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.

Personalized Marketing: Your Competitive Edge on bdex.com

Personalized Marketing: Your Competitive Edge

Mastering personalization is one of the most important aspects of your modern marketing strategy. Here’s why it’s so important

For decades, the average consumer has been constantly surrounded by advertisements that don’t pertain to their specific desires, needs, or place in life, and customers have become pretty used to that. So, when an ad does speak to them on an individual level, it’s a big deal.

This is why marketers are focusing more attention on personalization in their strategies. Instead of sending out a message to the unknown in hopes that someone will bite, marketing is becoming more advanced. Now the ideal customer can be reached in real-time, about something they care about or want.

To get to that place of real human connectivity, it’s first important to consider how you’re getting your data and if you’re getting the right data. What’s behind the tools that will give you the results you need? Artificial intelligence (AI). Now more than ever, marketers have access to big data that provides the real-time, deep insights needed to reach people.

AI tools enable this hyper-personalization, which is the ability to use real-time data to deliver content, products, services, or experiences to a hand-picked audience. Because many marketers aren’t getting the right data, or don’t know how to use the data, creating a successful strategy can set you apart, and fast.

So how do you master the art of personalization, and does it really work?

Using customer data and insight

The use of customer data and advanced analysis of that data is a big trend across industries, but it’s especially relevant to marketing. A report from Accenture, which surveyed almost 1,000 chief marketing officers (CMOs) and 500-plus CEOs at large organizations, shows that 31 percent of CEOs expect CMOs to base new products, services, and experiences off of customer data that’s been gathered and analyzed.

Using customer data means behavior patterns can not only be discovered and monitored but also predicted. In fact, a report from Ascend2 showed that predictive analytics was considered the most effective strategy for hyper-personalization.

Leveraging real-time data and predictive analytics leads to relevant advertisements that reach the audience you want, right when they want to see them.

Accenture says businesses who use this kind of thinking are considered “living businesses,” meaning that:

  • The customer is central to decision-making.
  • The business responds to and anticipates consumer needs and driving forces.
  • The business continues to adapt quickly to maintain relevance, thus sustaining growth.

The third point is a big one since marketing is constantly changing. Of the CEOs and CMOs surveyed by Accenture, 90 percent reported that they believe marketers’ roles will change in big ways, just over the next three years alone.

This is why planning for the future, and staying up to date on what competitors are doing and the research that’s being released, is crucial for successful personalization strategy and continued growth.

Personalization helps the bottom line

While building meaningful relationships and making lasting connections should be at top of mind when creating any marketing strategy, it helps, of course, if efforts can support business growth. This enables the company to stay even more competitive in an ever-changing industry.

According to the same Accenture report, CMOs who put “hyper-relevant” customer experiences at the top of the priority list generated 11 percent higher shareholder returns in one year.

McKinsey data shows that personalization can mean five to eight times more ROI on marketing spend and can increase sales by 10 percent, sometimes more. And it makes sense – customers care about real, genuine connections, and they’ve learned to not pay attention to ads (or brands) unless they pertain to their personal experiences and desires.

However, the report from Ascend2 shows that only 9 percent of marketing influencers have fully implemented a hyper-personalization strategy. So, doing this now will not only connect you with customers, build more meaningful relationships, and help the bottom line; you’ll also see big benefits from gaining that competitive advantage.

The BDEX difference

Because personalization matters for both your relevance and your sustainability, BDEX makes it easy. Our BDEX Data Exchange Platform (DXP) provides real-time targeting opportunities, with over 900 billion data signals on U.S. customers, over 5,500 different categories to choose from and the ability to match customer IDs with over 700 million connections between email and mobile IDs and cookie and email IDs.

We understand how important it is to personalize your strategy to stay competitive and to reach the right people at the right time. That’s why our data infrastructure powers what really matters: human connectivity.

Contact us today to learn more about our DXP.

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.

How Real-Time Targeting Can Revolutionize Your Marketing Strategy on bdex.com

How Real-Time Targeting Can Revolutionize Your Marketing Strategy

Delivering the right content at the right moment is a vital part of obtaining – and keeping – customers

The ways companies reach and obtain new customers has evolved since the early days of marketing and advertising. Long gone are the days of spray-and-pray marketing, when advertisers would send and spread mass campaigns in the hopes of turning a few curious eyeballs into paying customers. Today’s consumers recognize a generic advertisement or message when they see it, and they’re completely turned off. They demand personalization throughout the customer experience – and that begins with a relevant, timely marketing campaign.

Through real-time targeting, companies can access the exact data they need, connect with their customers no matter their device, and create the most effective marketing campaigns possible.

Find the right data at the right time

At its core, real-time marketing is serving the right content to the right person on the right device at the right time. Of course, that’s easier said than done – especially if you don’t know when and where your prospects are shopping or the products and services they’re looking to buy. Many companies rely on common, outdated resources that only provide traditional data or predictive analytics. While helpful for establishing a customer base, this kind of information provides limited value when it comes to real-time marketing.

Enter real-time targeting. By tagging, collecting, and integrating data from online and offline channels and a variety of mobile and desktop devices, companies can get the information they need to target potential customers the moment they start shopping.

Collecting relevant real-time data

To ensure companies can reach potential customers quickly and accurately through real-time targeting, BDEX collects real-time data by:

  • Accessing consumers’ recent activity and purchases (airline tickets, cars, apparel, furniture, etc.).
  • Collecting data from Point-of-Sale (POS) systems in brick-and-mortar stores.
  • Using geofencing technology, a location-based service that accesses GPS, RFID, Wi-Fi, and cellular data to track stores that consumers have visited.

This wealth of data from disparate sources is then integrated into the BDEX Data Exchange Platform, where it becomes unique, highly targeted, and actionable marketing information that companies can use to enable and enhance human connectivity.

Connect customers across multiple devices

Real-time targeting is not just a matter of finding the right data, however. Knowing who and what device to target is a crucial step in any effective marketing strategy.

The proliferation of mobile devices has allowed people around the world to access the internet, but it’s also made it difficult for marketers to match customers across multiple devices. To organize the wealth of data they have on their customers, companies are adopting ID graphs, or databases that hold customer profiles and all the known identifiers that correlate with those consumers. However, if the information in these databases is based purely on the probability of a user being connected to a device, the ID graph might not provide the most accurate matches possible, and since consumers are constantly changing and turning on new devices, it is a challenge to know if your device data is still current.

To ensure certainty when matching customers with devices, BDEX’s ID graph uses a deterministic cross-device matching approach. Rather than relying on probabilistic measures, BDEX uses deterministic authenticated customer information, such as anonymized log-in data, email addresses, and credit card purchases to match and recognize individuals regardless of which device they are using. With real-time information from more than 75 vetted partners and over 800 million mobile-to-email ID connections, BDEX can help you target consumers across different platforms with unparalleled accuracy.

Once companies have a wealth of real-time data and can successfully match users with their correct devices, they can create marketing campaigns customized for specific customers and channels.

Personalize and send marketing campaigns

Personalization is a key component of an effective marketing campaign and a successful customer relationship. Not only do customers appreciate personalization – they expect it. According to Salesforce, 76 percent of consumers expect companies to understand their needs and expectations.

Through real-time targeting and cross-device matching, companies can:

  • Tailor marketing messaging based on behavior. For example, if a customer searched for a pair of shoes via smartphone last week, a company can send a personalized coupon code to encourage a transaction.
  • Offer relevant product recommendations. Based on a customer’s recent purchases or recent search history, a company can offer similar products or other items that would complement the purchase.
  • Take better advantage of programmatic advertising. Accurate, real-time data is the foundation of successful programmatic advertising.
  • Encourage customers to come in-store. Retailers, restaurants, and other businesses can use geofencing technology to know when their customers are close by and encourage them to visit through push notifications, text messages, and other channels.

These are just a few ways real-time data can be used to cultivate human connectivity and enhance customer experience. By using personalization to attract and engage with their customers, companies can foster genuine relationships that lead to increased sales and stronger brand loyalty.

Though the tactic is very effective, 60 percent of marketers struggle to personalize content in real time. To aid companies in their marketing efforts and beyond, BDEX developed the Explore Data Tool, which allows companies to mine through various data sets to reach customers throughout their purchasing process – from building a custom audience to real-time targeting to post-purchase.

Thanks to more than 100 partners, BDEX analysts can search more than 1 trillion data points on every U.S. consumer across 19 categories of shoppers and more than 5,000 other categories – all designed to help marketers fine-tune their real-time marketing. Contact us to learn how we can help you advance your current marketing strategy.