There is a lot of talk about data-led, people-based marketing, but I’m often surprised to find that some retailers are not acting on the real opportunities to harness the power of their data to deliver growth and business impact. In talking with retailers across the marketing maturity spectrum, one shared characteristic stands out amongst those leading retailers that are reaping the rewards of people-based marketing: they don’t get stuck in analysis-paralysis. In fact, they limit their preparation analysis to the most critical elements, then put real ideas into the market to learn quickly. Perfection is the enemy of now, and it turns out now is the only time to make progress.
For those retailers that want to use the remaining half of 2019 to make an impact in this hyperconnected, on-demand marketing environment, here are four people-based marketing tactics you can implement today.
1. Identify and re-target your underexposed TV audiences. Retailers often leverage TV to achieve the most mass reach possible, but can also use it to fill “reach gaps.” It’s possible today to quickly profile your linear TV audience and look at the exposure data to identify which segments were underserved by the linear spots. You can then build an underserved audience and then model it out and deploy it elsewhere — both through TV and beyond, conducting multiple tests this year with multiple partners. You don’t have to completely change your TV investment strategy. Carving out some money (e.g. 5% of your TV spend), you can identify a unique, hard-to-access audience and do something about it. If you are questioning the value of Advanced TV, this is a great way to test and learn how it can have an impact immediately and address a common problem many marketers are experiencing with their linear TV buying approach.
2. Gain a retail competitive advantage with data partnerships. Have someone on your team go out and assess partnerships with a few of the most important brands sold in your store or on your site.
- If you’re a traditional retailer, identify two relationships with branded CPG partners.
- If you’re an automotive retailer, partner with a third-party marketplace to leverage their intent data and combine it with manufacturing and dealer data.
- If you’re a big-box home improvement retailer, partner with an insurance company or a credit card institution to identify when people are about to tackle new projects in preparation to sell a home or move.
Once you’ve identified the right candidates, make sure your partnership is executed in a privacy-safe way and that the data is appropriately accredited for use with a partner. Give yourself the flexibility to swap partners, but don’t over-analyze it. Give a partnership a try and then improve on it — or move on if needed. There are easy ways to commingle your data with a partner’s data in privacy-safe, compliant ways. For many top retailers, implementing this single strategy has not only increased sales but created entirely incremental revenue streams. A leading retailer has been able to generate more than $3MM in incremental quarterly revenue using this approach, building a mutually beneficial service for their brand partners and their own business.
3. Maximize ad spend by frequency capping exposure across channels. Using identity resolution to frequency cap, limiting ad exposure across channels and devices, will maximize your marketing investment and create more relevant, connected experiences for your consumers. If you’ve been frequency capping your digital display advertising, are you also doing it across digital channels? What about across devices? People don’t stay in one channel or on one device: they move around seamlessly, and if you aren’t limiting ad exposure in line with their behavior, you’re definitely annoying them and wasting money. Look for partners that use neutral universal identifiers that you can apply against your ad buys that resolve identity beyond just cookies and devices. Make sure your data is mapped to this ID before you send it out. There might be a lot of waste in your digital spend right now, which will kill your impact on growth and ROI unless you are more methodical about omnichannel frequency capping. I’ve seen retailers achieve more than 30% reduction in customer cost-per-acquisition (CPA) and a more than 30% increase in return on ad spend by targeting top customers at the people level and managing frequency across channels.
4. Improve your Google and Facebook performance. For many brands, walled gardens represent a huge chunk of their digital marketing investment. Match your data to a universal ID before pushing to Google Customer Match (GCM), for instance, and see your match rates increase dramatically. Additionally, you can still append third-party audiences on Facebook if they meet certain standards. These simple strategies can have an immediate impact on your ROI, ensuring you squeeze the most value from your investments with these partners. A retailer that was seeking to re-engage with customers who bought online and in-store with Google Customer Match increased both clicks and reach by matching to a universal identifier. This doubled its match rates, leading to a more than 200% increase in click throughs and a 70% higher return on ad spend.
As a retailer, you can still make 2020 a winning year by accelerating your brand’s people-based marketing activities in measurable, repeatable ways right now. There’s no good reason to wait. If you’re already doing these things, then great. Please forward this along to a friend who needs a roadmap. While these suggestions may not solve every marketing challenge, they are proven strategies that are immensely valuable to market-leading retailers in driving growth and ROI. Don’t wait for the holiday to ‘make your year’! Instead, challenge your teams to make the most of the entire back-half of the year by implementing these four strategies now.
As Chief Evangelist in Global Business Solutions for Brands, Andrew Kasprzycki helps LiveRamp clients maximize the value of identity resolution technology in addressing some of their most strategic challenges. Kasprzycki works with a team of analysts and project managers to form a consultative and strategic team working across all of LiveRamp’s capabilities. LiveRamp’s Global Business Solutions Group helps brand marketers and their advertising agencies forge deeper connections across the marketing funnel using LiveRamp’s tailored identity resolution services. He also consults with clients and their legal teams on building roadmaps dedicated to consumer privacy and the ethical use of data.