by Oracle Marketing Cloud, and check out some of the latest data-driven innovations in digital marketing with the Oracle Marketing Cloud Japan/APAC LookBook.