Data management platforms, or DMPs (which is ‘agnostic’ and plugs and plays with any system) allow marketers to personalise at scale, with the flexibility they need: they can orchestrate messages in real-time across any platform, from a cutting edge smartwatch to an ancient CRM system. We’re humanising marketing again, basically, in a digital age where communications are most prone to creepy, spammy ads… or detached fragmentation.
This not only brings businesses back to the people-focused approach which is such a challenge today, but it allows them to rescue and connect first party (like CRM/ email), second (metasearch) and third party (Facebook) data sources. This is crucial now because media giants are occupying a vast amount of customer data which can put businesses in a chokehold, and this just doesn’t need to be the case.
The Flexibility of DMPs
Our value is demonstrated through our clients’ ability to provide value to their customers, based on balancing business value with personalisation and relevancy. The DMP solution is flexible, so it should work for their infrastructure and people.
For banks, this might mean increasing value per existing account holder by serving them the right product offer, exactly when they need it. Airlines might be focused on taking passenger service to the next level by pre-filling their preferences for extra legroom and meal choice. Retail might reward loyalty with in-store surprises, by connecting real world interactions with online impressions. Meanwhile energy companies have a high churn rate, and want to keep their customers. For Telecoms? Experiencing difficulty with Identity Management across devices means hurdling the issue of who they are; perhaps differentiating between customer and new prospect, then adding more layers to these journeys further down the line.
Breaking down silos
Data-driven marketing is all about breaking down silos. On one level, removing barriers means the ability to use data across all systems and departments; but this also means the ability to cross-pollinate people, their expertise and areas of commitment to build business cases which work. This is exciting – and productive – because it requires a hybrid team working together towards shared goals. As well as an overall project manager with the overarching belief and conviction to drive your new approach, you might need a CRM specialist to focus on this particular type of technology, its development and customisation. A Display expert to juggle online marketing and media bidding activities. Then, later and no less importantly – a creative marketer to make sure every customer journey makes sense and resonates beyond just connecting technologies: the human touch.
This means performance metrics which go beyond ‘how well is this individual channel performing?’ to ‘where can we improve this specific customer journey we created?’ and ‘how well is it performing compared to the original?’ – a test-and-learn culture which will fit with the fast-paced, omnichannel company landscape of now, and the future.
The Future of B2C Relationships
Firstly, what we try to remind our clients is that there is no one, finite, `customer journey` – a myth which marketers seem to perpetuate in pursuit of the perfect one. You might book on a mobile app today, and buy on a website tomorrow. This means that B2C relationships will become more dynamic.
Through our own recent consumer research combined with our client experiences, though, there are a few tendencies we’ve identified which brands may begin delivering on. Most of them stem from C words: convenience, control, connectivity – context.
Customers are tugging back control over the buying process, and winning. With a proliferation of digital services, people can swipe, click or voice activate anything they want in a heartbeat – and with this autonomy, demand naturally rises.
The impact on businesses
Consumers don’t want to be force-fed ads; they want relevance, convenience and control – that`s why we encourage companies to follow and deliver on behaviours, not lead or dictate, creating a value exchange with data which means that loyalty is rewarded with the right offer, to the right person, at the right time. In some cases, this might mean consumers can actively optimise their own apps, dashboards and experiences to orchestrate their own ideal buying journey.
Ideally, in the next few years, companies will begin to alter perceptions of channel-based marketing into a broader sphere, connecting their framework so they can be agile and responsive to change alongside their consumers. In this respect, brand-consumer relationships will need to balance out and become more dialogic, lest the consumer leaves and goes elsewhere.
Read more about this smarter data management in Relay42’s Blog.
Author – Tomas Salfischberger, Relay42
Tomas is the CEO and co-founder of Relay42; a Data Management Platform (DMP). This is a marketing solution which unifies – and crucially, activates – company data across every customer channel, technology or device.
He started the company with Koen Bos, their CTO, in 2011. It’s grown from a little Dutch start-up to a global enterprise DMP for the likes of KLM, AirFrance, BMW and ING.