“Data” is still the magic word. Right now, we have a proliferation of data being generated by our phones, computers, and smart devices on a daily basis, with more access to geolocation, demographic, financial, and shopper data in the last two years than ever before. And yet, it’s still so surprising how many businesses don’t fully understand who their most valuable customers are, how to retain their existing ones, and how to find new ones in the process.
Before a customer is even communicated with, brands must develop a data strategy to ensure the technical capability is in place to both identify trigger behaviors, and then to be able to serve up a relevant offer at exactly the right time for the customer. Here are three ways we help brands create a data strategy that’s smart, relevant, and valuable:
Simplify the data transfer process. Traditionally, companies share data via file transfer, the partner organization transfers it back, and so on. Fortunately, there are various architecture solutions utilizing cloud technology to reduce the manual intervention required, allowing us to simplify the process and share data back to clients more consistently — often in real time. This can enable a brand to make a relevant, in-the-moment proposition to a customer standing in line in a store.
Connect the dots. Most brands sit on a lot of data. Despite the advancements in marketing technology enabling brands to use different services for lead generation and management, social marketing channels, CRM systems, and more, they’re faced with the same challenge: too many data sources operating in silos. They might have internal projects to create data lakes, but then struggle with how to make sense of them. It means having different pieces of a pie, without the ability to put them together in one whole one. When we ingest data using our proprietary CDP, Alchemy, we can connect their data sources, enrich our existing machine learning algorithms with more data, and build custom models, helping brands connect the dots for a 360-degree view of their customers — showing them not just who John is and what he orders, but when he typically orders, if he’s a vegetarian, whether he adds on guacamole, etc.
Let the experts light the way. Most companies aren’t organized around data, largely due to lack of investment in the skills and tools needed to figure out what to do with it. Yet, our industry is seeing increasing demand from brands that are recognizing the need to have data science and analytics capabilities. As we have always said, GALE was founded seven years ago with the understanding that data science would be at the heart of all that we do; it’s the central component to better marketing. We don’t just have an in-house data scientist, we have dozens across our offices. Having a robust team of experts who live and breathe data is what arms us to do the smartest work for brands (and lands us on the Ad Age A-List as the Data & Analytics Agency of the Year).
From a consumer’s point of view, there are increased expectations of organizations to understand their data, so that they are serviced properly and communicated to in a timely and relevant manner. It’s crucial, then, that brands get their data in check as soon as possible.