Leah Pope, Datorama CMO and Head of Product Marketing for Marketing Cloud, pens this opinion piece about how marketers must embrace customised analytics and data integration in order to achieve true personalisation…
Personalisation at scale is often cited as the Holy Grail of marketing, with 86 percent of marketers claiming that personalisation improves their overall marketing program, according to Salesforce’s latest State of Marketing report.
Meanwhile, customers now understand that AI and data-fueled insights significantly improve personalised customer engagement, with 43 percent saying that AI is actively transforming their expectations when it comes to customer experience (CX). However, according to Acquia, nearly half of Australian consumers say brands aren’t meeting their expectations.
This is a clear indication of the disconnect between what consumers expect and want, and what marketers are delivering, leading to ineffective campaigns that miss the mark and fail to convert. While marketers understand that personalisation is key, they don’t have the necessary tools to act quickly enough to influence the consumer decision-making process. Time and time again the root of the problem is the lack of insightful data.
The essential building block
As outlined by a recent McKinsey insights report, personalisation must begin with ‘data foundation’ and ‘decisioning’ based on relevant data in order to provide a 360-degree view of the customer. Marketers often admit that they are either data rich, but lack the insights needed, or their data is inaccurate and fragmented, leading to untimely decision-making.
Today’s marketer communicates with their customers through so many unique channels including mobile, social, programmatic, email, customer relationship manager (CRM), e-commerce and more. Each channel often requires its own bespoke marketing technology and these systems are often not designed to talk to one another.
The end result is disparate data that sit in siloes, disconnected from other data points that, when combined, can create real insights into where and when to best reach customers. AI-powered, marketing intelligence-driven platforms are the answer and should be the starting point. They can boost every aspect of the marketing mix and drive team alignment and efficiency. These innovative and powerful tools are designed to bring in data from a variety of sources like Google Analytics, CRM, social media and more into one single ‘source of truth.’ Having one home for all data empowers marketers to draw valuable insights from initially ‘disconnected’ actions.
True personalisation requires real-time insights
With the silver bullet of personalisation in mind, it can be all too easy for marketers to get caught up in day-to-day execution, without stopping to reassess their strategies with real-time knowledge.
When determining what kind of ad would have an impact on a customer, marketers need to ask themselves – Did they recently click on a targeted promotion through email marketing? What content would be most relevant to them that aligns with their recent actions and interests? When armed with the right data at the right time and in one place, marketers can have access to automated personalised insights rather than manually wrangling through disparate data and are able to create tailored measurement systems to track the performance of their campaigns in real-time, allowing them to pivot strategy as needed.
Taking advantage of open marketplaces
With so many tools available to marketers today, integrating them all is key to achieving effective real-time insights, and in turn, personalisation. This is where open marketplaces come in to play. As showcased by the ever-popular ‘hackathon,’ with open marketplaces, developers can create bespoke solutions that enable marketers to expand into new data sources and discover new areas of measurement, visualisation, reporting and insights.
Open marketplaces have the potential to enhance the martech industry from a customisation standpoint, but it’s up to the industry as a whole to embrace this. These ecosystems extend the power of marketing intelligence platforms to serve as a stable foundation for specialised third-party applications – providing marketers with a simple way to access deeper marketing insights and better understand performance. With access to customised solutions, marketers have the flexibility to address the evolving demands of consumers and achieve personalisation through marketing analytics.
True personalisation remains one of the most sought after goals for marketers, yet it seems ever more elusive, as they have more channels and data sources to reconcile. Personalisation starts with having the right data available at your fingertips. With all siloed marketing data harmonised into a single platform and new, custom analytics solutions being made available, marketers have the opportunity to make impactful data-driven decisions at scale.