“Data-driven thinking” is written by members of the media community and contains new ideas about the digital revolution in media.
Today’s column is written by Matt Zeiger, vice president of technology, Adlucent.
Last year, while working at another marketing agency, I sat across from a team of paid social media buyers, talking about the strategies they use to grow their accounts. I asked, âSo how do you find and connect with your target customers? And I expected a variety of different responses depending on the brand or account they were working on.
âWe use lookalikes on Facebook,â one replied succinctly, and the others all nodded at the same time.
“Okay, but what else?” I asked, “What happens when we don’t meet our goals and the lookalikes don’t work?” “
Everyone responded in both silence and confusion. It was then that I realized how badly things had turned out.
Marketers don’t really need to understand how data has been used to run successful marketing campaigns. Instead, they relied on the expertise of Big Tech players who provide âfreeâ products in exchange for customer data.
I don’t want to criticize this mindset, but I want to address the funding of the expertise that it invites. Many media experts have been trained on specific tools and technologies, not so much on the fundamentals or why things work the way they do.
We are clearly entering a new chapter in digital marketing. Many users choose not to opt for tracking on iOS devices (up to 94% based on data from Burst analysis). What we will see is a return to basics. Companies with a direct link, access and exchange of value with consumers will be able to be successful. In other words, those with first party data will have a major advantage.
I started in marketing in 2003 and have gone through all the changes and developments in different ecosystems. Previously, we had to do extensive research on our target market, conduct interviews, field surveys, and test different media buys with different posts on different locations to find what worked.
But in recent years, we’ve relied on data collected by Big Tech to automate all of this. We could now just broadcast any creation in the world, even targeting a large audience or a large set of keywords, and with all the signals we sent to Big Tech on our own channels – voila – we could. sell products and get results with little understanding of who was actually buying things and why.
It is now considered somewhat new to implement different designs and messages depending on the stage of the consumer’s purchase. With so much automation on display and social media, marketers have been able to be successful without a basic strategy for connecting with their audience.
And think about the hardware and software devices you use. Android phone? Samsung TV? Macbook? Google Chrome? Products that are your gateway to other products and services will become more relevant as consumers become more willing to provide information to use the product. Companies that have a direct connection to the customer will continue to collect relevant data on consumers.
With the exchange of value, we have to go back to some âold-fashionedâ methods of conducting opt-in, or what people today call a new buzzword: âzero dataâ. -party â. Last weekend I went to several retail stores and each of them asked for my email or phone number at checkout. While I’m sure I could have objected, when they asked if they could subscribe to a 10% off email, I gladly agreed. After all, I could always unsubscribe later, and who doesn’t want to save money at the checkout?
But what I’m talking about is more than an email address capture. The wealth of data that exists on Big Tech platforms is the combination of all the signals, events, and transactions that are occurring as a whole. Marketers need to think more about value exchange and multi-point consumer cohorts and become more aware of the moment in their marketing messages based on accepted data.
Although the name is new, zero-party data is actually a classic strategy, dating back to the 1960s, when consumer information was readily provided for contests, magazines, or other direct mailings.
While many marketers can and should bemoan the loss of accurate tracking, they should also take the opportunity to actually research and understand their customers.
A world without cookies ushers in a new era of digital advertising. Marketers have the ability to build a strategic foundation on a clear understanding of their customers, unique product cycles, and high value-added touchpoints, instead of having this information hidden by Big Tech. In doing so, marketers will create a stronger, more resilient, and more effective foundation to connect with increasingly tech-savvy consumers.