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.

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.

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.

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.

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.