Data: A Love Story

Data: A Love Story
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Valentine’s Day. It’s an opportunity to celebrate love stories of all kinds, writes Trent Lloyd, Eyeota managing  partner.

It can also be a day punctuated with questions of ‘what if?’ and thoughts of what might have been. In many ways, this can be likened to digital marketing.

Every day brands miss out on opportunities to makes sales, engage consumers or enhance existing relationships. Quite often because they’re simply not reading the signs.

Data has a huge role to play in helping brands of all shapes and sizes forge lasting, long-term relationships with customers.

And so, in celebration of Valentine’s Day, Data Marketplace Eyeota presents ‘Data: A love story’, a fun look at how data can help marketers woo their audiences.

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1. Getting to know each other:

Consumers have completely embraced eCommerce and as a result share with brands a lot of data about themselves. In return for inviting us into their world, consumers expect an element of personalisation.

There is nothing worse than being targeted with an ad that shows a total lack of understanding about you as an individual.  An avid purchaser of designer clothes wants to see ads for discount stores… about as much as a 30 year old married woman wants to be served online dating ads for seniors.

Neither of these ads are offensive, they just demonstrate that the brand behind the communication has utterly failed to understand anything about your lifestyle, aspirations and purchasing behaviour and haven’t even tried to learn or understand what you might be interested in. Not unlike our character Steve, above.

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 2. Building a meaningful relationship:

Once brands understand their customers they can start to move beyond transactional relationships and look to engage them more broadly. To do this, advertisers have to demonstrate they can add value or help consumers meet a need or desire. Otherwise, the relationship will be very one sided. Just ask Steve.

The data marketers have access to these days empowers brands to treat their audiences as individual humans and demonstrate that they’ve taken the time to understand their likes and dislikes. This goes a long way to engendering the sorts of warm fuzzy feelings upon which long term relationships are based.

 

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3. Reading the signs:

In order to understand the type of content that will truly appeal to your audiences, it’s important that campaigns are using localised data.  Much of the data being used to target in Australia is bought on a global level – and this is quite simply too generic. What this data offers in scale it lacks in local cultural nuances, and this is a huge factor in building respect in a new customer-brand relationship.

With generic data (and by assuming things about individuals instead of reading the signs) you run the risk of wasting time, energy and budget trying to reach customers that have little or no interest in what you’ve got to offer. Or worse, like Steve, not engaging with those who do want to hear from you. In seeking to target effectively, the moral is: never underestimate the importance of local knowledge and emotional intelligence.

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4. Building trust:

The success of digital marketing is rooted in consumers trusting the brand they are interacting with. If that trust is eroded through poor use of data, brands – like Steve – face an uphill struggle to get it back.

Brands should be up-front with how they intend to use their own audience data and also thoroughly check the credentials of any third-party data providers they use too.

The only link between data and the consumer is an anonymised browser ID. Even so, anonymised data needs to be treated respectfully.  In the trust-building phase marketers need to be thinking of their audience as humans, with individual lifestyles, hobbies, likes…and dislikes – and be highly attuned to these.

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5. Demonstrating your human side:

Data not only gives digital marketing the opportunity to be more targeted and relevant – it allows advertisers to imitate human nature. As humans we listen and observe; data is the means via which brands can do this and evolve their communication.

Data is often seen as robotic, but this is far from the case. Data, if used correctly, should humanise a brand by enabling clever, well thought out and relevant interactions that are of true value to the end consumer.

Digital may well be the platform for today’s marketing, but in order to facilitate meaningful engagements that drive growth, don’t forget about the human at the other end.

Just like Steve, if you ditch the gimmicks and communicate authentically, in the long run your audiences will love you for it.

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