March 18, 2023 - Data Activation is revolutionizing online marketing by unlocking the value of data to craft compelling experiences for customers. With Artificial Intelligence applied to their first-party data, brands are unlocking the ability to recognize patterns and trends in huge sets of information, giving them unparalleled insights that allow them to make smart decisions quickly.
By activating your first-party data (FPD), you can dive into customer preferences like never before – creating a winning experience at scale.
Here are some of today’s most notable data activation trends:
1. Deeper Insights
Digital marketing is a powerful tool for communication and connection, but understanding customer behavior on digital channels can take time and effort.
Fortunately, with the help of Google Analytics 4 (GA4) and other tools in the GMP stack, businesses have an opportunity to monitor valuable buyer and visitor data – unlocking deeper insights into how consumers are engaging across touchpoints so they can tailor user experiences more effectively.
Customer Journey Mapping: Companies can create a smooth customer journey through data-driven marketing. With GA4, businesses can chart their customers’ progress using FPD from the initial purchase all the way to becoming brand advocates. This provides an understanding of every step taken and how current strategies are affecting each stage in real-time.
Real-Time Targeting: Allows Brands to use innovative strategies to engage customers both online and in-person. For example, through first-party location-based data, companies can identify potential shoppers within physical stores and send them tailored offers on their phones to entice them into buying more products or services. Highly valuable customers may even be rewarded with exclusive discounts or get individualized product recommendations.
Merging Offline and Online Data: Provides a broad array of opportunities for your business. Whether it’s physical stores or online engagements, data collected offline and used to create customer profiles can greatly boost campaign performance across many digital platforms – including video, social media, and mobile. With the right combination of both first-party offline data (think CRM data) and insights from the web (like behavioural modeling), marketers now have access to an incredible arsenal they can use to optimize their campaigns with pinpoint accuracy.
Enhanced Conversions: Enhanced conversions is a feature that can improve the accuracy of your conversion measurement and unlock more powerful bidding. It supplements your existing conversion tags by sending hashed first-party conversion data from your website to Google in a privacy-safe way. For example, when a customer completes a conversion on your website, you may receive first-party customer data such as an email address, name, phone number, etc. This data can be captured in your conversion tracking tags, hashed, sent to Google in its hashed form, and then used to improve your conversion measurement.
Today, customers desire an immersive experience no matter the channel. With these types of data activation applications, marketers can offer personalization tailored to each customer’s individual needs across all platforms – creating a consistent and unified omnichannel journey for consumers. And, because it’s based on FPD as opposed to third-party cookies, or other privacy and/or regulatory-violating collection methods, it’s data-privacy proof.
2. Audience Activation
Predictive Modeling: One of the most exciting new features for marketers in GA4 is predictive modeling and with it, the ability to build predictive audiences.
A predictive audience is one with at least one condition based on a predictive metric. For example, you could build an audience for ‘likely 7-day purchasers’ that includes users who are likely to make a purchase in the next 7 days. Basically, Google Analytics automatically enters data by using machine learning algorithms to predict the future behaviour of a user in order to create categories of audiences.
Behavioral Modeling: Behavioral modeling takes all your existing customer segments into consideration and expands on them. Through demographic and behavioral data, behavioral modeling can help you find potential new customers who share the same characteristics as your existing customers and reach out to them.
On the flip side, behavioral modeling can also eliminate unqualified prospects. Businesses always have ideal customer characteristics and traits in mind. If an audience member doesn’t fit your target demographic, you can remove them from your marketing campaign. Data can be used to identify disqualifying features and make your marketing campaigns more efficient and effective.
Customer match: Customer Match lets you use your online and offline data to reach and re-engage with your customers across Search, the Shopping tab, Gmail, YouTube, and Display. Using information that your customers have shared with you, Customer Match will target ads to those customers and other customers like them. A useful advertising tool for many business goals, from increasing brand awareness to driving conversions.
3. Dismantling the Marketing Silo
This one is very important: There is value in this data well beyond the marketing silo.
Discovering and communicating this value is one of Napkyn’s differentiators and if you follow this blog, something you know we talk about a lot. When we talk about data activation, we’re not just talking about activating for your marketing team, we want to talk to your user experience team, your IT team, etc.
While there’s clearly value to be had in leveraging first-party data for Marketing outcomes, our experience shows that companies can get the most benefit by engaging with other parts of the organization as well. Helping each function (eg: user experience, product, IT) understand how first-party data can help them gain greater insights and improve outcomes ensures buy-in across the org chart. A key component of data activation is thinking bigger than just the tactics of marketing.
Effective use of first-party data activation harnesses customer insights and provides an edge in personalizing interactions across channels. This knowledge can help make well-informed decisions throughout each stage of the customer journey, encouraging a cycle that boosts performance against competitors – even when times are tough.