Salesforce's Aussie marketers roll out DMP to improve media efficiency

Local marketing team proves the test case for global data management platform adoption after improving personalisation of media targeting


Salesforce is rolling out its own data management platform (DMP) to marketing teams globally after successfully trialling the acquired technology across its Australian operations.

Salesforce for Advertising managing director Asia-Pacific, Jo Gaines, told CMO the original ambition was to extend the conversation with existing customers by presenting them with relevant media messaging based on the products or toolkit they already had.

DMPs at their core, are centralised repositories of online consumer behavioural data that assist with media and online targeting. They provide a mechanism for marketers to unite first, second and third-party data sets and create custom audiences for activity outside a brand’s owned assets.

Salesforce acquired the Krux DMP offering last year in a deal reportedly worth US$700 million.

“Salesforce understands the need to link and activate campaigns beyond email and SMS, and have one-to-one communications,” Gaines said. “The business wanted to move into that deeper, wider, digital ecosystem. And as they do that, teams wanted to make sure personalisation is key, that we know who the end user consumer is, what relationship Salesforce has with that consumer or customer, and that we ensure the messages we put in front of them are relevant based on that knowledge.

“There is a lot more to the DMP, but that original goal was to improve media efficiency to ensure we know how every dollar is working for us.”

Improving frequency and sequencing

Australia was chosen as the test case for Salesforce, with the DMP deployed over five days in May and access given to all marketing employees. The first task was Web tagging, website and creative, while the next stage is pulling in more offline and first-party data from its marketing and CRM technology platforms.

Having the right customer, intent, interest and behavioural data mixed with customer data allows a marketing team to create a relevant sequence of messages, Gaines said.

“There are different stages based on the types of data we want to pull in and targeting we want to do,” she explained. “The first easy step is online and capturing interactions with the Web and digital channels. The next stage is adding to that with offline and first-party data, and being able to build out lookalike models and do more modelling based on the knowledge and reporting we have so far.”  

Initially, the focus has been on list suppression to make sure that if a message or campaign is not relevant to a customer, Salesforce is not putting the wrong message in front of them.

“We looked at what data we have, the volume, what is it telling us, then at creating relevant segments for targeting based on products, messaging or creative execution,” Gaines said. “It’s about finding that sweet spot between not seeing the message, versus seeing it too many times and the point where someone reacts, responds or converts. That gave us some quick wins to demonstrate back to the organisation.”

For Gaines, using a DMP combined with Salesforce’s wider marketing technology solutions stack allows marketers to find new and clever ways of doing what they have always done through automation.

“We want our marketing teams to use this technology to be best of breed,” she said. “They can continue to test and explore more about the customer journey, what channels work for what messages or products. It’s across a variety of products depending on where our focus is at the time.”

The launch of Salesforce’s MyEinstein artificial intelligence will then play a huge role in making personalisation at scale a reality, Gaines continued.

“Using MyEinstein allows us to use marketing automation to route leads correctly, escalate service cases, personalise marketing campaigns,” she said.

“Marketers can then be thinking about new challenges or theories they want to test out using data and digital, plus new ways to engage customers and ways customers can become brand evangelists based on the experience they’ve had with Salesforce both as a customer and in being marketed to.”

According to Gaines, the key to understanding why a DMP may be important to your business comes back to vision and a clear end goal. Frequency management efficiency can seems straightforward, but it’s a solid ROI story to take back to business to show an investment is already paying off, she said. Other Salesforce customers, such as Hotels.com, are the DMP to build out a complex matrix of thousands of marketing messages by tying together extensive Web and email-centric databases with online records to gain a single view of the customer.

In Hotel.com's case, the work has resulted in a 46 per cent lift in open rates by adding personalised notifications over past promotions.

“You start by doing things small, then roll out in broader, bigger way,” Gaines said. “Consumers are saying they’re not engaged with companies, or getting relevant experiences. If our team can stand out as the gold stamp for personalisation, that is a great thing for our business.

“It starts with the efficiency conversation, then it’s about how to reinvest and improve the value from the investment. People need simplification, and every marketer is aware of putting customers at the centre of everything they do. A DMP helps with that.”   

With so much data out there, it’s also imperative marketers have a central hub to manage audiences, Gaines said. “If you have it living in separate silos and platforms and different people operating it, it’s very hard to get that one-to-one journey,” she said.  

Read more: Creating the business case for a Data Management Platform

Read more: How Carsales is improving audience targeting with a data management platform

Ultimately, rolling out a DMP allows Salesforce marketers to be more focused on customer retention and customer advocacy, not just awareness and acquisition, Gaines claimed.

“We understand more about the whole customer lifetime relationship and that whole story,” she said. “We can see trends, behaviours and how to build media schedules and campaigns off the back of that. It’s multi-dimensional versus an often one-dimensional effort to acquire a new customer.”  

Thanks to the success of the Australian rollout, Salesforce is taking the DMP straight to its US head office next, and other countries will also come online in the medium term. In the meantime, the local team is working to funnel more data from Salesforce into the DMP engine for even more relevant targeting.

“It’s also about using MyEinstein to help predict behaviours and connect consumers and make things even more relevant and personalised,” Gaines added.  

Follow CMO on Twitter: @CMOAustralia, take part in the CMO conversation on LinkedIn: CMO ANZ, join us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CMOAustralia, or check us out on Google+:google.com/+CmoAu

 

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