In marketing, data is king (and will continue to be king). But for the king to reign well, there must be privacy. Legislators are increasingly working to protect consumers’ personal information, and second- and third-party data will become less accessible with time. Even tech companies like Apple are implementing privacy protections and, as a result, creating challenges for brands like Facebook that rely on consumer data to do business successfully.
The Biden administration will likely continue to push these privacy initiatives, which means marketers must determine how to have a robust CRM to manage personal data while still using it to further their marketing efforts.
To do this, companies must use the power of automation to close the gap between media and data. Using first-party data from a brand’s CRM to fuel marketing automation efforts isn’t just efficient — it’s transformative. It allows marketers to provide a better customer experience and generate more positive outcomes.
Creating a Connected Consumer Journey
This all sounds incredible, but it’s natural to wonder how exactly marketers can tap into the full power of automation. First and foremost, brands must be ready to invest in the technology necessary to bridge the data-media divide. Marketing automation technology can be expensive, and it requires in-depth knowledge of proper implementation before it can be used to the best of its abilities. It’s also not cheap — many platforms can cost thousands of dollars annually.
These challenges are worth overcoming, though. We have more capabilities than ever to use advanced tracking methods and first-party data to ensure every customer interaction is tracked, noted, and followed up on — safely.
Think of it like this: Bob searches for and sees a pair of shoes in an online ad. His impression and clicks are tracked. Not long afterward, he purchases the shoes. His purchase is tracked, along with its respective revenue. He later receives an email confirmation. He is suppressed from further prospective marketing engagements to ensure he doesn’t get overwhelmed with irrelevant, untimely messages. He’s also added to a “top customer” audience to target individuals like him even more effectively moving forward.
Further, the ability to track every customer interaction with a CRM isn’t exclusive to purchases made solely online. If Bob saw the product online, filled out a lead form, and then completed his purchase offline, his information would already be stored in the brand’s CRM with a digital media click ID. This ID can be linked to the sale information once it is uploaded to the marketing software, and the value can then be attributed back to the original campaign that inspired the purchase. The Google Marketing Platform does a great job of this.
Optimizing Your Media Campaigns
There are countless ways data from marketing automation platforms or CRMs can power marketing efforts, help brands manage their media, bring efficiency to their campaigns, and improve their business performance over time.
Marketers can slice and dice a CRM into various audience segments to target and strengthen campaign performance. They can reengage with customers who they see have taken action on their websites or interacted with their business by practicing remarketing, all with information derived from the first-party data their CRM collects. And finally, they can “suppress” existing customers to ensure they aren’t wasting media budget by sending prospective messages to people who’ve already made a purchase. This is incredibly powerful and often overlooked.
It’s easy to see how marketing automation optimizes media campaigns. The possibility of connecting with customers better than ever before, engaging them for the long run using targeted techniques, and strategically using data in conjunction with automation to make that happen are all at stake in the push to define the future of marketing.
The time is now to bridge this divide and ditch the disjointedness. By harnessing what first-party data and media can do together with automation, marketers have the power to change the future and connect with consumers. In due time, the impact this will have on campaign targeting and performance will exceed any expectations.