Are You Listening to What Your Customers Are Telling You? on bdex.com

Are You Listening to What Your Customers Are Telling You?

Data is important to your marketing efforts, but personalization matters more

Over the last several years, if one thing has dominated business and marketing more than anything else, it’s data. Companies are constantly striving to get it and use it to better attract customers. However, while data can offer great insight into buying behavior, a recent survey of marketing leaders found that for many businesses, consumers are just being turned into numbers.

According to the report, 41 percent of respondents said it was a challenge focusing on creating and fostering customer relationships instead of marketing campaigns. In addition, about 30 percent said they often had a tough time remembering that they were trying to target actual human beings. Even more troubling is the fact that, of the 152 senior marketing executives polled, zero felt they were ready to use new points of intelligence to offer customers a better experience or to boost brand engagement.

“Somewhere in our adoption of data, technology and process, the customer and the very real, human and fragile relationships that marketers have worked so hard to build have been lost, giving way to settling for assumptions about broad personas and an almost obsessive focus on campaign performance,” says Liz Miller. Miller is the SVP of marketing with the CMO Council, the company that produced the report along with Harte Hanks.

Bant Breen of Harte Hanks believes organizations have no excuse for not understanding their customers and what they want.

“In every point of connection, our customers leave small data clues behind that can enrich our current profiles and give brands the insights needed to craft the right combination of message, channel, and timing,” Breen said. “Customers will always tell us what they need. The real question is: Are we listening?”

It’s not just about data; it’s about the right data

That “Are we listening?” question from Breen gets to the heart of the matter. It’s not good enough anymore to know what a customer bought; companies need to also know what they’re looking to buy, and even what they’re planning to buy right now. How can they do this? By targeting the right people so they can reach them on a personal level.

Developing human connectivity with your customers

While you probably have an idea of the type of people who would be interested in your products or services, if this doesn’t involve much more than their gender and age range, it’s time to dig much deeper. With more than 5,500 data categories and over a trillion data points, businesses can use BDEX’s Data Exchange Platform to find a specific group of consumers to target. They can also use the up-to-the-minute real-time data we collect.

We get this information from point-of-sale systems, geofencing, and by seeing what people recently bought online and what they are currently thinking about buying. And with cross-device matching through our comprehensive identity graph, we can also understand customer behaviors and intents no matter which devices they use or how often they switch from one to another.

Once a company knows who their ideal customers are and where and when to reach them, suddenly it’s like they’ve been handed the keys to the kingdom. Now they can create personalized marketing messages based on someone’s behavior. This could include sending them a coupon code for the type of product they’re looking for, offering complementary items for something recently bought, or encouraging them to visit a store when they know they are nearby.

While data is now essential for marketing purposes, it’s not the information itself that is so important; it’s how companies use it to build relationships with their customers. If you’re having trouble developing that kind of human connectivity, get in touch with BDEX by filling out our online contact form.

Is Your Business Ready for Identity-Based Marketing? on bdex.com

Is Your Business Ready for Identity-Based Marketing?

Identity marketing promises more-effective and more-efficient efforts to engage your best customers. Is your company prepared to make the most of it?

Most businesses nowadays have a grasp of the basics of who their best customers are. But how much do they really know about what motivates them? The better they know their best customers, the more likely they are to be able to reach them with relevant experiences that will deepen the relationship.

“Personalization is more important today than ever before. The proliferation of devices and channels, such as mobile and social, has fundamentally changed the way that customers interact with companies and brands. This has led to what Forrester calls the mobile mind shift: the expectation that you can get exactly what you want in your immediate context and at your immediate moment of need.”
“The Power of Personalization” Forrester Consulting for PwC, December 2015

Meeting these expectations requires the integration of data sources to form a tangible collection of information that accurately identifies the behavior of a single prospect, which then allows real personalization of sales approaches to them and makes the interaction as meaningful as possible.

Do you think you’re ready to get started on the path to real human connectivity? Here are some of the items to think about before you embark on this worthy undertaking.

Is the customer experience you hope to provide the one they perceive?

In business, we all like to think that the things we strive to be known for are, in actuality, what customers take away from each interaction with us. That thought could be spot-on, or it might be way off. It’s important for companies to know where they stand with their customers and how successful they are in actually delivering their desired customer experience. It will allow them to proceed with confidence or alter their methods to be able to achieve the experience they’re after.

Does your company continuously develop and expand its knowledge of its audience?

This level of curiosity is crucial for a successful identity-marketing campaign. Companies have to know their customers to the point that they can recognize individuals across different platforms. That way, they can identify buying patterns and get a sense of how they buy and what their lifestyle is really like. What makes customers interested in what the business has to offer and keeps them loyal in the long run? BDEX can help reveal those answers.

Does your company wish it had even deeper insights?

Identity resolution provides the opportunity to examine customer data in context and get a real sense of customers’ relevant behaviors in the course of their daily lives. BDEX delivers access to this more in-depth understanding and helps companies realize how they can serve customer needs, and how to strengthen and solidify the ongoing relationships they have with them.

Is your company a stickler for contact management?

Companies often keep an extensive customer database, chock full of contact details and transaction data. They also often know they’re not putting that data to work in the most effective way possible. Despite this wealth of data, they have only the most superficial knowledge of what makes their customers tick, never mind what makes them buy, and even less about what makes them loyal.

In the end, the realization of these blind spots, despite the wealth of data they have in their possession, is the biggest sign that their organization is ready to embrace identity marketing.

It sounds like you’re ready for us

Sometimes you have to learn what you don’t know before you can kick-start your business’s growth curve. Partner with BDEX and see what the landscape looks like when you’ve filled the gaps in your knowledge, and things start moving forward and upward.

BDEX endows your marketing with the power and insight that comes from human connectivity. Call 917-410-6616 or contact us to learn how marketing solutions from BDEX can help you with your present and future marketing data needs.

Case Study: How a People-Based Marketing Approach Delivered a Flood of New Customers on bdex.com

Case Study: How a People-Based Marketing Approach Delivered a Flood of New Customers

How BDEX helped attract almost 25,000 new consumers, and a potentially huge new revenue stream, to a pet supply chain

A major pet supplies retailer brought in nearly 25,000 new customers and about $740,000 in revenue by turning to BDEX and its data platform to draw pet owners away from the competition.

The retailer came to BDEX with a problem: How to bring in new customers who were shopping at other brick-and-mortar stores or, increasingly, online. “Their industry has some online powerhouses, like chewy.com,” says BDEX CEO David Finkelstein. “It’s quite easy for someone to just order online and not go into their store.”

Offering a premium retail experience

So, what did this retailer do to differentiate itself from its online competitors? The first goal was to focus on customer service and providing shoppers with an exceptional experience. Plus, they stressed something that no eCommerce company could offer: the chance to take their furry friends shopping with them.

The stakes are high: In the U.S. in 2018, over $72.5 billion was spent on pets, and this was up about 3 billion from 2017. It’s estimated that by the end of this year, Americans will spend more than $75 billion on their pets. And while that’s certainly a ton of money, some businesses are having a hard time getting it, namely, brick-and-mortar stores.

Getting customers to make that first visit

Offering amazing in-store service to both people and their pets was a good start, but that didn’t solve the problem of actually getting them to visit in the first place. “The issue is that, in order for the customer to even know that that exists and experience what they have, you have to get them to make the first purchase,” says Finkelstein.

BDEX applied its people-based marketing approach to not only help the company reach new shoppers but to then turn them into regular customers.

Data to the rescue

To find these customers, the retailer used the BDEX Data Exchange Platform along with geofencing to find customers who had shopped at competing stores within a 3-mile radius of their 450+ outlets. The data were obtained from retail point-of-sale systems and from online purchases, matched with geofencing data to pinpoint their proximity to stores.

That may sound complex, but it’s actually pretty simple, Finkelstein says. “Basically, the platform does all the work. All we really need to do is identify the eight segments that define who the target consumer is that they want to reach.”

A very profitable outcome

In total, 1.3 million consumers were identified. The retailer then embarked on a direct-mail campaign that sent everyone in that target audience a postcard with a 15% off coupon. So, instead of the traditional approach of blanketing media outlets with generic ads, BDEX enabled the retailer to focus only on those nearby who had purchased pet supplies.

The results were impressive: Almost 25,000 of those coupons were redeemed, and the average purchase price was $30. Overall, the campaign brought in more than $740,000, which was 28 times greater than the initial data investment of $26,000. And that return will only grow if these new people keep coming back. “The interesting part is, and I don’t know enough about the lifetime value of a customer, but this probably turns into all kinds of revenue,” says Finkelstein.

Pet supplies and beyond

The marketing firm for the pet supplies company was so happy with the results, many of its other clients are now working with BDEX. These include leaders in several industries, such as auto supplies, gas, and furniture. The beauty of the BDEX data platform is that it can help clients achieve genuine human connectivity, and new revenue, over a wide range of verticals.

To discover what we can do for your business, contact us and a representative will get in touch.

People-Based Marketing: What Is It and How Does It Work? on bdex.com

People-Based Marketing: What Is It and How Does It Work?

People-based marketing is here right now. So long as you understand that, you have the advantage

That’s right. The power of human connectivity, the proliferation of connected devices, and how both of these have affected individuals’ media consumption and purchasing behaviors means that people-based marketing is a fact, and there are the knowers and the know-nots. It’s not some far-off “in the future” dream, like something out of “Minority Report.” It’s here. Right now.

So, now that you know, you can begin to use the power of people-based marketing for your company.

Why is people-based marketing such a big deal?

Well, it all comes down to boxes. Since the dawn of radio in the early 1920s, all media has been consumed from a box. For most of the last hundred years, we sat in our living rooms and stared at our radios, then at our boxy TVs. Even the ads we encountered in magazines and newspapers came in boxes. The point is that when we consumed most media (and therefore most advertising), we did it in front of a specific device or setting – holding a newspaper or watching a TV.

So, we marketed to people through these boxes, and we chose those people by the very coarse means of selecting programming and content that probably appealed to the “target consumer”: people of a certain age range, sex, possible interests, and income. This is how it came to pass that lots of light beer were sold to men ages 21 to 45, with median household incomes (HHIs) of $25,000, via the adventures of “The Dukes of Hazzard.”

Even when the internet came on the scene, we consumed it on yet another box – our computers, which mostly sat on desks. Digital marketing became (and, in some ways, remains to this day) putting ads in boxes on web pages targeted in much the same ways as they captured the dudes watching “The Dukes of Hazzard.”

Then the iPhone came out

When the iPhone launched in 2007, it liberated digital media from the desktop – it was set free from the box. It also was the start of digital media invading and taking over traditional media. Today, digital media encompasses all the individual media of the past in one online universe: TV, radio, print, and film, along with social, and e-Commerce.

Today people live much of their lives online. It’s where they watch, read, listen to, and buy. Their hobbies, their interests, and their work lives revolve around the web and their mobile devices. And the resulting data is a bonanza to marketers.

Digital marketing begins to mature into a people-based marketing

This relatively new world of widespread human connectivity means we can leverage the avalanche of data available concerning consumer behavior. Advances in data and analytics make this all a tantalizing reality, enabling marketers to merge all they know about a customer with what others know to connect with and engage that individual. By doing so skillfully, we can target specific consumers – in an anonymous, unobtrusive fashion – across various media and devices to provide them with marketing that is relevant and timely, not intrusive or disruptive.

To illustrate, imagine past marketing efforts as someone standing on a street corner hawking balloons at the top of their lungs to passersby. Now, compare that with a professional salesperson who, having just sold a pantsuit to a repeat customer whose tastes they are familiar with, suggests, “You know, I have the perfect pair of patent leather pumps to go with this.” That add-on item doubles the sale – and in the process, it makes the customer even more loyal than they were before. People-based marketing is being able to do this with customers across the globe whom you’ve never met.

Marketing and sales online can and will be just as charming, subtle and engaging as the best sales associate in the world. And relationships between online vendors and their customers will be defined by more than a race to the bottom, where making a sale means almost just breaking even on the transaction. The most successful purveyors of goods and services online will be those who know their customers best and can speak to them most persuasively, at the right time. And the data is there to make that possible.

Taking people-based marketing too far

Knowledge is power, but a deft hand with the subtle application of the increasing wealth of data is key to the ongoing development of successful people-based marketing. The more granular the data available, and the more specifically businesses can target a consumer, the more care must be taken with how that data is used.

Employed carelessly, people-based marketing may incite consumer backlash by igniting fears of a surveillance culture that doesn’t respect privacy. This could result in a reduction of actionable data available and deprive marketers of a tool that has changed their everything.

Having access to the data is not enough. Knowing how to use it effectively and with great care is also paramount. You can count on BDEX to help you use your own data and the information on the network to further genuine human connectivity and close sales with a customer base willing to reward the extra attention.

BDEX endows your marketing with the power and depth of human connectivity. Call 917-410-6616 or contact us to learn how marketing solutions from BDEX can help you with your present and future marketing data needs.

Why GDPR Won’t Stop Programmatic Advertising on bdex.com

Why GDPR Won’t Stop Programmatic Advertising

Learn the impacts of GDPR on marketing technology, and why programmatic advertising is stronger than ever

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) went into effect on May 25, 2018, and since then organizations around the world have been updating privacy policies, and consumers have become even more concerned about online transparency and confidentiality.

The privacy changes have proven to be especially relevant to marketers and advertisers, industries that already had to manage a delicate balance between consumer data and privacy compliance.

What follows is a look at how GDPR is affecting marketing technology (MarTech) and why brands are actually continuing to increase programmatic advertising, despite rumors that it was on the way out.

Impacts of GDPR on MarTech

The implementation of GDPR got many in the marketing industry talking about how it may be the end of programmatic advertising. With the stricter privacy laws, many thought programmatic would be too complex to monitor and too prone to violating the new regulations.

Because GDPR requires the consent of consumers if their personal data is involved in an interaction, it was said that it would be too complicated for marketers to have an “entirely opted-in subscriber base,” as Global Web Index put it, making it impossible to continue targeted digital advertising.

Most respondents (79 percent) in a report conducted by London Research and Truth said they were worried about levels of transparency in programmatic advertising. The research surveyed over 100 executives at well-known brands and senior marketers and only 14 percent of respondents said they had a good understanding of the portion of their budget that actually gets to the consumer. One of the biggest industry concerns was a lack of visibility into third parties.

However, programmatic advertising isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. In fact, it’s been increasing since GDPR was implemented last year. The use of third-party data on social media platforms, after a decrease following the implementation of GDPR, started rising again in October 2018. Data from Adaptly shows that 15 percent of Facebook media is purchased with third-party data and that data usage has increased almost three times since the initial decrease.

eMarketer predicts that by 2020, U.S. advertisers will see $69 billion in digital display ad spending programmatically, which will make up 86.3 percent of the entire digital display spending.

Why brands are continuing with programmatic advertising

Programmatic advertising is still going strong because it’s such an effective method. Using data like demographics, geography, personal interests, behaviors, and even weather conditions, programmatic advertising platforms can use this real-time data to identify the right audiences and cater ads to devices specific to that audience.

The accurate, real-time data that programmatic advertising takes advantage of has been the foundation to the method’s success. These ads are personalized to each consumer’s unique interests, behaviors, location, and demographics. Put simply, programmatic advertising allows marketers to put a message in front of a person based on what they’re doing at that exact moment.

In the aforementioned London Research survey, 61 percent of respondents said the greatest benefit of programmatic is the ability to target and optimize effectively. Programmatic enhance personalization and improves the overall brand experience for the consumer while increasing marketing ROI.

So how can these benefits be taken advantage of while following GDPR?

First, marketers must address that consent concern. Make it a priority to receive consent from consumers in everything on your website, including cookies, newsletters, or other subscriptions. Adaptly research shows that 3 in 4 consumers in the UK welcome the changes that GDPR brings, so they’re going to be grateful for your transparency and often willing to give their consent.

Updated privacy regulations also mean quality standards are rising. It’s thus more important than ever to put more energy into creating high-quality ads that are competitive and relevant. It’s a great time for marketers to revisit their entire ad strategy along with updating privacy concerns.

And remember that it’s impossible to produce quality ads without quality data. The BDEX Data Exchange Platform (BDEX DXP) has 900 million searchable data points on tens of millions of U.S. consumers. These data points span 19 categories of shoppers and 5,000 additional categories, such as science, sports, and health, to help marketers home in on the audience they need for effective real-time marketing.

Take advantage of programmatic advertising that’s backed by quality, accurate real-time data. Learn more about how BDEX can help you get the data you need to push your real-time targeting strategy forward. Contact us today to learn more about our advanced data platform.

The Martech Training Boom on bdex.com

The Martech Training Boom

The Martech arms race is creating tremendous demand for trained and certified digital marketing professionals. Trade organizations, for-profit companies, colleges, and universities are responding with a growing array of online and in-person options.

One of the primary challenges facing CMOs today is developing in-house digital marketing expertise needed to harness the power of in-house and third-party data.

Many companies are working to bring core data marketing technologies as well as digital marketing and advertising functions in-house. The effort will require not only spending billions of dollars on IT infrastructure but training or recruiting thousands of employees needed to build, maintain and run highly complex and often AI-enabled systems.

Marketers need new skills

A traditional marketing or advertising education consists of a bachelor’s degree in advertising, marketing, or journalism, with classes on consumer behavior, market research, sales, and the like. As marketing has become increasingly data-driven, marketers must continually build upon that foundation by becoming fluent in a wide and rapidly changing array of technologies and platforms.

Today’s marketing ecosystem is complex and poised to get more so as data continues to grow exponentially. In 2019, digital voice assistants and smart TVs will swell the amount of real-time data signals available to marketers. As the torrent of consumer data grows, companies need employees who can decide which data matter and how to integrate it into an increasingly complex data marketing infrastructure and strategy.

To stay competitive, CMOs are increasingly turning towards training and certification programs. Below we highlight just a few being offered by reputable trade organizations, companies, and academic institutions.

MarTech® Conference Workshops

MarTech® offers a variety of workshops at its conferences designed to provide marketers a deep dive into such topics as agile marketing, customer data platforms, buying marketing technology, creating connected experiences, or building a marketing team with talent optimization. Workshops offered at MarTech’s recently concluded conference in San Jose, California included “The Right Way to Buy Marketing Technology,” “Using CDP to Make the Most of Your Customer Data,” and “Agile Marketing Advantage.” The company’s next conference, MarTech® East, is scheduled to take place in Boston in September 2019.

IAB training certifications

The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) offers certifications in Digital Media Sales, Digital Media Buying and Planning and Digital Ad Operations.

More than 9,500 participants representing more than 300 publishers, agencies, and ad technology vendors have enrolled in IAB’s certification programs since they were established in 2012. Many of the nation’s leading media companies—including AOL, Bloomberg, CBS Interactive, Collective, Condé Nast, Discovery Communications, NBCUniversal, Time Inc., Time Warner Cable Media, and Tremor Video—have pledged to have all eligible digital sellers across their organizations become IAB-certified.

The Digital Media Sales and Digital Ad Operations programs earned the American National Standard Institute’s (ANSI) first accreditation in digital advertising in 2015. The ANSI accreditation process, based on international benchmarks, increases the integrity, confidence, and mobility of certified professionals, and represents the highest standard in personnel certification.

Shoptalk

Shoptalk launched two education initiatives at its 2019 conference, which drew 8,400 people to Las Vegas from March 3-6. The first is a standardized set of sessions referred to as Shoptalk’s Core Curriculum, which covers many of the fundamentals of retail and will be repeated annually with updated perspectives and examples.

Shoptalk also launched an Annual Retail Education Certificate which is awarded to those individuals who complete 10 credits of continuing education at Shoptalk conferences. This certificate helps recipients distinguish themselves at a time when there is a significant divide in retail industry professionals’ knowledge of digital innovation.

Collegiate degree and certificate programs

A growing number of academic institutions are offering certification programs, ranging from community colleges to elite business schools such as Wharton at the University of Pennsylvania and the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern.

Duke University has partnered with Simplilearn, an online training provider, to deliver a curriculum that provides students with advanced knowledge of the eight most important digital marketing domains and includes real-world projects and virtual simulations for practical experience. The program offers hands-on simulation labs and projects for practical learning with 350 combined instruction/study hours. Completion of the program meets the course criteria to sit for the Online Marketing Certified Professional certification exam.

As one of the world’s first data exchange platforms, BDEX is dedicated to building the infrastructure to power human connectivity. Contact us today to learn how we marketers access the best third-party data inexpensively, quickly and easily.