Your brand is most likely sitting on a mountain of data. For years now, every time a customer has interacted with you, especially across digital channels, you’ve collected that information with the goal of using it to better understand customer interests and target them with more personalized outreach. But for most retailers, this goal has proven difficult to achieve.
That’s because actually accessing that data to use it in campaigns requires requesting static files from teams outside of marketing that manage platforms which store data you need access to, or manually pulling the data from highly technical platforms that weren’t designed for campaign activation. It involves time-consuming efforts like cutting lists and manipulating data, which makes it difficult to respond to trends in a relevant timeframe, let alone do so across multiple digital channels.
In fact, a recent report from Forrester Consulting found that the majority of retail marketers struggle to turn data into action due to a lack of access to that data. Diving deeper, not only do marketers themselves typically not have access to it, but they usually have to go through a centralized resource, nearly two-thirds of whom can only dedicate a maximum of 10 hours per week to these tasks, “creating a bottleneck on data insights to power relevant customer experiences.”
It’s time to change that.
Unlock Direct Access to First Party Data for Your Marketing Team
Unlocking direct access to first party data for your marketing team (or an agency) doesn’t have to be a pipe dream anymore. With a consolidated solution based on retail-specific AI and workflows, you can give your marketing team direct access to first party data and predictive models to understand and take action on that data across a variety of digital channels.
With this type of access in place — along with the critical ability to action on that data from the same solution — the time it takes to build an audience and sync it to a digital channel (owned or earned) for use in a marketing campaign can go from days or even weeks to minutes.
5 Outcomes from Empowering Your Team to Access & Action on First Party Data
Once you unlock access to first party data, you can give your marketing team the ability to centralize audience targeting across owned and earned channels (including paid media channels like Facebook, Google, Criteo, Pinterest, Snapchat and more). Doing so delivers five critical outcomes for brands:
1) Deliver Consistent Shopper Experiences Across Channels
Using a consolidated solution for audience creation — including collecting, combining and activating data — ensures a more consistent shopper experience across channels. This approach stands in stark contrast to the status quo for many teams, which involves very different ways to collect and use data for each channel. Taking this consolidated approach has made an enormous difference for retailers like Lane Bryant.
Eric Gohs, VP Performance Marketing, Credit & Loyalty at Ascena Retail Group, shares: “We need to have a cohesive view so we can surface recommendations and engagement opportunities consistently for each shopper as she moves across channels. For example, if we’re firing a modal off her propensity to purchase in a specific product category, that should be consistently available wherever she wants to interact with us. All of this work makes us more customer-focused rather than channel-focused. It’s all one shopper’s behavior and it feels fluid to her, so it should feel fluid to us too.”
2) Improve Workflow Efficiencies
Say goodbye to the days of having to coordinate with internal teams like IT, handle efforts like list cutting and manually uploading lists to each platform for activation. A consolidated solution enables your team, whether that’s in-house marketers or an agency, to generate a single audience list and then automatically push that list to every channel that’s important to your shoppers.
This consolidation leads to efficiencies that not only save the team time, but also enable more timely and relevant campaigns based on actions customers take to engage with your brand onsite, via email and in any other channel.
3) Increase Flexibility to React to Changes
The improved workflow efficiencies go a long way toward giving your team the flexibility to react quickly to any changes in your merchandising or marketing strategies. In some cases, the difference between building an audience in an hour and building an audience in a week is what will enable your team to run an ultra-timely campaign.
Think of a case where a product is momentarily trending due to a pop culture phenomenon: Can your team react quickly enough to hop on that trend? Or will the wave have died down by the time they can get anything out the door? This type of flexibility proved extremely critical at the sudden onset of lockdowns due to COVID-19, when stores shut down over night and brands were forced to pivot everything from messaging to targeting as quickly as possible.
4) Better Diversify Your Channel Mix
Recent trends indicate many brands are diversifying their channel mix, allocating less media spend on “older” platforms like Facebook and starting to shift budget toward newer platforms like Snapchat. Ultimately, this approach helps reduce your reliance on one individual channel’s performance, which can be an important safeguard in the world of paid media.
Having the ability to easily create and sync audiences for any channel is an important first step in this type of diversification. Additionally, the ability to quickly push to multiple channels is important for testing and learning which channels work best for your brand. It also allows your team to quickly adjust weightings toward each channel depending on trends and performance.
5) Increase Security for Sensitive Data
The more steps involved in passing data, particularly when personally identifiable information (PII) is involved, the more security risks exist. As a result, being able to handle data from a single platform, including collecting data, building audiences and syncing it directly to marketing channels through a secure connection, eliminates several risk points compared to the process many teams use currently, which requires downloading data onto your workstation and then uploading it to marketing channels.
This increased security can deliver a major benefit to your organization, although ideally it’s one you’ll never even have to think about, since security typically becomes the biggest concern when issues arise — and those are never good for brand reputation.
Are You Ready to Empower Your Marketing Team to Access & Action on First Party Data?
Empowering your team with marketer-friendly audience targeting capabilities that removes the need to run requests through IT and analytics organizations is a game-changer. It enables your team to act faster, deliver more consistent experiences across channels and can even improve security, to name a few benefits. And while this type of direct access to data has been a pipe dream in the past, it’s well within reach for today’s retail marketing organizations.
Visit bluecore.com/advertise to learn more about how you can benefit from our AI-powered audiences today.