Many retailers rely on marketers to develop and execute effective digital and social media campaigns. Whether those campaigns succeed or fail, they all face the same challenge: Assessing whether impressions actually served the retailer’s target audience. The issue is simply the ability to glean those insights from digital platform data. So, how can stores access this critical information in order to maximize the ROI of their digital media spend?
The Limitations Of Marketing Data
Clients look to marketers to tie the right media to their target audience so they can make the connection between the people they see in transactional data and the people they engage with online. In traditional digital marketing, it’s very difficult to bridge between the two; everything tends to be either assumed or inferred.
This conundrum is complicated by the fact that marketers make decisions about what marketing channels and platforms to pursue based on the data available to them. They also use historical data—what’s been successful with stores in the past— to make further inferences. However, it’s still very difficult to know whether customers are truly moved by those preferred strategies. The waters are further muddied as the marketer’s proposed strategy moves through the retailer’s internal chain of command. Different people along the way have differing ideas of just who should be targeted, and the end result is often a conglomeration of opinions, without any substantial data backing up the final strategy.
Marketers can target digital presence based on geographic and demographic data and stores can track sales before, during and after campaigns. However, no one can say for sure which specific customers actually saw an ad or posting, or how much a specific customer spent, if anything, after exposure to an online ad or impression.
The Missing Puzzle Piece To Measuring Effective Online Marketing
What if there was an agnostic way to bridge that gap and take transactional data and tie it to a customer’s online profile across many channels to determine whether they are being reached?
The good news is, yes, this bridge now exists.
The key is to bring both store data and marketer data together, so that the entire pool of information can be analyzed holistically. Right now, most retailers’ data is kept behind walled gardens. Direct mail, email, social, digital advertising, and other channel data are kept in their own walled spaces, which are all separate from actual transactional data.
There are now technologies available that can connect an identity like an email address, phone number or physical address and tie it to that customer’s online profile. Closing that gap provides a complete picture of how customers are truly interacting with a retail outlet and the impact of advertising on specific customers’ actual spend.
This type of holistic strategy ensures a full picture of customer behavior and facilitates an agnostic approach to marketing spend. Data doesn’t have an agenda, it doesn’t prefer one marketing strategy or online platform over another. It simply tells the retailer how online behavior truly impacts customers at an individual level and provides insight into where their dollars are best invested to ensure long-term success.
Bridging the gap between spend and actual behavior also helps retailers strengthen their relationships with their marketer while ensuring greater success of individual campaigns. It also allows them to accurately measure the success of those campaigns beyond just inferring success from total sales. When retailers can say to their marketer, “This is where my customers really are online,” they can ensure that campaigns truly support and reach their target audience, and they can measure the results with relevant, actual data.