Consumers are demanding more from brands than ever before – more relevant, consistent and personalized experiences across devices and channels. And as a result, brand marketers are facing increased pressure to understand, anticipate and deliver on these shifting expectations.
Just because marketers know where their audience has been online, doesn’t mean they understand what consumers want. Planning a trip to Austin? You Google it once and get retargeted with flight deals for weeks after already purchasing a ticket. Brands can inadvertently alienate customers by relying on old, one-dimensional audience segments and fatiguing them with content they’ve already seen or no longer want.
A successful audience management strategy requires fresh, emotionally engaging content. Brands can do this by moving away from traditional segments and toward real-time, individualized data to elevate the digital experience. Here are three audience management strategies marketers can use to supply new and captivating content.
Get the full picture of your audience
Developing a holistic understanding of your audience – their intent, interests and behavior – is the single most important factor in building more meaningful customer relationships. Create multi-dimensional audience segments using first, second and third-party data sources to achieve a 360-degree customer view and level of hyper-personalization that helps foster lifelong brand loyalty.
Using the trip to Austin example, a marketing platform that can ingest multiple data sources would have captured that the flight ticket had already been purchased. As a result, the customer would be best served with recommendations for restaurants and tourist destinations in the Austin area rather than flight deals and rental cars. It’s important to take the personalization even further. For example, if the customer bought just one ticket to Austin, they may be planning a work trip or meet-up with friends, whereas if they had bought four, it’s likely the trip will be more family-oriented. These factors are important to track and analyze as they will inform vastly different experiences.
A model is only as good as the data it’s fed and combining multiple data sources (CRM database, analytics data and partner data) will help you build a complete audience profile and surface more intelligent insights that add real value for your audiences.
Harness up-to-the-minute insights using a holistic customer view
Now that you have a holistic view of a customer using multiple data sources, you must analyze and act upon real-time audience data to deliver the right content at exactly the right time. Using stale information can lead to content that is overly generalized at best and irrelevant at worst.
For example, the customer that had been looking at flights to Austin may have changed their mind — recent visits from a partner’s travel site shows they are interested in Mediterranean food. Updating your audience profiles based on real-time individual behaviors will reveal preference changes as they happen. Then, it’s as simple as updating their profile – or combining (perhaps Austin AND Mediterranean?) – to ensure it is yet again complete, enabling you to send them content that adds value and promotes engagement.
Activate your audiences
Your audience segments are only as valuable as the experiences you use them to deliver. Often, brands use different systems for marketing and advertising making it nearly impossible to reach the same audience across channels – and if you do, odds are they could be delivering different messages to the same audience. Plus, many of these systems may have segmentation capability, however, with the systems not connecting to each other, the segments in each system may have overlapping customer data.
As a consumer, brands that reward my loyalty with personalized offers are the ones I keep going back to. If a brand gives me points for subscribing, following and downloading their app, I’ll do it…if, and only if, they work to personalize their content. That said, I don’t want to see offers for the same women’s jeans from my favorite department store across every channel. Providing personalized incentives that add value across different touch points are what keep me coming back for more.
This isn’t a lesson just for B2C brands. Even B2B software companies are building loyalty by tailoring outreach with relevant content like e-books to the right audience on the right platform at the right time.
The best way to reach the same audience across multiple platforms is to build an authoritative definition of your high-value audience segments, and equally important, a seamless way to engage them across channels, from email; to display ads; to social; to voice.
Avoid becoming the Monday morning spam by consistently updating your audience management strategy to keep consumers engaged. Churning out fresh, emotionally engaging content personalized to the consumer is essential. To do so, marketers must keep audience profiles updated and informed by multiple data sources to have the best view of the customer. Then it’s as simple as letting the experience drive the loyalty to keep them coming back for more.
Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Marketing Land. Staff authors are listed here.