Is Your Big Data Dated? The Importance of Truly Real-Time Email Marketing

For contemporary email marketers, big data management is a critical tool for segmenting email lists and delivering relevant content offers. However, a recent survey of 1,300 email professionals indicated a serious ineffectiveness in how marketers apply big data assets to decision-making. VentureBeat’s analyst Jon Cifuentes described the issue as an “education problem,” citing issues with both major vendors and the data management skills of email marketers.

According to the subject matter experts at TowerData, the most commonly-reported data management issues among email marketers include:

  • Centralizing multiple sources of big data
  • Managing storage, application, and access processes
  • Applying real-time data for best results

 

For organizations who already have storage, application, and access managed via a data management platform (DMP), the cause of poor email marketing metrics is most often connected to data quality. Tower’s research indicates that brands too often rely exclusively on first-party insights, or outsource their data assets entirely to a third-party vendor. While the addition of the vendor’s third-party data can enhance understanding of contacts, these organizations are often sacrificing data recency for the sake of perceived simplicity.

 

Email isn’t Getting Simpler

 

Marketing experts have acknowledged that yielding positive returns on email marketing campaigns is growing more difficult, and the average open rate is just 16.5% across industries. Data is a “common denominator” for email marketers, but the companies who see positive returns are those who are bold enough to look beyond first-party insights and seek out solutions beyond the dated offerings of many major vendors.

 

Delivering email marketing messages that earn opens, click-throughs and sales requires an up-to-date understanding of prospective buyer’s needs that is typically only possible through a real-time Data Exchange Platform (DXP).

 

How Real-Time Big Data Impacts Email Marketing Metrics

 

For modern marketers, applying real-time data to email marketing efforts is among the top five ROI-driven priorities discovered in The Relevancy Group’s research. Additional studies indicates that the majority of marketers believe real-time data will have a bigger impact on email metrics than any other channel. By participating in a real-time Data Exchange Platform such as BDEX with a variety of vendors in an open marketplace agreement, brands can significantly improve their segmentation and targeting efforts without needlessly complex data management processes.

 

According to Adobe’s Mickael Bentz, real-time data is just as critical as technology when it comes to effective email marketing. For execution of high-return email marketing, you must look beyond internal understanding of customers to create “context-aware” communications. Important sources of real-time data, in addition to your own CRM insights, should include:

  • Surrounding context insights, such as weather or stock status
    User web analytics from desktop and mobile devices
  • Behavioral and event-triggered data, including career searches, loan applications, and transactional insights.

 

For organizations who utilize a marketplace such as BDEX to purchase insights directly from vendors, improving your email marketing campaigns requires a simple, two-part process:

 

  • Obtain: By integrating BDEX’s marketplace directly with your database of emails, you can select from a variety of real-time data insights driven by your contact’s web behavior, transactions, behavioral-triggers, and other factors. You’re able to purchase as much — or as little — as you wish, ultimately depending on your budget for the email campaign.

 

  • Match: Matching data insights with your contacts can be managed within your data management platform, allowing you to refine your segments and develop targeted offers in real-time.

 

Instead of relying on a third-party vendor to develop segments based on months-old search habits or other factors, marketers gain the ability to create real-time segments for truly targeted offers.

 

If your data insights are limited or aging, there’s a good chance that typical data management technologies aren’t enough to yield best-of-class email marketing practices. By shifting towards a real-time segmentation and offer delivery model, you can ensure you’re sending the right messaging to the right contacts, at precisely the right time.

 

For more information on how BDEX can integrate directly with your existing DMP or DSP technology, click here!

 

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Understanding Your Target Consumer: The Case for Utilizing Traditional and Non-Traditional Data

Any digital marketer’s ultimate goal is to increase sales for a particular brand or retailer, but targeting the right consumer can be a difficult task. Traditional demographics, like gender, age and marital status, are not enough to properly assess a person’s buying potential. Consumers are diverse, their lifestyle and behavior not necessarily linked to their age or gender. And with a wealth of online and brick-and-mortar retailers to choose from, they demand more for their money and more from customer service. Vying for a customer’s business, however, becomes a lot easier when your marketing material is geared toward the right audience. By taking the time to analyze consumers’ behaviors and personalities, marketers can target consumers more effectively and efficiently.

Out with the Old… But Not Completely

It goes without saying that traditional demographics still have a role to play in contemporary marketing. After all, people who live near the beach will be in need of beach supplies whether or not their personality is similar to that of their neighbors. But not all demographics are as black and white as location. John Forsyth, partner at Forsythe Insights LLC, demonstrates the problem with traditional analytics by citing the obvious personality differences between Prince Charles and Ozzy Osbourne. Both men are British and the same age, but marketing to them in the same way is an obvious mistake, as one is the heir to the British throne and the other a rock star. In other words, their distinctive personalities and behavior alone are reason enough to target them separately.

In with the New

A consumer’s behavior can provide marketers a wealth of information, from shopping habits to favorite restaurants, but that’s only the tip of the iceberg. Data companies can offer marketers a wealth of information learned from multiple platforms, including social media, mobile, email, direct mail, and apps. By the year 2020, experts estimate “about 1.7 megabytes of new information will be created every second for every human being on the planet.” And while 2020 may be four years away, there is still an incredible breadth of data that can be tapped at this very moment.

A customer’s personality and values drive their economic decisions, and when marketers take the time to truly understand their audience, they can identify specific needs and locate look-alike audiences with similar characteristics. Advertisers and retailers can also give their respective brands informed suggestions about what products and services to offer their customers next.

The Next Phase in Targeting

”With many companies struggling with online – and offline, for that matter – conversion rates,” says writer Jessica Carter, “It’s crucial that they start to understand better what makes consumers tick (or click, as the case may be).” When marketers know what makes a customer “tick,” they can approach consumers from a variety of angles, from customized social media ads to personalized emails with coupons for a specific item.

When you add real-time targeting to the equation, the data becomes even more valuable. Brands can find consumers shopping for their products and services moments after they begin to browse online. But that’s only the half of it; marketers learn not only what consumers want at a specific moment, but they can influence where and when their audience gets the product or service.

While marketers may feel overwhelmed by the amount of data available, taking advantage of the newest innovations in consumer identification while incorporating the best of traditional targeting is key to creating exciting campaigns that will keep customer interest—and revenue—on the up and up.

BDEX provides brands, retailers, and agencies with extensive, quality data from a variety of sources in a true marketplace environment. With over 20 billion data points tied to mobile IDs and every channel added to the marketplace each month, buyers can understand consumers like never before and create compelling campaigns that return real results. Email us to learn more.

Image via Flickr/dirkcuys

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