Customer databases play an important role, most strongly in terms of CRM and campaign effectiveness. With so many channels available and with consumers “always on”, measuring and tracking data has become harder. When so much data is being generated, how can marketers unlock the value and apply the learnings to create more effective campaigns that inspire engagement and advocacy?
Data shouldn’t limit creativity. To generate actionable insight, it’s important for data specialists, planners and creatives to be involved with the process from the early stages. Here at Indicia, we start every campaign with a session where we share the brief and identify clients’ challenges using data and analytics from the outset. By combining different aspects of each at the beginning of the process, marketers can find that “golden nugget of insight” which can drive communications at all stages of the campaign. When used correctly, data insight is the new creativity. It makes creative work and contact strategies more engaging and interactive, which in turn drives sales and advocacy.
It’s important to understand that the value of data is not limited to targeting those who have shopped with the company, but can also be used to acquire new customers. By using the right tools and expertise, it is possible to mine data to identify consumer behaviour among certain groups. In doing so, it’s possible to create campaigns that are more relevant and compelling to the target audience even when the data isn’t necessarily at hand for those targets.
An example of this in action is a project we undertook for Shop Direct where our brief was to explore ways of applying this strategy in an acquisition environment to target mums. But as we had no transactional information about our cold prospects, we needed a data-driven solution that would reveal how mums with kids in our target age ranges shopped. We used a platform that contains third-party variables to provide insight into mums’ shopping behaviour and the kids departments that they were likely to shop from in order to segment our prospect pool into categories. The subsequent marketing activity specifically targeted mothers with children aged between 2 and 8 years. Within this, we targeted three age groups by gender and populated the emails with products that reflected this. The product was therefore always relevant to their child and drove subsequent engagement.
To derive the most value from data, though, analysis should be incremental in nature. If marketers try to analyse everything all at, once the business will have shifted by the time data requirements have been identified. Instead, it’s important to think about small bursts of insight, funding, testing and learning to ensure data analysis delivers value and makes profitable projects. When faced with large volumes of customer data, marketers need to select the right problems and solve these by asking the most pertinent and relevant questions to be able to extract high-quality data insight.
An example to highlight this is a piece of work we developed for Nissan LEAF, where we wanted to identify who would be interested in the new LEAF electric vehicle. To do this, we developed a focused, three-step data strategy to generate hand-raisers (consumers requesting brochures and test drives). The project started by profiling early adopters of electric vehicles through analysing the traits of previous adopters from another manufacturer.
We then applied attitudinal data profiling to the Nissan customers we had in order to understand what interested and motivated them. Finally, we were able to understand who had an interest in electric vehicles and could delve deeper into the barriers to purchase, which then drove our strategy. By focusing on the most useful sets of data and putting the right process in place to mine this insight, marketers can ensure they not only get the most out of data, but they do so at a reasonable cost.
With so much data available, trying to apply the right analysis to generate actionable insight can be a challenge. But through aligning stakeholders in the organisation, putting systems in place to understand broader consumer behaviour and establishing clear objectives, marketers can unlock the potential of customer data and deliver more effective campaigns that reward the bottom line.