Retail brands likely already have the data they need to create personalized digital marketing campaigns -- the issue is understanding and managing that influx in data.
Marketing automation and Big Data can be partners to marketers, impacting engagement rates and increasing sales revenue, if a marketer can leverage them in harmony to craft more personalized campaigns.
Absolutdata is a marketing analytics company based in the San Francisco Bay Area that aims to helps marketers and sales professionals utilize the wealth of data at their fingertips. Absolutdata doesn’t provide any external, third-party data that customers can tap into, instead relying solely on a brand’s internal retail data.
Anil Kaul, CEO of Absolutdata, says he has a contrarian point of view to the ongoing hypothesis that marketers need more data to improve personalization.
“We believe that for most retailers, the data they have is already powerful enough,” says Kaul.
Absolutdata instead helps customers consolidate their data into a centralized database -- what Kaul describes as “data harmonization.” From that point, brands can begin connecting different data points together and introduce machine-learning algorithms.
The company focuses on providing recommendations rather than just insights, suggesting campaigns that its customers should run. Kaul says marketers should not fear marketing automation and data as job replacers, but instead use them to make better decisions.
“If you can combine the best that computers can do with the best that people can do, you have a situation that can’t be beat,“ says Kaul. “Algoithms combined with people makes the most powerful combination.”
Kaul recommends that email marketers “find hidden factors in data” to devise better strategies on how to conduct customer outreach. As an example, Kaul describes a common scenario that many online companies face: users who sign up for free to access a product or service and then don’t pay when their free trial period ends.
One of Absolutdata’s customers, a file storage company, used data analytics to notice that a customer who doesn’t within the first 18 days is likely never to pay. The company began sending different messages to customers within their first 18 days of sign-up, recalibrating what communications they were sending and when. The campaign increased conversions by 35%, says Kaul.
Personalization can decrease the number of emails being sent while also increasing the number of sales, says Kaul. He describes how email engagement rates generally trend downward in correlation with increases in email volume.
Another important consideration is ensuring that the personalized marketing is actually relevant to the subscriber.
“Email marketers should be very careful about how they personalize,” says Kaul. “Personalize for what they will buy in the future, not what they’ve already bought in the past.”