One of the most profound movements in marketing over the past five years or so has been the desire to consolidate as much customer information as possible into a single 360-degree customer database — more specifically, a Data Warehouse. If you have every piece (or nearly every piece) of first-party, second-party, and third-party data that you own or have acquired about your customer in one place, you can be even more personalized, responsive, and predictive (i.e. leverage AI models) about how best to serve and communicate to those customers. And customers increasingly expect you to leverage their data in this manner — to deliver a better cross-channel experience that “surprises and delights.” To fail to do so is to risk losing that customer relationship.
How much of your customer data is accessible for email marketing? Rising customer expectations mean today’s marketers need more access than ever before to up-to-date data. But customer data isn’t all marketers need to access. They also need data they may house outside of the marketing department, including data for inventory, geolocation, shipment tracking, etc. But just 17% of marketers at some of the world’s largest companies told us they were very satisfied with their real-time data access.
The data marketers are able to use (or not use) in email marketing largely depends upon where customer data resides and how they access it. If you want to leverage all your customer data for email marketing — not just the data that happens to reside with your ESP at any given moment — it’s time to restructure how you manage, store, and access it. Here are three steps you can take to leverage all your customer data to increase personalization and improve your email marketing efforts without compromising data security.
Every marketer needs to ask this question: “Is my real-time email marketing really real time?” If you haven’t started asking this question, you will soon. Email marketing has proven itself to be a prime real-time marketing tool. Still, many marketers are surprised to find that what they call “real time” isn’t so real time after all.
While real-time marketing is most closely associated with brands sending timely messages to a mass audience, one of the biggest impacts of real-time marketing comes in sending personalized messages to individuals. However, more personalization usually means more delays. The key to all real-time marketing is speed. But the very infrastructure of email marketing is based on a series of time-consuming tasks, such as list creation, data syncing, and batch delays. Each activity introduces another delay, any of which can quickly turn a real-time marketing opportunity into a real missed opportunity.
As a marketer, how much insight do you have into the entire customer journey, from first touch to ongoing communications? Do you have a complete, global view of your loyal customers, or are data silos keeping you walled off?
Today’s consumers expect personalized, relevant, and immediate messaging coupled with a consistent experience, no matter how they’re interacting with your brand. Yet, most organizations have pieces of customer data being stored by various vendors and departments. This then makes it difficult to obtain that complete view of their customers and market to them effectively. Marketers need access to the freshest data from every touchpoint to create a seamless experience. And a lot of that starts with centralizing data internally.
As marketers, it’s easy to get caught up in your own world when it comes to email marketing. After all, you’re writing the emails. You’re probably gathering the analytics. You’re crunching the data, building audiences, crafting the perfect subject line, determining the right day and time to send. It’s your baby you’re putting out there into the world, hoping that click-throughs and accolades will rain down upon you. Nothing against your I.T. team, but what do they have to do with it anyway?
The answer is “everything.”
As email volumes rise into the tens of millions each month for many larger brands, new challenges in multi-channel marketing emerge. This is particularly as it relates to the increasing demand for personalized, real-time messaging. Consumers expect relevant communications in real time, but the very infrastructure of email marketing is based on a series of time-consuming tasks, such as data mapping, file transfers, synchronization, and batch delays. Each step introduces another delay, and that can quickly turn a real-time marketing opportunity into a missed opportunity. How can marketers keep up with growth and improve their ROI?
Here are three things major brands will need to start tackling in order to communicate more effectively with their customers.
Have you ever wondered how some companies consistently send millions of highly targeted, personalized emails in real time? The very nature of email makes sending real-time, personalized messages a challenge for any company. Real-time marketing’s key is speed, but email marketing’s success is based on a series of time-consuming tasks. These include list creation, data syncing and batch delays. Each activity introduces another delay, all of which can quickly turn a real-time marketing opportunity into a missed one. If you want to personalize too, expect more delays. The more you personalize a message, the more time consuming it is to prepare. So, how are some enterprise marketers managing to send relevant, highly personalized emails in real time?
Many recent articles have highlighted the plight of the CMO. A recent issue of Harvard Business Review, “The Trouble With CMOs,” called it the riskiest job in the C-suite, with an average tenure of four years, half that of the CEO. An article in MediaPost by Maarten Albarda pointed out that while five C-suite members share growth and revenue responsibility, only the CMO was blamed for missed targets.
These articles recommend several solutions. Those include redefining the CMO’s role, matching responsibilities to the job’s scope, and realigning metrics with expectations. However, CMOs may find an easy win by adjusting what is already a top performer – their email marketing. This win could be easy because most CMOs don’t realize how much better their email programs could be performing.
Every marketer has faced challenges when creating what they hope to be successful email programs. For those working in highly regulated companies such as banks, those challenges can often seem like mission impossible.
The many and changing regulations that govern banks apply fully to their marketing departments. And while email marketers have been able to work around those regulations to create amazing work, many still struggle with getting the data they need and using it to send highly personalized marketing messages.
But banks have a lot going for them when it comes to marketing. They have a LOT of first-party data on their customers. Moreover, new technology is emerging that could give banks the connection they seek, while maintaining the highest level of security.
Better personalization begets better marketing.
Brands and marketers have both been well aware of this fact for a long time. It’s why “personalization” has been one of the biggest marketing industry buzzwords for the better part of the last half-decade.
But what does personalization actually look like?
There was a time not too long ago where adding a subscriber’s first name to an email was considered a marketing personalization coup. Things have become much more complicated since then.
Today’s consumer has developed a completely different pattern of purchase behavior. With that pattern has come a whole new set of consumer expectations.