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Big data gives way to more flexibility

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Big data gives way to more flexibility

The customer always comes first. This proverbial adage has been used countless times. Yet, it remains just as important today as before. Consumers continue to shift to digital-first lifestyles at unprecedented rates. In order to get in front of these audiences, brands began to realize that they needed to show they cared. That consumers deserved one-to-one experiences based on their own interests. They deserved individualization.  

The solution to this seemed simple. More data. The bigger the better. While the power and scalability of this Big Data was undeniable in terms of interacting with consumers, it also presented previously unforeseen issues like accessibility and actionability. With all this new data, how would a brand orchestrate and track touchpoints across solutions in order to form actionable insights and generate tangible revenue? The power is there, but harnessing it was still an unknown.  

The Big Data dilemma 

The acceleration to a digital-first culture has certainly increased our ability to be agile. But in this pursuit, we’ve also cultivated complexity. Multiple project management apps, an email vendor, landing page host, direct mail solution, the list goes on. Today, marketing teams work with dozens of different tools to make their lives easier. But as each solution is adopted, the tech web becomes harder to navigate. The data is at our fingertips, but it’s at the expense of cleanliness and effective orchestration between the different systems.  

For many, the problem lies in having too many apps—as many CTOs will tell you. But, if that were the case, things like your smartphone and your laptop would be nearly impossible to navigate. The real issue lies in the connectivity between the marketing tools that brands are using. Personalizing messages and marketing outreach across a consumer’s path to conversion is hard enough. But it’s exponentially compounded when tools, solutions, and data are not in conversation with each other. The goal should not be to shed weight but to create one integrated, dynamic, and accessible view of customer data.  

This desire for better and more actionable insights has led to the emergence of Customer Data Platforms (CDPs), which aim to unify customer and prospect data in one ecosystem. It provides a singular “data vault” to simplify how we reach customers, but it doesn’t solve all issues completely. The next step is to take this data and put it to work. To make it accessible and actionable. To use it to inform more calculated business decisions and craft more individualized marketing campaigns.  

Big Data should flow 

Agglomerating data is a big step. So big, in fact, that many marketers stop here. But this is only half the battle. At this stage, the data is essentially a black box, only seen or understood by a few. In order to unlock its true power, it’s important to make the data accessible and actionable everywhere. Unlocking this data not only makes it easier for teams to share, collaborate, and act on insights it also demystifies the process. This helps marketers learn to ask the right questions when figuring out how to optimize their efforts.  

To achieve this, it’s important to work with a partner that can play well with the systems that are already in place. If the CDP isn’t able to recognize current solutions being used, then all of the benefits and effectively the point of a CDP are lost. The aim of the CDP is to scale and improve upon what internal teams are already doing while providing them with a uniform look at all customer data.  

How to unlock the value of your data 

We’ve discussed some issues that can arise from Big Data and why it’s important nonetheless. With that in mind, here are a few ways that marketers can use current marketing technologies and strategies in order to make the most of their data.  

Ensure low- or no-code functionality 

One of the more grueling aspects of data management is just that: the management itself. Exporting and importing data, creating charts, pulling specific accounts. It can be daunting. Work with tooling that enables marketers to drag, drop, and autofill many of these elements to empower them to dig into the data more readily.   

Pair first-party data with intent

Both first-party and third-party data can effectively engage and convert target audiences. But relying on one data set over the other would be a mistake. First-party data is an amazing way to find insights about the products or services consumers are most interested in once they come to your site, but it doesn’t extend much beyond that. Enrich your first-party data with third-party to get more insights into consumers’ overall online behaviors, actions, and interests.  

Invest in cookie-less identity resolution practices

The deprecation of cookies isn’t quite here yet, but it’s an inevitability with Apple and Google’s announcements last year. Because of this, it’s important for marketers to develop a multifaceted approach to identify and engage with customers across all marketing channels and in each stage of the sales funnel. The most powerful way to do this is to continuously and automatically enhance your first-party data with rich, third-party data that tells you how consumer attitudes are shifting in real-time.   

Don’t separate learnings from action

In other words, don’t make things too complicated. CDPs are great at connecting data, but the next step is to get it into the hands of those who will actually be using it. Analytics tools are great for those who delve into them on a daily basis. But the real power comes from taking the data collected within the CDP and making it accessible to all users in a network through the apps and tools that they use most.  

Conclusion 

Data can and should be a great democratizer for marketing teams. Too often, marketers feel that data is inaccessible or confusing. As the shift to digital continues to intensify, a shift also needs to happen within marketing teams. Marketing automation and insights tools can work to “open the curtain” on the truth that the data are actually revealing. With this accessibility, insights can be obtained in a quick and independent way, enabling marketers to pivot and optimize more effectively than ever before. 

To read more about this topic, you can download The Business Case for Data Usability, written by Zeta.

About The Author

Zeta Global Holdings Corp. (NYSE: ZETA) is a leading data-driven, cloud-based marketing technology company that empowers enterprises to acquire, grow and retain customers. The Company’s Zeta Marketing Platform (the “ZMP”) is the largest omnichannel marketing platform with identity data at its core. The ZMP analyzes billions of structured and unstructured data points to predict consumer intent by leveraging sophisticated artificial intelligence to personalize experiences at scale. Founded in 2007 by David A. Steinberg and John Sculley, the Company is headquartered in New York City. For more information, please go to www.zetaglobal.com.


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45 Free Content Writing Tools to Love [for Writing, Editing & Content Creation]

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45 Free Content Writing Tools to Love [for Writing, Editing & Content Creation]

Creating content isn’t always a walk in the park. (In fact, it can sometimes feel more like trying to swim against the current.)

While other parts of business and marketing are becoming increasingly automated, content creation is still a very manual job. (more…)

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How data clean rooms might help keep the internet open

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How data clean rooms might help keep the internet open

Are data clean rooms the solution to what IAB CEO David Cohen has called the “slow-motion train wreck” of addressability? Voices at the IAB will tell you that they have a big role to play.

“The issue with addressability is that once cookies go away, and with the loss of identifiers, about 80% of the addressable market will become unknown audiences which is why there is a need for privacy-centric consent and a better consent-value exchange,” said Jeffrey Bustos, VP, measurement, addressability and data at the IAB.

“Everyone’s talking about first-party data, and it is very valuable,” he explained, “but most publishers who don’t have sign-on, they have about 3 to 10% of their readership’s first-party data.” First-party data, from the perspective of advertisers who want to reach relevant and audiences, and publishers who want to offer valuable inventory, just isn’t enough.

Why we care. Two years ago, who was talking about data clean rooms? The surge of interest is recent and significant, according to the IAB. DCRs have the potential, at least, to keep brands in touch with their audiences on the open internet; to maintain viability for publishers’ inventories; and to provide sophisticated measurement capabilities.

How data clean rooms can help. DCRs are a type of privacy-enhancing technology that allows data owners (including brands and publishers) to share customer first-party data in a privacy-compliant way. Clean rooms are secure spaces where first-party data from a number of sources can be resolved to the same customer’s profile while that profile remains anonymized.

In other words, a DCR is a kind of Switzerland — a space where a truce is called on competition while first-party data is enriched without compromising privacy.

“The value of a data clean room is that a publisher is able to collaborate with a brand across both their data sources and the brand is able to understand audience behavior,” said Bestos. For example, a brand selling eye-glasses might know nothing about their customers except basic transactional data — and that they wear glasses. Matching profiles with a publisher’s behavioral data provides enrichment.

“If you’re able to understand behavioral context, you’re able to understand what your customers are reading, what they’re interested in, what their hobbies are,” said Bustos. Armed with those insights, a brand has a better idea of what kind of content they want to advertise against.

The publisher does need to have a certain level of first-party data for the matching to take place, even if it doesn’t have a universal requirement for sign-ins like The New York Times. A publisher may be able to match only a small percentage of the eye-glass vendor’s customers, but if they like reading the sports and arts sections, at least that gives some directional guidance as to what audience the vendor should target.

Dig deeper: Why we care about data clean rooms

What counts as good matching? In its “State of Data 2023” report, which focuses almost exclusively on data clean rooms, concern is expressed that DCR efficacy might be threatened by poor match rates. Average match rates hover around 50% (less for some types of DCR).

Bustos is keen to put this into context. “When you are matching data from a cookie perspective, match rates are usually about 70-ish percent,” he said, so 50% isn’t terrible, although there’s room for improvement.

One obstacle is a persistent lack of interoperability between identity solutions — although it does exist; LiveRamp’s RampID is interoperable, for example, with The Trade Desk’s UID2.

Nevertheless, said Bustos, “it’s incredibly difficult for publishers. They have a bunch of identity pixels firing for all these different things. You don’t know which identity provider to use. Definitely a long road ahead to make sure there’s interoperability.”

Maintaining an open internet. If DCRs can contribute to solving the addressability problem they will also contribute to the challenge of keeping the internet open. Walled gardens like Facebook do have rich troves of first-party and behavioral data; brands can access those audiences, but with very limited visibility into them.

“The reason CTV is a really valuable proposition for advertisers is that you are able to identify the user 1:1 which is really powerful,” Bustos said. “Your standard news or editorial publisher doesn’t have that. I mean, the New York Times has moved to that and it’s been incredibly successful for them.” In order to compete with the walled gardens and streaming services, publishers need to offer some degree of addressability — and without relying on cookies.

But DCRs are a heavy lift. Data maturity is an important qualification for getting the most out of a DCR. The IAB report shows that, of the brands evaluating or using DCRs, over 70% have other data-related technologies like CDPs and DMPs.

“If you want a data clean room,” Bustos explained, “there are a lot of other technological solutions you have to have in place before. You need to make sure you have strong data assets.” He also recommends starting out by asking what you want to achieve, not what technology would be nice to have. “The first question is, what do you want to accomplish? You may not need a DCR. ‘I want to do this,’ then see what tools would get you to that.”

Understand also that implementation is going to require talent. “It is a demanding project in terms of the set-up,” said Bustos, “and there’s been significant growth in consulting companies and agencies helping set up these data clean rooms. You do need a lot of people, so it’s more efficient to hire outside help for the set up, and then just have a maintenance crew in-house.”

Underuse of measurement capabilities. One key finding in the IAB’s research is that DCR users are exploiting the audience matching capabilities much more than realizing the potential for measurement and attribution. “You need very strong data scientists and engineers to build advanced models,” Bustos said.

“A lot of brands that look into this say, ‘I want to be able to do a predictive analysis of my high lifetime value customers that are going to buy in the next 90 days.’ Or ‘I want to be able to measure which channels are driving the most incremental lift.’ It’s very complex analyses they want to do; but they don’t really have a reason as to why. What is the point? Understand your outcome and develop a sequential data strategy.”

Trying to understand incremental lift from your marketing can take a long time, he warned. “But you can easily do a reach and frequency and overlap analysis.” That will identify wasted investment in channels and as a by-product suggest where incremental lift is occurring. “There’s a need for companies to know what they want, identify what the outcome is, and then there are steps that are going to get you there. That’s also going to help to prove out ROI.”

Dig deeper: Failure to get the most out of data clean rooms is costing marketers money


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Ascend | DigitalMarketer

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Ascend | DigitalMarketer

At this stage, your goal is to generate repeat buys and real profits. While your entry-point offer was designed for conversions, your ascension offers should be geared for profits—because if you’re serving your customers well, they’ll want to buy again and again.

Ascension offers may be simple upsells made after that initial purchase… bigger, better solutions… or “done for you” add-ons.

So now we must ask ourselves, what is our core flagship offer and how do we continue to deliver value after the first sale is made? What is the thing that we are selling? 

How we continue to deliver value after the first sale is really important, because having upsells and cross sales gives you the ability to sell to customers you already have. It will give you higher Average Customer values, which is going to give you higher margins. Which means you can spend more to acquire new customers. 

Why does this matter? It matters because of this universal law of marketing and customer acquisition, he or she who is able and willing to spend the most to acquire a customer wins.

Very often the business with the best product messaging very often is the business that can throw the most into customer acquisition. Now there are two ways to do that.

The first way is to just raise a lot of money. The problem is if you have a lot of money, that doesn’t last forever. At some point you need economics. 

The second way, and the most timeless and predictable approach, is to simply have the highest value customers of anyone in your market. If your customers are worth more to you than they are to your competitors, you can spend more to acquire them at the same margin. 

If a customer is worth twice as much to you than it is to your competitor, you can spend twice as much trying to acquire them to make the same margin. You can invest in your customer acquisition, because your customers are investing in your business. You can invest in your customer experiences, and when we invest more into the customer we build brands that have greater value. Meaning, people are more likely to choose you over someone else, which can actually lower acquisition costs. 

Happy customers refer others to us, which is called zero dollar customer acquisition, and generally just ensures you’re making a bigger impact. You can invest more in the customer experience and customer acquisition process if you don’t have high margins. 

If you deliver a preview experience, you can utilize revenue maximizers like up sells, cross sales, and bundles. These are things that would follow up the initial sale or are combined with the initial sale to increase the Average Customer Value.

The best example of an immediate upsell is the classic McDonalds, “would you like fries with that?” You got just a burger, do you also want fries with that? 

What distinguishes an upsell from other types of follow up offers is the upsell promise, the same end result for a bigger and better end result. 

What’s your desired result when you go to McDonalds? It’s not to eat healthy food, and it’s not even to eat a small amount of food. When you go to McDonalds your job is to have a tasty, greasy, predictable inexpensive meal. No one is going there because it’s healthy, you’re going there because you want to eat good. 

It’s predictable. It’s not going to break the bank for a hamburger, neither will adding fries or a Coke. It’s the same experience, but it’s BIGGER and BETTER. 

Amazon does this all of the time with their “Customers Who Bought This Also Bought …” But this one is algorithmic. The point of a cross sell is that it is relevant to the consumer, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be aligned with the original purchase. What you don’t want to do is start someone down one path and confuse them.

You can make this process easy with Bundles and Kits. With a bundle or a kit you’re essentially saying to someone, “you can buy just one piece, or you can get this bundle that does all of these other things for a little bit more. And it’s a higher value.”

The idea behind bundles and kits is that we are adding to the primary offer, not offering them something different. We’re simply promising to get them this desired result in higher definition. 

The Elements of High-Converting Revenue Maximizers (like our bundles and kits) are:

  1. Speed

If you’re an e-Commerce business, selling a physical product, this can look like: offering free shipping for orders $X or more. We’re looking to get your customers the same desired result, but with less work for them.

  1. Automation

If you’re a furniture business, and you want to add a Revenue Maximizer, this can look like: Right now for an extra $X our highly trained employees will come and put this together for you. 

  1. Access 

People will pay for speed, they’ll pay for less work, but they will also pay for a look behind the curtain. Think about the people who pay for Backstage Passes. Your customers will pay for a VIP experience just so they can kind of see how everything works. 

Remember, the ascension stage doesn’t have to stop. Once you have a customer, you should do your best to make them a customer for life. You should continue serving them. Continue asking them, “what needs are we still not meeting” and seek to meet those needs. 

It is your job as a marketer to seek out to discover these needs, to bring these back to the product team, because that’s what’s going to enable you to fully maximize the average customer value. Which is going to enable you to have a whole lot more to spend to acquire those customers and make your job a whole lot easier. 

Now that you understand the importance of the ascend stage, let’s apply it to our examples.

Hazel & Hem could have free priority shipping over $150, a “Boutique Points” reward program with exclusive “double point” days to encourage spending, and an exclusive “Stylist Package” that includes a full outfit custom selected for the customer. 

Cyrus & Clark can retain current clients by offering an annual strategic plan, “Done for You” Marketing services that execute on the strategic plan, and the top tier would allow customers to be the exclusive company that Cyrus & Clark services in specific geographical territories.



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