Feast or Famine:
how to avoid data indigestion

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Marie Myles, Director of Consulting, Experian Marketing Services

‘Since the explosion of the internet into the public consciousness, the obsession of many marketers has been how to achieve a truly integrated multi-channel marketing approach. Until recently this has remained an unobtainable ideal but there are signs that this dream may be turning to reality for many brands.’

In a recent study carried out by e-Consultancy, 98% of respondents say they use three or more marketing channels, with 51% saying multichannel marketing helps them to reach difficult to access audiences. Brands now have the ability to collect not only traditional transactional data but also email click behaviour, search terms and in-store purchases through loyalty cards, all of which can be stored at the customer level. However, fewer than half of the e-Consultancy respondents were doing this.

The greatest challenge facing marketers is how to make sense of the vast amount of data at their disposal and what to do with it. There’s a real risk that databases become bloated with masses of unused data, gathered at great expense, leading to a rather bad case of indigestion for all concerned. Here are Experian’s top tips for making the most of your data in a multi-channel world.

  • Just because you can access a huge range of search, email and purchasing data, doesn’t mean you should – Don’t get blinded by the vast amount of data out there. Start by identifying the behaviours of your most valuable customers and what you need to drive those behaviours in other customers. Using this rationale focuses the mind on the information needed and makes the evaluation of which multi-channel data to use a much easier decision.
  • Develop a channel-agnostic data segmentation strategy - Develop a segmentation strategy that underpins all your marketing activity regardless of channel. Best practice is to create a segmentation set that is common currency across the whole of the business. It informs every decision and is the source of information on how to target and understand customers. Clearly ‘consistent’ is not the same as ‘static’ so continual development and refinement of segmentation sets is essential as markets evolve.
  • Always seek out channel solutions that are aligned with your segmentation strategy. Whilst traditional channels such as direct mail, email, SMS and outbound calling have been used to deploy segmentation, digital channels are becoming just as targetable. For instance segmentation has proven successful for on-site content-serving and digital advertising whilst social media (e.g. Facebook) lends itself well to micro targeting.

  • Keep the customer at the heart of what you do. Customer centricity, data and insight is our mantra; make it yours. Learn from one of our clients; a major financial services brand’s mantra is to only use data to the benefit of the customers, in other words to responsibly offer the customer products and services which they know they can afford and which could be of benefit to them.

A planned and segment-led approach to your data strategy will support a multi-channel marketing approach and avoid a bad case of data indigestion.

About the author:

Marie Myles
Director of Consulting
Experian Marketing Services

Marie has a wealth of client and agency experience in delivering data and insight driven actions and business benefits. She is a senior marketer with over 12 years experience managing and delivering large scale sales and marketing plans in the utilities and telecommunications sectors. This is backed by over 7 years agency and supplier side experience, ranging from a Senior Planner in a direct marketing agency to leading a consultancy team in the analytics sector. Marie backs these marketing credentials with a strong commercial background and qualifications ranging from a degree in Economics to diplomas from the CIM and IDM.

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