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.

Marketing: In Our World of Data, Be the Human Touch on bdex.com

Marketing: In Our World of Data, Be the Human Touch

The future is in people-based marketing, which targets individuals no matter the device they’re using

The modern consumer doesn’t just connect with brands via their smartphone or desktop computer. GlobalWebIndex says a typical digital consumer owns 3.23 devices, and MarTech Advisor says by 2030, there will be 15 connected devices for every consumer.

What does this mean for marketers? That it’s more important than ever to target the individual, across the devices that he or she may be used in a given time period. Human connectivity is crucial.

But that human touch is missing from many marketers’ strategies. Here’s why people-based marketing is the future and how you can create that necessary human connection in your efforts.

People are the future of marketing

Because the modern consumer uses a variety of devices, this means they may see an ad on their smartphone, then view a website on their laptop, then actually make a purchase on a tablet. This is multi-channel shopping, which has created a challenge for marketers who are trying to track consumer behavior.

Cookie-based marketing isn’t always effective in this kind of environment since this approach doesn’t “differentiate situations,” as Instapage puts it. With traditional marketing approaches, actionable customer information could be lost if the user isn’t tracked effectively, making each of those valuable connections to your website or products seem unrelated – and leaving you with an underwhelming marketing strategy.

Multi-channel marketing for multi-channel customers

Instead, marketers need to gather customer data from a variety of sources, both offline and online, to create a comprehensive profile that’s sufficiently accurate to better reach customers across devices. Users need to be tracked across multiple channels, which is why people-based marketing is also called cross-channel marketing or multi-channel marketing. It just makes sense—a multi-channel shopper will be the most effectively reached by a multi-channel marketing approach.

The idea is that if a consumer is watching television while engaging with social media on a smartphone, these experiences are able to be linked, producing real-time data that can help companies market to the consumer based on their actual current behavior. This is important, as Consumer Technology Association reported that the majority of millennials (88 percent) engage with a second screen while watching video content.

Cross-device identification is thus a must if marketers want to engage with first-party data, such as social media logins, instead of just third-party data such as cookies, as Inc.com points out.

An effective strategy would be to show consumers personalized ads and experiences across their devices based on their past viewing history and interests, using real ID information. And ID personalization is key – an ad by itself across devices won’t mean anything to a consumer unless it’s actually related to what they’ve shown an interest in.

Stats show people-based marketing works

Over the past couple of years, people-based marketing has proven extremely effective for marketers. Recent data shows that 83 percent of media buyers say this marketing strategy is more effective than traditional campaigns. This is why almost all media buyers (90 percent) have increased their people-based ad purchases over the last year.

According to an Accenture report, 91 percent of consumers are more likely to buy from brands that provide relevant offers to them. Other recent research shows that consumers are much more likely to buy from brands that offer personalized experiences for them.

To stay competitive, it’s important to start implementing a cross-channel marketing strategy. With all the different ways people are marketed to these days, the modern consumer cares about that human touch.

The BDEX difference: empowering human connectivity

BDEX solutions allow you to implement a people-based marketing strategy that connects you to individuals. Using our cross-device matching service, you can reach the same consumer across multiple channels, whether mobile, direct mail, social media, or other means. We bring you over 800 million mobile-to-email ID connections, making our solution the most comprehensive option out there.

Our real-time targeting tools allow you to get real-time data about individuals so you can implement up-to-the-minute marketing to better reach customers who are ready to buy.

No matter the type of enterprise you run, the BDEX Data Exchange Platform (DXP) allows you to pull together the data you need about individuals. All you have to do is figure out the type of user you’d like to reach, whether via mobile, email or direct mail, and you can select from nearly 500 different industries. We make it easy to reach your ideal audience and empower you to make real human connections.

To learn more about the DXP and our cross-device matching service, get in touch with the team at BDEX.

Marketing: The Effective Use of Data Brings the Ready-to-Buy to Your Door on bdex.com

Marketing: The Effective Use of Data Brings the Ready-to-Buy to Your Door

In automotive marketing, the same buyer data is used again and again throughout the industry. It takes an entirely new way of using the available information to gain an edge. BDEX can be that edge.

The BDEX edge for automotive dealers and other businesses is its Data Exchange Platform, which is a data nexus that gathers billions of real-time data points. The platform puts the identity and behavior data of individual shoppers – potential car buyers already in the sales cycle – into the hands of automotive marketers in time to reach them before they make a final buying decision.

This means dealers aren’t wasting time and money trying to pull new customers into the sales cycle, they’re reaching out to potential buyers who are already there. It’s all thanks to BDEX Omnisource IQ, which identifies consumers who are in the market and actively looking.

Eliminating auto dealership pain points

Behind the smiling faces in every auto dealership, there lurks a deep pain that saps the very lifeblood of the organization. It is the enduring angst – felt down to the bottom line – of marketing overspend. Sure, they don’t run ads in the daily newspapers anymore. That was an advertising-spend boondoggle whose time is past.

However, now there is the pay-per-click lottery – pay $1,000 for 100 clicks on Facebook, of which maybe five come from people who may buy/consider/look at a vehicle in the next year or so. The clicks keep coming in, and the advertiser keeps paying for them and taking the time to respond to them, with a very minimal return on investment. However, they ask, what else are they supposed to do?

The problem isn’t data. It’s knowing how to use it and having the tools to do so

Businesses are collecting ever more data from potential consumers these days. However, in this avalanche of information, one salient fact is lost among the mountains of email addresses, tweets, and Facebook likes: Few know what to do with it beyond the most obvious of applications.

Most of these uses, by their very nature, just scratch the surface. There is so much more to glean from this accumulation of information on consumer activity, which covers the landscape like a snowfall that will never melt. At BDEX, this is what we do.

A world where a Facebook click or an Instagram like is just the beginning

For all the spend and effort that goes into earning what is just a data point from social media (or a new email in the company’s mailing list) – the fact is, that single data point is just the start of a journey. To make full use of BDEX’s mind-boggling collection of data, advertisers need a place to start, and that’s where their social data and mailing list come in.

Let’s say a company has 10,000 people on its mailing list. Those 10,000 addresses can be whittled down by additional data points, and each one narrows the list until it consists of folks actively shopping for a new car.

How is that possible? By connecting data points, we see that 5,000 people on the list visited an auto website in the last 30 days. The superimposition of another data set narrows that number down to 1,500 of those 5,000 who also have a vehicle lease expiring in the next 30 days. Layer on a final data set – geolocation data showing how many of these potentials visited a competing auto dealer in the last two weeks – and we’ve identified 437 people who are actively shopping for a car.

That will enable the company to send fewer than 500 mailers to genuinely qualified prospects and save the money it would have spent on mailing an additional 9,500 pieces to people who, according to all evidence, aren’t looking to invest in a new or used vehicle just yet.

BDEX provides lasting relief from the profound pain of marketing overspend

There’s no virtue in living with unnecessary pain, and even less to be found in spending more money chasing inferior results. Let us at BDEX show you how you can master the use of your data to make your marketing efforts better-targeted, more productive, and capable of generating real foot traffic. You’ll see the direct results in fast-moving inventory, impressive sales results, and happy sales staff.

BDEX is committed to helping businesses make better use of their data resources. Call 917-410-6616 or contact us at our website today and learn how marketing solutions from BDEX can help you reach out to buyers ready to deal.

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.

How Technologies May Change How Marketing Data Is Gathered and Used on bdex.com

How Technologies May Change How Marketing Data Is Gathered and Used

Today’s ubiquity of connected devices is such that, even for those of us from a past without email, it’s hard to imagine life without them. Companies should use caution to avoid marketing missteps.

If we take today as an admittedly arbitrary starting point, what could the next 20 years bring? In 1999, Google was less than a year old, and Yahoo was still the dominant search engine. Apple released the iBook, the first Wi-Fi-enabled notebook computer.

Comparing the technological landscape of 1999 to today and projecting that rate of change to the world of 2039, it’s difficult to imagine how the future will look. One thing, though, is certain: For the marketing world, the emerging opportunities are equal parts exciting and perilous.

Looking forward to a continuing increase in human connectivity

Two things we can be sure of in the years ahead are the continued increase of human connectivity to a global network of information, entertainment, and commerce, and the continuing rise of machine learning and AI. The combination of these two factors presents new opportunities and challenges to market researchers.

Increased human connectivity to the network will bring with it a data bonanza the likes of which we have never seen. Without the concurrent rise of machine learning, we would not be able to make sense of it all. The incidence of these two factors will bring about a golden age of individually tailored marketing that will seamlessly integrate itself into a user’s buying behavior as they transact business online. Marketing will dynamically adjust to the buyer’s shopping patterns and buying behaviors in such a way as to appear serendipitous.

Data-driven eCommerce opportunities

Imagine shopping at Saks Fifth Avenue’s eCommerce site for a Calvin Klein buckle-strap sheath dress in Summer Yellow. You make the purchase and then open Instagram to check in on your friends, and as you scroll through, you find a photo of the perfect crossbody handbag in a coordinating navy blue. Just a click, and you’re looking at it on the Zaful.com online store. Five minutes later, the bag is on its way to you, and you have no idea you were just sold.

Sophisticated AI used a combination of a color-coordinating accessory-suggestion algorithm and prior analysis of your fashion purchasing habits to make the accessory appear for you. The whole experience might have felt no more intrusive than if an in-the-flesh salesperson showed you the perfect bag for the lovely dress you just picked up.

Don’t make consumers keep looking over their shoulder

A deft touch with these advances will not only be desirable but necessary. The alternative is a version of today’s remarketing efforts amped-up on steroids – ads reactively appearing immediately for every item browsed, every cart abandoned, every word uttered within earshot of a smart speaker. Imagine asking your partner for a stick of gum and then looking at your smartwatch, only to find a banner ad for the latest neutrino-mint-flavored chewing gum there. The banner might as well as say, “Big Marketing Brother Is Watching.”

That’s one of the biggest challenges that marketers will face in the coming age of hyperconnectivity. Collecting every available bit of consumer data and using it without any thought given to how invasive and pushy the use may come off to consumers could lead to a destructive backlash. With companies like Apple pushing privacy protection and giving consumers more options to opt out of data collection, misuse of future data acquisition and handling tech could lead to a drought of data. Those marketers who employ intelligence coupled with restraint will be positioned to reap the benefits: a wealth of actionable data on consumer buying habits and the graceful marketing tactics that encourage purchase without the perception of “digital hard-selling.”

The lessons of a possible future

These are lessons worth taking to heart today. For the future always arrives gradually, until suddenly one looks around and realizes that the future is – how’d that happen? – now. Those marketers who seek to harness the full power of data – yet with the foresight to use that information in thoughtful and clever ways that don’t heighten consumer concerns – are the same ones who will prosper in a coming online world that is data-rich, yet also more surveillance-sensitive.

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.