‘53% of marketers don’t have a cohesive strategy for Martech, and only 20% are implementing one!’

This is the headline of a report we have just received from Demand Lab, a technology focused marketing consultancy.

It may be an exaggeration, but there is some truth here. Many B to C marketers have made their decisions about purchasing Martech in a very piecemeal way, and ended up with an extensive but uncoordinated marketing toolkit.

Each technology item has been purchased on its own, to do a specific job, without adhering to an overall strategy.

And their difficulties are compounded by the way that the Martech vendors usually present themselves:

– Confusing websites that don’t explain fully what the technology does
– Opaque pricing arrangements
– Features, not solutions focused descriptions
– Little explanation about how the systems are to be configured
– Or what level of internal IT support you need to make them work

We believe that the overall Martech strategy for most medium sized companies does not need to be over complicated.

There are some core components that should be the foundation of any Martech strategy, such as these:

We have marked some of these boxes yellow because most marketers have these already; the problem often is that they don’t naturally join together.

The email service provider may not know what is going on in the website. The call centre doesn’t know what the mailing house has sent out to Mrs Smith when she calls in. The retailers don’t know what kind of customers they are dealing with.

This explains why we decided to go into the customer data platform (CDP) business. To integrate all this customer information and build a comprehensive picture of every customer you are in contact with.

A CDP works best when it’s set up in conjunction with, or has built in, personalisation technology that automates individual messaging via your website and your email service provider.

The personalisation has much more meaning when it is based on knowing what type of customer you have been in the past. Not just on what you have looked at on the website in the last few seconds.

The CDP can then also segment the customer base so that the offline mailing house or call centre send out relevant targeted messages.

But the CDP does much more as well. Having all your customer data in one place, you can measure the effectiveness of every marketing activity as well as track how your customers are performing in terms of value and loyalty over time.

It can inform your recruitment strategy by showing you how different channels bring different types of customer. Show you how they are working in combination. That way you can escape from last click order attribution and attribute the correct value to the role each channel performs.

Every company is at a different point in their journey to getting the Martech that is right for them.  If you would like to chat to us about where on your journey you are now, and where you need to go, we are here to help at no cost to you.

Could marketers learn a trick or two from archaeologists?

It may sound daft but we believe that the answer is a decided yes!

Archaeologists view a site that they are excavating as a series of layers. With each layer representing a distinct historic period –  this dating approach is known as stratigraphy.  They use this to associate different items of evidence with each other and can, for instance, differentiate Bronze Age pottery from Iron Age by how deep they find it in the ground at a particular site.

But the preservation of remains and artefacts within a layer tells much more. For instance, petrospheres are now known to have been used for smashing large bones to extricate the marrow. This is because these spherical stones and the broken bones have been found together in the same layer of Palaeolithic sites in the Middle East.

So, we marketers can look at historic customer data in a similar way. We can see what customer behaviour has taken place in each time period, in response to what stimuli, and learn vast amounts from that.

For this to work we need to make sure that our ‘stratigraphic’ customer data has been carefully collected and maintained. Clients need to ensure that  all transactions, contacts and customer attributes [such as their source of recruitment and demographics] have not been discarded along the way.

What will this customer data tell us? What Tutankhamen can we expect to uncover?

If we take a group of customers recruited in a specific time period, we can look at the order value they on average provided in their first, second and third year from recruitment.  This will the help guide us to understand how much we can spend on recruiting them.

Now some of these customers will have only purchased once, and others will have purchased more often. Having uncovered the different groups we can start asking what differentiates them.

Often the source or channel of recruitment is the biggest factor in determining what their future value will be. Will a Facebook derived customer be worth more or less than one that comes from Google PPC? Their age at time of recruitment and their geodemographic can be of great significance.

Looking at the different customer layers we can start to ask questions about how the external environment has impacted their behaviour. Customers recruited in 2008 and 2020 cannot be expected to behave like customers recruited in more normal years. And when the economy shrinks, we can look to see whether demand has just been postponed or lost forever.

Historic customer behaviour data sets are a gold mine if used properly.  To extract the value you will need both the customer data store, and the data archaeologists who can uncover the buried secrets.

In marketing we call these archaeologists data scientists.

We have developed our company UniFida along the lines of an archaeological dig; we collect and store our clients’ customer data (protected by UKFast, UK-based data centres ISO certified, PCI DSS compliant and secured to UK government IL4 standards) in our cloud-based technology, and we then deploy data scientists to extract meaning and learnings from that.

Please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you are sitting on a customer data site that needs careful ‘excavation’.


UniFida logo

UniFida is the trading name of Marketing Planning Services Ltd, a London based technology and data science company set up in 2014. Our overall aim is to help organisations build more customer value at less marketing cost.

Our technology focus has been to develop UniFida. Our data science business comes both from existing users of UniFida, and from clients looking to us to solve their more complex data related marketing questions.

Marketing is changing at an explosive speed, and our ambition is to help our clients stay empowered and ahead in this challenging environment.


Are your customers turning into chameleons?

It may be noticeable that, like chameleons, they are becoming harder and harder to identify. And there is a reason for this. They are constantly changing their personal identifiers, like email, mobile numbers, or cookie IDs.

The process to properly identify individuals we call “identity resolution”, and failures in identity resolution may sometimes have quite negative consequences.

Customers actively dislike not being recognised, for instance being treated as a new recruit when in fact they have been buying from you for years, or being sent the same message twice, and in addition to that there is a cost for the organisation with added communications costs.

Lack of good identity resolution processes also makes a nonsense of trying to calculate customer lifetime value or undertaking forward business planning based around your expected rates of recruitment and attrition.

So what does a good identity resolution process consist of?

We see it as matching all available personal identifiers, from every one of your customers, to get the best possible chance of joining your customer data inputs from multiple sources into actual customer records.

This used to be a relatively straightforward task when the main personal identifier was the postal name and address, although that in itself posed some considerable challenges.

With the usual mix of badly typed addresses, varying address structures, and incorrect postcodes we often find there is a problem just within name and address matching. In a recent case we found 25% name and address duplicates.

But the postal address is just one of multiple personal identifiers, each of which can change at any time.

We have all become identity chameleons, changing our mobile numbers, emails, cookie IDs etc with great regularity.

There is however a relatively simple solution – just keep hold of all the personal identifiers you have been able to link to each individual since you first recognised them, so that you have the best possible chance of identifying them when the reappear.

This is exactly what our cloud-based customer data platform does with the data it ingests; as each individual item of customer data is taken in, its identifiers are matched across the entire customer base.

If you think that you may have an identity resolution problem with your customer data, we can offer you a very low-cost solution; we can trial match all your customer data sources together in UniFida, and report on the amount of duplication that exists between them.

This will tell you how many customers you actually have, and how many duplicates you are carrying.

 


UniFida logo

UniFida is the trading name of Marketing Planning Services Ltd, a London based technology and data science company set up in 2014. Our overall aim is to help organisations build more customer value at less marketing cost.

Our technology focus has been to develop UniFida. Our data science business comes both from existing users of UniFida, and from clients looking to us to solve their more complex data related marketing questions.

Marketing is changing at an explosive speed, and our ambition is to help our clients stay empowered and ahead in this challenging environment.