We recently hosted a marketing event titled “Meet the New Superhero, the Data-Driven Marketer” at the Fairmont Royal York Hotel in Toronto. The superhero marketer theme seemed apropos based on the feedback we have witnessed speaking with many agencies and brands as they strive to pursue a better understanding of their customers in a world where the increase in digital consumer data is growing at a phenomenal rate.
Superhero’s have special powers that enable them to perform tasks that a normal person can’t and that is why this connection rings true for marketers. I am sure everyone had a favourite superhero growing up, mine was Batman, as he had the coolest machines and gadgets and an awesome bat cave to boot. So when we were putting together the theme for the event, the superhero metaphor really resonated with our view of the constantly changing landscape of needs and challenges that marketers face in this hyper-connected, digital world. Today’s digital marketer has a heroic task on his or her plate; managing the digital data explosion around them as they attempt to stay more connected and relevant with customers in striving to achieve an awesome 1:1 relationship.
According to IBM, every day, we create 2.5 quintillion (a billion billion) bytes of data — in fact, 90% of the data in the world today has been created in the last two years alone! This data comes from everywhere: sensors used to gather climate information, posts to social media sites, digital pictures and videos, purchase transaction records and cell phone GPS signals to name a few. By 2020 it is expected that our digital data universe will grow from 4.4 zettabyets to 44 zettabytes! However, most of this data is unstructured which makes it harder to analyze and expensive to store.
As a superhero, you will need to eventually face a super villain & I argue that a marketers’ super villain in today’s digital world, is “data”. A marketer requires the proper tools to ingest information from various silos across the organization into a unified repository to then analyze and activate it effectively across all of his/her marketing channels. This means collecting the right data from all the customer touchpoints (web, search, social, call center, app etc.) and then analyzing this data into targeted audience segments (wine lovers, auto intenders, cruisers) and then activate this data across the various marketing channels (display, mobile, TV etc.) to attract and retain customers. Finally, the marketer needs to have real-time reporting available to monitor and understand each customers journey to become even more effective and relevant along the way.
One tool that has emerged to handle this big data are data management platforms or DMPs. A DMP collects comprehensive demographic, psychographic and behavioral data about your target audience from a variety of sources and unifies it in a single platform. It aggregates 1st, 2nd, and 3rd party audience data from cross-channel marketing efforts. It provides a marketer detailed information about their customers so they can create hyper-targeted ads resulting in higher conversion rates, ROI and customer acquisition and retention.
It seems like every brand on the planet is talking about trying to understand more about their customers’ needs and wants by leveraging both the data they currently have and the data they are collecting every day. I believe that a DMP is a great place to start down this data-driven journey to that ultimate 1:1 customer relationship experience.
Author: Renzo Dipasquale