By Giovanni Strocchi, CEO at ADmantX
Despite a rising sea of data that is set to reach levels of 44 zettabytes in the space of a few years, marketers still can’t get enough insights to quench their thirst.
According to a report by Infogroup, more than half (53%) of marketers felt they required more information about their customers and only a third were happy with the amount they had. But why is it that while data volumes are overflowing, nothing seems to be relevant?
The answer is that in the face of infinitely expanding data streams, marketers are struggling to extract useable insights and many hope widening the net will increase their chances of finding the information they need. Yet instead of providing greater understanding of individual tastes, habits, and preferences, this approach only swamps marketers even further — making it difficult to deliver the personalized and inspiring messages consumers expect.
As campaign quality decreases, consumer frustration has increased and the irritation caused by irrelevant ads has already driven 47% of US consumers to ad blockers. In fact, a recent HubSpot survey revealed that just over 90% of consumers consider digital ads more intrusive than they were three years ago and just 7% have clicked on an ad they found compelling.
So how can marketers regain control of the chaotic data tides and uncover the granular data treasures they contain?
1. Set the Campaign Compass
With no clear destination, marketers are likely to find campaign navigation always ends the same way — lost adrift in a sea of bland messaging. This means the first step of successful targeting is to set the compass on a definitive direction. By establishing specific campaigns and offers are most likely to resonate with certain audiences, marketers can identify the categories within which data should be structured and refined. Thus, marketers will be able to ensure insights are relevant and actionable, instead of random, irrelevant, and sometimes confusing.
2. Focus Sights on Individual Appeal and Online Interests
Although bringing key demographics within range makes campaigns less generic, marketers must focus their sights on tailoring at an individual level to boost personal engagement. So how can they achieve this? The most effective way is to utilize an approach that turns complex data into a detailed view of user interests and preferences: psychographic analysis.
Using a mixture of advanced technologies — such as semantic analysis and Natural Language Processing — this process allows marketers to build comprehensive profiles for individual consumers, which are based on their particular use of, and real time interactions with, online content. Not only does this method provide marketers with the means to adapt messages for optimal individual impact, it also pinpoints the sentiment any piece of content expresses and evokes by reading it the same way a human would. In doing so, it paves the way campaigns that go far beyond standard demographics to create a lasting emotional connection.
3. Look to Future Horizons
While technological innovation has added to the swell of data marketers are grappling with, it has also produced machines capable of drawing lessons that can predict a consumer’s true propensity to buy. Smart technologies, which use automated learning techniques, can blend customer interests and real time purchases to create in-depth audience profiles. This enables insights into how likely a future purchase is, so brands can accurately pinpoint the products and offers individuals will want next — as well as when they will want them — allowing marketers to serve targeted, anticipatory messages that are viewed as inspiring suggestions rather than annoying intrusions.
For example, department store Harvey Nichols is one of many retail groups that is embracing machine learning to inform the rewards delivered through loyalty cards. Indeed, the company has already switched from deals to personalized experiences that tie in with shopping frequency as a result of analysis, which has proved to be a great success.
With the sea of data showing no signs of subsiding, it’s time for marketers to switch their focus from gathering as much information as possible, to extrapolating the right information. By setting a direct course for core audiences and harnessing the power of new technologies to reveal precise and actionable insights, they will be able to better target campaigns, improve creative messaging, and even begin to turn the tides of consumer loyalty in their favor.