We know that data is key – key to identifying your ideal customer profile, improving your messaging, and better understanding success and failures. We spend our days looking at KPIs and ROI along with a dozen more acronyms to boil down if what we are doing as marketers is actually working. And across our digital channels, we focus efforts as best we can to meet the growing expectation from consumers that we talk to them as individuals.
But with the rapidly growing digital landscape – from more channels to reach them in, to more platforms to integrate into our tech stack – we cannot help but know we are falling a little bit short. In the grand scheme of things, how is any marketing team supposed to personalize efforts across the plethora of touchpoints to the extent that the consumer really does feel like we are talking directly to them. Because at the end of the day, that is what we need to be doing. Talking to the consumer like we know them, and we have little more than what we have in our CRMs and CDPs to help us.
Using data to fuel the fire
On the marketing operations side of the house, we know the underlying data is going to directly affect our outcomes. It is nothing new. Yet, the sheer amount of email address data that enter databases already incorrect or decays over time is confounding.
While we know the data needs to be good, we have little in place to get it there. We are often too reliant on the inbound lead that came through our website to have provided the right information and continue (Read more...) use that information for the entirety of our business-consumer relationship. And the likelihood of that happening is slim with most people already having multiple email addresses and eventually changing them.
So, to stoke the fire to get the CX started, we need that data. We need validated information that is reliable and comprehensive. And, we need it across all the various touchpoints so our consistent message gets delivered consistently to the right person.
Email address validation is not only a good start, it is a necessity. And validation goes beyond a simple yes or no, as ‘spam traps’ and malicious bots often have perfectly valid email addresses. Getting your foundational data in order is key because digital identity is still reliant on the email address.
Reaching them where they are
Now that you have the ability to reach your audience, you actually have to do it. Because in our digital age, we have social media channels popping up left and right. We have walled gardens set up around proprietary audiences. We have more apps than anyone could ever use in a lifetime. And every household seems to be connecting more devices day by day.
Because your reach will rely on your ability to tie multiple digital identity markers together, we need to look at the data, specifically the email address, to know if it’s linked to another, and for what purpose. Digital marketing efforts are still reliant on the email address as an underlying identity marker – whether readable or anonymized – to onboard into networks and target the right consumers.
Digging down to the data will open the reach of your efforts so your campaigns hit the intended target. The various channels can then be attributed more accurately within your results as every touchpoint gets linked back to the proper individual.
Consistency is key
Now that you’re reaching your audience across channels and devices, you need to make sure the message stays the same. Because when the consumer wants to feel like you’re talking to them, a splattering of irrelevant headlines is not going to work.
From the very first touchpoint to maintaining a loyal customer, your business needs to be addressing them as if it is a one-to-one conversation. Does your database have the necessary information to do that? Not only that, but can you do that at scale, having thousands or hundreds of thousands of one-to-one conversations?
The answer is yes, but you need the email address data to back it up. The only way your digital messages can stay consistent throughout the possibly hundreds of interactions your brand has with a consumer, is with good data. To append relevant demographics, psychographics, lifestyle, and engagement information, the foundation needs to be there. And there is plenty of concern for wasted spend if it falls short.
Keep up with the customer journey
What all of this combined does is allow you to better keep up with the customer journey, and we know that continues to evolve. Reach and consistency are great when targeting the consumer, but they still need to contact you, they are still calling, texting, liking, reacting, emailing, chatting, and form-filling day after day.
Our customers are contributing more to the conversation. Whether that be directed at your business for support or complaints, or around the larger topic of data privacy in general, they want to be heard. The one-to-one customer journey is now becoming a back-and-forth and marketers need to keep up.
Learn more about how email data can boost your marketing efforts