Why who we don’t communicate with is as important as who we do communicate with

The scatter gun ‘spray and pray’ marketing approach is one of the past. As marketing professionals we all know that.
In the modern world, data is used in marketing comms to make advertising and messaging more accurate. ‘More accurate’ based on customer insight that enables brands and marketers to tailor what they’re saying to the people reading it. Equally, in a programmatic world, it means only showing an advert to people to whom it is relevant.

This, of course, improves performance for those who are running the campaign. However, the only reason for this is because it is delivering a better experience. Marketers need to switch around how they think about increasing the accuracy of their comms in order to start thinking about it from a consumer-centric perspective. Improved performance is driven by a more relevant experience.

Marketers should be focusing on generating more relevant interactions in order to improve the experience because that is what drives better performance. These interactions need to be based on insight about those people.

With this in mind it is about reaching the right people rather than solely about reaching people in general. It’s about thinking about the customer first.
But how do you go about building an audience in a customer first approach?

Who we take out of our audiences is as important as who we put in

There are many ways to build an audience but the accuracy of that audience relies on two things. 1) the level of understanding you have of your desired audience and 2) your ability to accurately reach those individuals.

Using customer insight and sophisticated segmentation exercises it is possible to build up a decent view of who your preferred audience is. However, at this stage it is necessary to truly consider your customer and start to understand the types of people who wouldn’t want to receive this message. The same process can be used to build an understanding of the types of customers you don’t want. Not just because they don’t fit your perfect audience but due to other factors related to the products you are selling or the message you are sending. Think about age, eligibility, geographic location. What about existing customers receiving promotional deals on products they have just purchased at full price?

Thinking about who not to include in an audience is just as important as thinking about who to include.
In the financial world this is even more important because without removing people who are ineligible (or who are very likely to be ineligible) you risk causing several rather appalling negative outcomes. First and foremost, you are in danger of potentially having a negative impact on that person by offering them credit products such as loans or credit cards that they will not be approved for.

If someone applies and is then declined, you could be having a negative impact on their credit score. It could also be a distressing experience for someone who is potentially already in a vulnerable place. Not to mention the negative view they will have of your brand from now on.
If someone is not eligible for a product, then they should not be included.

By putting yourself in the customer’s shoes and thinking ‘who should not be seeing this’ as well as ‘who do I want to see this’ it is possible to use data to further tailor your audiences in order to improve the overall relevance, and performance of your marketing. Suppressing particular audiences alongside your detailed and tailored audience building is a critical step in the road to relevant and accurate marketing.

To find out more about Delphi for Marketing and Experian’s other marketing suppression tools contact us.