Julia Manoukian

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May 29, 2018

Data Is the Golden Ticket to Personalization in Experiential Marketing

Julia Manoukian

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Two of the most influential marketing trends of 2018, personalization at scale and multi-channel experiences, are both driven by the rapid expansion of data applications. As a result, businesses channeling the tidal wave of available data into more tightly targeted marketing campaigns are reaping remarkable rewards.

In the United States alone, 74 percent of adblock users say that they will leave a site that has adblock walls. More than 380 million mobile devices now use adblockers, as well. However, more than three out of four adblock users said that they are willing to view some ads – only targeted, relevant ads. They don’t have time for distractions and they want their relationships with preferred suppliers to be consistent.

That's also why live events are taking on a larger role in marketing budgets this year. Your audience does not want to block a positive, personal experience in the real world.

Consistency Across Channels

McKinsey finds that two-thirds of buyers walk away from the buyer journey when they become frustrated by inconsistent experiences across channels. The buyer sees your brand as a single entity, regardless of the channel.

They expect consistency with the brand interactions in-store, on social media platforms, with a website chatbot and inside a mobile app. Again, the golden ticket is data shared across departments. This approach can inform everyone on your team about who the buyers are and how they have interacted with the brand in the past.

Accenture reports that 75 percent of consumers are more likely to buy from a retailer that recognizes them by name, recommends options based on past purchases or knows their purchase history.

There are three essential pre-conditions that can help you convert existing data into more effective experiential marketing events:

1. Establish buyer personas first

With access to a greater volume and velocity of data, analytics tools can break down segments into smaller, more accurate targeting groups. Data management strategy needs to be woven into marketing plans from the earliest stage in the process. For a complete view of the customer, you need to understand the importance of active vs. passive data and how to apply them.

2. Mine social networks for clear buying signals

People increasingly live their digital lives in a sea of social interactions. In addition to tweeting and posting about their interests on social networks, they interact with others on review sites, comment on blogs and leave data trails on sites devoted to special interests. All of this can be carefully sorted and combined into a more detailed picture of who customers are, what they care about and which services could have the biggest impact on their lives. Learn how to use social data for more motivational and personalized events.

3. Go beyond surface data for live event personalization

Too many marketers are just personalizing emails and websites, even though they know they could be doing much more. The 2018 Trends in Personalization report from Evergage and Researchscape finds that 96 percent of marketers know that machine learning has the capability for individual personalization right now, but only 26 percent use it.

While 77 percent are personalizing emails and 52 percent are personalizing their sites, most stop there. Personalized marketing at live events has a greater impact on buyer intent and stronger referral rates. 98 percent of customers are more inclined to make a purchase after a personal interaction at a live event. On average, they tell 17 people about their positive experiences.

In short, personalizing the marketing experience is critical to getting your message through, and intelligent use of data is the only way to make that happen. That means incorporating social data with in-person observations with metrics from digital interactions. While marketers know that personalization engages customers, personalization across channels remain a mostly untapped source of competitive advantage.

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