While we’re all celebrating the end of 2015, a larger question looms: what will next year bring us? With shoppers’ increasingly on-demand access to goods and services, the competition for their attention will be fiercer than ever. Figuring out the best way to cut through the noise will be a challenge—particularly for the savvy marketer or retailer who is trying to grow and adapt their business, while riding the waves of technical innovation.
Adopting a more data-centric approach will be the key to successful marketing in 2016. The more a brand can use high-quality data to personalize its messaging to consumers, the better its chances of garnering a response and closing a sale.
Here are five data-driven tactics everyone can use in the New Year to start seeing delivering returns in the marketplace.
You Don’t Need Much Data to Start Targeting
The results are clear: companies who have the best data have a dramatic advantage. But you don’t need much to start seeing immediate results. Start with these two simple steps to get your data-driven programs going.
- Do you see higher checkout rates or a higher basket size from female consumers? Split your advertising in two and double down on the more valuable group.
- Who might be interested in buying? The customer who just clicked one of your advertisements yesterday! Build a separate campaign to retarget recent clickers—they already had one foot in the door, why not invite them back into your shop?
While it’s all good and well to say “test, test, test” and “vary it up to see what works,” that’s like saying the secret to cooking well is to use the stove and the oven. Here are a few specific creative tips proven to maximize conversion: pick your favorite recipes and get cooking.
- Trying to get customers to come to your site or app? Use concrete numbers to illustrate why they should check it out: Over 1,000 new items in the collection! 5 million people already shop in our app.
- Articulate your best feature and clearest value proposition. Consumers are bombarded in every channel— try picking an area and going all in on that one particular differentiator: The best place to shop for the whole family!
- Bringing a customer into a mobile experience? Feature a smart phone in your creative to show your exact use case and how your app will work. It may seem simple, but it boosts conversion.
Whether you are pitching a new customer or re-engaging a shopper who’s looked at an item on your site before— try using a dynamic creative format that displays multiple products. Presenting a mini shopping experience—while giving a feel for your offerings—has proven to increase click-through rate by as much as 180%.
For new potential customers, you can use your own first-party data or other reliable data sources to tailor which items you show. For example, in ads for a large multi-category store, you might show women offerings for shoes, bags, and apparel departments, while men see gifts and home goods.
Your Best Customers Keep Giving
One of the easiest steps to start unlocking the power of your data is to identify your best customers and find more like them. One big box retailer we worked with took their branded customer list and had a look-a-like model built using those customers as the seed audience. This segment—as well as the subsequent targeting iterations built from these profiles—dropped their cost of attracting new customers to their app by 56%!
Speaking of your best customers, they may benefit from a nudge themselves: you can bring your offline data online and target them digitally to stay top of mind.
Don’t Let “Perfect” be the Enemy of “Good”
“We’ll have the perfect campaign for each of our 28 different shopper personas!” one of your colleagues might shout after reviewing analysis. More PowerPoint documents will be created to determine the subtle differences between “Cheryl” and “Martha” personas.
Along with the power of data comes a challenge: today, it’s easier than ever to make campaigns needlessly complicated.
It goes without saying that a rigorous, data-driven approach can take more time and effort to implement. But that shouldn’t keep us from staying focused on what we set out to do in the first place: delight more shoppers and bring more of what we offer to the world.
Noah Jessop is the Head of Data at Liquid