Marketers are constantly arguing over the four Ps (product, price, promotion, position) and whether they need to be updated. Advertisers are always vigilant that their ads are legal, decent, honest and truthful. Is it time for data-driven marketers to adopt their own four-word mantra - permissioned, targeted, relevant, and accurate?
Permission comes first in this mantra for obvious reasons - marketing needs the consent of its audience if it is to be data-driven. That is not only a legal obligation, it is what the consumer wants now. Combining the power of data with the benefit of permission is what makes for best practice in marketing.
Targeting is a given the moment you make a link between personal information and marketing, from customer segmentations and propensity models through to profiling and simple campaign list selections. Unless you are marketing to 100 per cent of the population, you are using data to identify and target your audience one way or another.
Relevance has been a key word, especially in digital marketing, for the last decade. Harder to define, you know it when you see it - for a golfer, it might be the image of a car’s spacious boot, whereas for a new parent, it might be the mention of the safety features in a mailshot. Both rely on ensuring product information is hooked up to content and creative, as well as the customer’s individual requirements.
If your marketing is going to get personal, it also has to get accurate since it makes the use of personal information ever more visible. If, like me, you have received both mailers and emails with the salutation, “Dear [First Name]”, or your single male friend has been sent an invitation to join a mother and baby club, you know what the impact on response is likely to be.
By contrast, uplifts in performance are routinely achieved through good personalisation in marketing sent to the right person, based on accurate knowledge of their interests, life events and needs that uses permissioned data verified at point of capture.
This is already well understood. Findings from our recent research report into data-driven marketing and the use of customer data showed that quality of contact data was given the highest rating when it came to impact on marketing effectiveness, scoring 3.74 out of 5. By comparison, creative design was scored 3.1 out 5, showing that data really has moved ahead in the hierarchy of marketing tools.
Yet there are still some issues in the data-driven marketing process which hinder the attempt to get personal with consumers. The first of these is the types of data which are being collected for marketing usage. Only two sets are being routinely captured by more than half of marketers (and one of these only barely so) - postal address data, which is collected by 67.3%, and demographic/lifestage data, collected by 51%.
As a means for validating personal information and matching to other data, the postal address remains vital. But it is hard to understand how nearly half of data-driven marketers expect to create personal messages when they lack basic information such as gender or age. No media buyer would place ads with a publisher or broadcaster that could not provide these basics. So why should marketers accept their absence in targeted channels?
The second issue is marketers’ understanding of why the data they are using might not be the right quality. The good news is that more and more are realising that incomplete data is a problem - 72.5% named this as a root cause in our research survey, up from 62.8% a year ago - while 70.2% pointed to out-of-date information and 67.4% to missing data, both increases on the levels seen in the previous year.
The purpose of any mantra is self-improvement - marketers who adopt the new four-word approach will soon discover that it works.
You can download a full copy of our research report entitled “Life events – the hidden key marketing key to solving customer churn”. You can download your copy here.