Customer Data Platform

Budget cuts – What happens to Marketing

It’s coming towards the end of the year and for many, that means the process of reviewing the budget for the next fiscal year. Reviewing every line of that budget becomes a tedious and necessary job. What gets cut? What stays?

Going department by department often leads right to the marketing department. At first glance, this seems like an obvious place to reallocate. The ROI is hard to prove. There typically is a long tail on any marketing efforts. And marketing efforts don’t always seem mission-critical.

I would like to argue that they are indeed mission-critical and there is never a more crucial time to invest in marketing than during economic downturns. But why?

  • Reputation in the market place. Consistency is always key. Don’t let others speak into the market place. Be the expert that you are and prove to the market why you are the front runner.
  • Keep your existing customer base. Your current base is your best place for repeat sales. You should be reaching these customers more than any other pool of people. Don’t let your current customers out of your sights.
  • Find new customers. The constant problem everyone has is attrition. Customers fall off. It’s a natural process. So if you are not attracting new customers, you are losing market share naturally. And if you are not actively marketing then your chances of gaining new customers is just that…chance.

So how do you handle this in a room full of mission-critical personnel? You need to come with data to prove your effectiveness. It always comes back to data.

And if you are not using data to market your goods or services, you certainly can’t use data to prove it’s effectiveness. Here’s how:

  • Start with good clean data. Bad data that hasn’t been hygiened can lead to a waste of money. You end up marketing to vacant homes, deceased people, and even prisoners.
  • Unify your data. If you are like most companies, your data is scattered across many platforms creating data silos. How do you really know about who your best customer is if their data is spread across multiple sources?
  • Segment properly. Prioritize your customers based on who has bought or is more likely to buy. The more you know about your customers, the better the segmentation can be.
  • Know your matchback numbers. After you run your campaigns, know where the responses are coming from. Don’t stop at the campaign level. Drill down to the segments and even to the customers. Determine which campaign worked for what segment and what customers and then analytically dig into the “whys”.

Ultimately, a good matchback will prove your ROI, especially if you bring that matchback into the cost of goods sold. Operationally it makes complete sense to marry these numbers and prove your ROI.

So as you walk into budget meetings, if you don’t have all of this data, why not suggest invoking a platform that can bring you all this data. At Valurity Analytics, we can help you with all of these marketing data issues. As data scientists, we are the perfect complement to your creative marketing team.

Drowning in Data?

With such a flood of data in this day and age marketing teams can be drowned with the amount of information causing missed opportunities or leading to ineffective or poor business decisions. Mark Twain said it best “Data is like garbage. You’d better know what you are going to do with it before you collect it.”

Customer and Marketing data can have a value equal to garbage unless it’s used correctly. It should be cleaned through proper data hygiene and unified across the myriad of data silos and formats. From there you need to know what you are going to do with it and be able to ask the right questions or make the best queries.

Working with the right solutions partner or having the right tools in place will then allow you to analyze, profile, & model the data to be translated into insights and recommendations.

Those insights can tell you who buys what, how much they buy, the best time they buy, the best channel to reach them in order for them to buy, as well as how to retain them as buyers just to name a few.

Not only will those key customer insights show you who your best customers are but also allow you to allocate your marketing spend to increase return on investment and stay ahead of your competition.

No one really says “hey, that’s some great looking data” but bad data is worse than no data. So like Mark Twain said, you better know what you are going to do with it before you collect it. Otherwise, it’s as good as garbage.

Remove the Data Silos – Drive the Strategy

In your tenure at a company, how many different software platforms have you been on? For some companies, that’s just 1. But not for most. Most companies transition software platforms as new and better technology comes along.

Data migrations from one platform to another can leave you with incomplete and unmatched data. Typically, part of the data is left in the legacy system never to be used again. But why? What determines what has value and not?

Software transitions are just one of the ways you can end up with silos of data. Today, data can be collected from an assortment of sources. Just think about your web presence for a minute; social media, e-commerce platforms, google analytics, paid search, and more.

What you end up with is silos of data and frankly a big mess. How can you market with intentionality if you don’t have a clear picture of your data? And data should drive strategy. Gone are the days of “spray and pray”. Marketing departments now need to be careful to send the right message to the right customer through the right channel.

So how do you do that? Step one is to get rid of the silos. Unification of data across all platforms is a must. Hygiene and standardization routines are required before any unification. The more sophisticated the hygiene logic, the better the standardization and thus the better the unification.

Once you eliminate the silos, you can use that data to drive your strategy and grow your business.

Life Events Can Drive Marketing

Personalization is the key to marketing today. The more personal your campaign is the more likely it is to reach the emotions of your consumer. And emotions drive sales.

One of the best ways to personalize a campaign is to use life events. So how do you go beyond birthday when marketing to your customer base?

The key to life events is a good profile of your customer base. You need to make sure your data is clean and has been through Identity Resolution before appending consumer data. Clean data brings back the importance of Identity Resolution. If you have clean and unified data, you will be able to append consumer data with much more accuracy.

Once a customer database has been through Identity Resolution, a good profile will include important dates for each customer. For example you will find wedding anniversary, children’s birthdates, retired date, home purchase date, and more. This kind of data can personalize a campaign on a whole new level.

How can these dates help your marketing strategy? You can use life events to trigger campaigns. So if you are a jewelry store, why not send campaigns based on wedding anniversary? Or if you are a home and garden shop, what better time to send something than the home purchase data anniversary?

Being creative in your campaigns will only boost sales. Don’t discount data that might seem small and inconsequential. It might just be your next best campaign.

An In-Depth View into Pinning

Identity resolution, also known as Pinning, is a data management process through which an identity is searched and analyzed between disparate data sets and databases to find a match and/or resolve identities. Identity resolution enables an organization to analyze a particular individual’s or entity’s identity based on its available data records and attributes.

When an individual or company is searched through an identity resolution solution, a series of algorithms, probability, and scoring is applied to find and determine any associated records. For example, an enterprise might have more than one person named John Smith. However, through identity resolution, this individual’s other data attributes such as telephone number, address and email can help differentiate all of these individuals or detect matches.

Each entity run through our system is assigned a unique company ID, unique person ID, and a unique address ID for consistency, segmentation, and reportability of the marketing database.

Why is this important? The obvious reason is to remove duplicates. This is particularly important when you are sending out a print campaign. The cost of a print campaign can be drastically reduced if a large portion of duplicates have been removed. Pinning can be done at an individual level and a household level ensuring that only one copy of your print ends up in a household.

Another reason Identity Resolution is important is to better understand your customers. Check out this article written for our blog for a more in-depth view of that.

But is it really that important to remove duplicates when sending out an email campaign? Yes it is. The opportunity cost of lost emails through spam reports and unsubscribes is definitely to be considered here.

As you consider all of these things, there is one important thing to remember. Bad data leads to bad results. Increase your effectiveness and your ROI with proper Pinning.

The Case for a Customer Data Platform by the Numbers

One of the biggest hurdles Marketing teams face today around the customer experience is being able to unify siloed customer data into a convenient and continuously updated snapshot of all that there is to know about their customers across all touchpoints of the buyer journey.

According to Gartner:

89% of businesses are going to compete on the basis of customer experience in the coming years.

Over 90% of marketers struggle to seamlessly connect more than 3 channels on the buyer journey.

According to Forbes Insights:

52% of Marketing Executives report that while they are leveraging a variety of tools and technologies there is little coordination between them.

Only 19% report having a robust set of analytics tools and technology services supporting customer-data-driven decisions and campaigns.

Only 13% of companies can be considered “leaders” in leveraging customer data.

Contact us today to learn how Valurity Analytics’ Customer Database Platform (VCDP) unifies, cleans, & optimizes all of your datasets allowing for deeper segmentation logic and personalization that can be deployed across all marketing campaign channels with granular matchback performance measurement capabilities & analytics.

Companies Don’t Answer Emails. People Do.

In the marketplace today we are finding many B2B companies who are struggling with their marketing. Every call we have with clients to discuss challenges always comes back to how to best reach B2B buyers.

And our answer is simple. Personalization. When we send out an email campaign, the more personal we can get it the better. Why? Because at the end of the day, the email still is being received by a person, not a company.

Just as important as personalization is the connection to the specific concern.  Too often today we are spending time trying to sell our features and benefits and not addressing the issues that are concerning the people.  If your messaging is always about the best things about your product you are missing the point.  Your product will sell itself if you connect to the issues that the decision makers are facing at their companies.  

Once you connect to the individual struggle a person has, you can solve their problem with your solution.  And when you do that with personalization and empathy, your company will usually come to the top. 

Don’t come off as just another sales pitch.  Connect to your audience.  And personalize your message. 

Identity Resolution

Identity Resolution is More than Removing Duplicates

Identity resolution is the process of analyzing disparate customer data sets across multiple devices and mediums and combining them into a unified view of your customers. 

Isn’t that just removing of duplicates?  And in the digital world where email is a cheap, why does that really matter?

Let’s dig in a little deeper.  

First let’s consider where does the disparate data come from?  

The answer to that is everywhere.  Some examples would be your ERP system, Google Analytics, Social Media, Guest Checkouts, Ship to Addresses, Loyalty Programs, and any other Third Party Affiliate.  

Identity Resolution is the process of unification of those sources into one single aggregated version of a customer.  When that customer is rolled up into a single view of a customer you now have accurate data measures on which to profile.  

Let’s take an example of Mr. Green.  Mr Green has placed a phone order, a website order, and has purchased in the brick and mortar store in the past 3 months.  Each one of those purchases were less than $15.  Your company decides it’s going to market specifically to customers who have spent $30 or more in the past 3 months.  Mr. Green doesn’t make it into the campaign.  And you have missed your target completely.  

While eliminating duplicates is important, it’s much more important to unify your data to get accurate views of your customers.  

New Website

Valurity Analytic has launched Phase 1 of their new website. This new site showcases the Customer Data Platform that has been the backbone of the business since it’s inception.

Valurity Analtyic’s Customer Data Platform definitely fits the CDP Institute’s definition and more.  “A Customer Data Platform is packaged software that creates a persistent, unified customer database that is accessible to other systems”.

One of the aspects of Valurity Analytics that is unique is the Custom Development.  We make our development unique to your company and your needs, based on our proven system and marketing knowledge.