As the old axiom goes, the customer is always right. We could extend this expression to say the customer also has all the power. In the retailer-consumer relationship, consumers have the benefit of numerous competitors online (and offline) vying for their attention with marketing offers, advertising, and an arsenal of other tactics and practices to entice consumers to make purchases and keep them coming back for more.
Retailers, though, particularly in an era of increasingly e-commerce-first shopping experiences, are gaining ground because consumer interactions leave a data trail. Activating this data can help power and optimize your data-driven marketing and open up new marketing analytics opportunities.
Let’s talk about e-commerce data
E-commerce companies big and small will be well familiar with the wealth of data generated in the e-commerce sphere. It will also be clear that the imperative is to use this data to understand consumer desires, needs, behaviors and behavioral patterns. How do these attributes translate into conversions, purchases, and loyalty? And what data do you need to capture to gain and use these insights?
For as much data as exists, though, companies report that rich, quality data is both hard to come by and often untethered from a consistent data strategy. All the e-commerce data in the world won’t compensate for not having the right data, a clear plan of action and a single source of truth (e.g., a data management platform).
Activating e-commerce data: Back to basics
From a slightly more hands-on point of view, one of the most important things to understand when you’re planning your data activation strategy for e-commerce is to know how and from where you’re sourcing your data, and what questions you need to answer from that data. Trying to generate insights before you’ve designed and operationalized your data strategy is a fool’s errand. Without understanding the data generated by consumers’ actions and market trends — and strategizing about what data will actually inform your marketing activities — you won’t get very far.
When you activate the data, what do you need it to do or prove? Will you be personalizing offers for target consumers? Will you be attempting to piece together the full customer journey and all its touchpoints? Will you be funneling the insights into dynamic content creation and placement to influence consumers? The answers to these questions will drive your activation strategy; get the basics right first and then you’re better prepared to use your data in an organized, streamlined and more effective way.
From data activation to marketing opportunity
Marketing analytics opportunities are everywhere, hidden in plain sight within the mountains of data consumers generate. Data activation is a key, if somewhat invisible, backdrop to cashing in on the marketing opportunity, and it hinges on — as mentioned — using data in an organized and streamlined manner.
Here’s where things become a bit more technical and tangible in terms of hands-on data management. Your data has to be housed somewhere, and that’s where a data management platform (DMP) comes in. A DMP is a platform that lets you unify your data from multiple (first and third party) sources in a single place. Data activation becomes possible, and easier when you’re able to use data from across your channels and sources within a single, integrated platform. There are a number of different commercial DMPs out there, but the important takeaway here is that a DMP allows for organization and optimization in real-time, which enables powerful advertising and marketing opportunities.
It’s important not to underestimate the value of properly activating your data. Its real-time nature can influence results when you use data to make changes on the fly. Let’s think for a moment about a few examples in which effective data activation and instant insight can make an immediate difference:
- Optimize media buying and media selling with better accuracy in targeting and spend decisions
- Generate and implement dynamic ads and dynamic content to respond in real time to what consumers react to or engage with
- Offer personalized ads/content and ability to tweak for relevance based on real-time data
The less static and more real-time the data and your ability to activate it, the more easily uncovered and customizable the marketing opportunities.
Effective data-driven marketing strategies for marketing success
This comprehensive approach to data activation helps take advantage of the full marketing opportunity and, if done properly, gives you the tools to calculate your ROI on marketing spend and assess how effective your marketing strategy and activities are. This understanding, enabled by effective data activation, fuels both the ongoing viability of the marketing opportunities available to you as well as the ability to adapt and sharpen your data-driven marketing strategy and tactics based on what the data reveals.
Activate your data for a more comprehensive, real-time data strategy. Get in touch with Mind The Gap to learn how to get started.