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BizReport : Advertising archives : August 20, 2015

Expert: Brands need to get serious with data

It's no longer enough for brands to say they are interested in data. According to one expert, it's time for brands to take action on the data in their repositories.

by Kristina Knight

Kristina: What are brands doing 'right' with data?

Mark Flaharty, executive vice president of advertising, SundaySky: The CMO is now beginning to understand the data she has at her fingertips as well as the data she lacks and still needs to obtain. She is pushing to own, organize and control all her data together, while learning how to apply analytics and insights to it. Understanding what data to use and not to use makes her a smarter marketer in creating increasingly better relevance, delivering better user experiences and deepening individual customer interactions.

I believe we are at just the beginning of this data revolution: brand marketers are more than ever interested in what data they have, how to use it and who they can partner and collaborate with to use it most effectively. Ultimately, consumers are creating their own marketing experiences today based on the data breadcrumbs they leave for the brand, and it is the brand's duty to change the way they interact and engage with each individual.

Kristina: What is data connection?

Mark: For brand marketers, data connection is the creation and assembly of a two-way exchange of information across all customer interactions and marketing functions. In the past, marketing data has been siloed and disparate across many different sources that ordinarily do not connect with each other, do not speak the same language, nor sit on the same server. (The best examples of this is ad server data, website analytics and CRM data - all three data sources working separately.)

Now, a single repository enables data to unite and be actionable, thereby allowing brand marketers to effectively inform their customer acquisition and retention marketing strategies. The CMO should ensure all of the brand's media partners are sharing data, too, even on the individual (anonymous or known) consumer level.

Typically today we are seeing brands' data organization and connection aided with the help of data management platforms (DMPs), either their own in-house technology or an external marketing technology partner such as Adobe or BlueKai.

Kristina: Why is it important for brands?

Mark: Message relevance matters more than ever, and marketers recognize the power of personalization at a one-to-one individual level. By better understanding and connecting the data dots, brands are enhancing message relevance to an individual prospective or existing customer.

The growing importance of brands connecting, organizing and utilizing their data allows for enriched and more complete consumer profiles to help the CMO determine which profiles are the ideal targets for specific marketing functions, such as acquisition, look-alike prospecting and upselling or cross-selling. Deeper personalized experiences and richer messaging relevance can then be delivered to the individual, and the responding consumer interaction (such as a conversion or purchase) is then sent back to the data repository to enrich similar profiles.

This two-way communication of data has become critical for brands to run successful programs that perform, gives greater confidence to the CMO in shifting dollars to digital and creates highly relevant and positive marketing experiences for the individual consumer.

Image via Shutterstock

Tags: advertising, advertising data, data analysis, data trends, ecommerce data, SundaySky

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