The days of cookie cutter data are beginning to fade
Earlier last week, eXelate did a stellar job putting together an impressive list of speakers for their Modeling eXposed’s first conference. It’s great to see a data aggregator think about the future of programmatic marketing and what are the implications for marketers. Attending the event were companies such as Forrester, Nielsen, Epsilon, Citibank and many others.
The recurring theme was that customers are becoming more sophisticated in how they consume digital media. Marketers are also getting smarter and can no longer rely on cookie cutter data to predict and serve targeted messages to their audience.
Here are 5 examples of smart modeling:
1. The always addressable customer
Numerous studies have shown that customers spend more time shopping online. The hyper connected customer is a theme that has been used loosely. It was about time someone define what this actually means and luckily Forrester did exactly that. According to Forrester, the ‘always addressable’ customer meets 3 sets of criteria:
- He/she owns more than 3 connected devices
- He/she goes online multiple times every day
- He/she goes online from at least 3 locations
The implications for smart marketers are obvious. We can’t serve the same ads over and over regardless of the delivery vehicle. Always on customers demand different creatives that reflet how they engage online. Customers demand that creatives be adjusted based on time of the day, channel and online behavior.
2. Marketers see customers in silos
It’s interesting how we (marketers) think about customers. We have teams dedicated to display, SEM, social, mobile, etc. Each team owns the customer experience for a given channel. The reality is that the customer doesn’t care, he or she has one relationship and that is with the brand.
The only way to overcome siloed marketing is by putting the customer first. During the conference, Ford was mentioned as a company that was able to serve display ads based on customer’s preferences as opposed to how the organization is built. Marketing teams for fiesta and mustang both collaborate to deliver the best possible messaging to their customers.
3. To find advanced digital media models, look for banks
Who would have thought that retail banks are using some of the most advanced modeling for display ads. It’s actually pretty obvious and this for two reasons. Banks inherit a strong history of sophisticated modeling. After all, they have used models to qualify new customers for decades.
In addition, banks often face a dilemma when it comes to online acquisition. Some of their offers inevitably attract the wrong prospects. A panelist gave the example of a campaign that promised $100 incentive for customers who open a new checking account. The campaign mostly attracted prospects that would not meet the bank’s qualification criteria.
Models are really difficult to get right in the first place. A panelist suggested to launch simpler models to test the market first and then add variables based on the findings.
4. The top performers constantly change
The eXelate team showed a great example of how a toy advertiser might think about its target audience. While the mom is the primary recipient for ads all year long, seasonality studies are showing that the single dad or aunt becomes an in-market shopper around the holiday period.
Buying large pools of cookies based on a loose concept of ‘intent’ is no longer sufficient to reach desired customers. Smarter marketers use advanced segmentation and account for more complex variable such as seasonality to deliver targeted messages to their customers.
5. Always look for the non-intuitive segment
The mystery around modeling is a model is right until proven wrong. Online models have a short life span and need to be adjusted periodically. Along the way, smart marketers will find some surprises. One of the panelists gave the example of an online community care advertiser who had been experimenting with modeling for some time. They have found their best converters were in fact owners of Volvo cars.
Smart marketers need to go through trial and errors before getting a model right. The days of using cookie cutter solutions is over. Welcome to the area of programmatic marketing.