|By Bob Gourley||
|June 26, 2014 04:51 PM EDT||
By Jed Mole
Database marketing: How marketing struggles with social (and what to do about it)
Marketing’s landscape is changing. The advance of digital media – social channels especially – has dramatically altered the ways prime prospects expect to be approached. Yet marketers can struggle to understand social. A key factor is adaptation difficulties; social requires people who are used to traditional database marketing, to follow unfamiliar strategies and deal with complex results in radically different formats.
But with vast potential to reach unique consumers with more relevant messages, an understanding of how to use the range of social capabilities as part of their marketing arsenal is crucial.
The problem: Why marketers struggle with social.
Marketers, while still pushing hard to master modern multi-channel marketing, at least had some maturity from the CRM space; tools and techniques they could largely trust. An individual’s multi-channel contact information and other related demographic, behavioural and lifestyle data could be brought together, to be understood before re-engaging the consumer in, ideally, a meaningful dialogue.
But social doesn’t work like that; it’s not as centralised, mature or predictable because:
- Social is a patchwork of ever-changing, sprawling, independent networks.
- Each social channel has a unique communications structure, rules and target audience.
- It can be hard to address individuals directly unless they choose to follow you/ engage/ be a fan. Targeting an individual is often not possible.
- Because of this, connecting with prospects requires much more manual work and time; automating social posting is rarely an option as it leads to more error than good, and is normally quite obvious.
- There are organisational questions to resolve, such as do customer service or marketing own social, when 95% of the traffic are customer service related queries?
- Consumers interact differently, they expect more dialogue.
Why do marketers need to use social?
Despite the differences and challenges social networking presents, data from social campaigns has the potential to:
- Enhance understanding of unique consumers and segments.
- Build a deeper brand relationship often through smart content and customer experience marketing.
- Consider responding to insights from sentiment analysis (e.g. from solutions such as Aditive)
- Maintain loyalty and trust.
- Provide better, faster customer service.
- Allow the adaptation of communications and product to accurately suit consumer interests.
- Rapidly generate powerful customer feedback that can make significant differences to product development, production, pricing and the like.
There is more to an effective social campaign than basic activity however. The data generated through social is sprawling and complex, so continual reference to campaign aims must be made throughout planning and analysis. Goals avoid deviation – and there will be a lot of data to deviate into.
Marketers’ key goals should be to find, understand and engage the customers and prospects that are interested in them, so social campaigns – and social content – must be relevant, engaging and targeted to those prospects.
The solution: Understanding audiences for enhanced campaigns and targeting
Being relevant, engaging and targeted to the perfect audience is easily said, but how do marketers know who their interested social prospects are, and what those prospects want to learn or receive from them?
Using data, interests must be defined and audiences understood to get the message right:
- Look at individuals’ profiles as starting points to establish good social campaign data on interest.
- Monitor social media to establish existing followers and assess their interests.
- Consult data sources other than social for a comprehensive picture. Customer databases and profile data from sample individuals will give an outline for ideal target audiences and their preferences.
- Refine campaigns by establishing the networks that ideal prospects frequent and the subjects they speak about.
- Understand audiences to know which social channels to prioritise. Key prospect preferences and habits should inform social network choice and activity.
Additional information on unique consumer preferences can be gained by matching email lists to Twitter and Facebook (two of the most openly accessible networks), and by using Klout to see how influential followers are/ where influencer’s common interests lie.
Interests may not follow as expected, so should be checked. If prospects follow a lot of travel accounts or particular technologies for example, these can be taken as interests and should be reflected in content marketing strategies when possible and relevant to brand message.
Get the message heard
Even with perfectly targeted content and interest-influenced messaging, marketers can still find social targeting a challenge.
Social sharing expands marketing reach but, while good messages encourage social sharing, encouraging the right people to share is tough. It’s easy to become lost in a sea of social profile data. To get the message heard:
- Encourage the right people. Focus on influencers identified in customer databases to share targeted messages. Use integrated offline channels to contact existing customers who are socially active, but unaware of a particular social presence.
- Connect to profiles aligned with brand message across networks; choose thought leaders, publications, journalists, and socially active individuals.
- Use paid-for social ads to better segment and reach. Facebook Custom Audience works similarly to conventional database targeting, directing ads to chosen demographics and allowing uploaded email lists, phone numbers or Facebook ID’s. to match with the Facebook database. Recently, Facebook has worked to match real offline buying data, purchased from data providers, to evaluate the effectiveness of its ads.
Taking a step further, using data from data providers such as Acxiom allows even greater granular insight of audiences than Facebook segmentation alone, so can result in more effective ad click through and enhanced ad targeting. This is particularly powerful with direct 1:1 match marketing, where Acxiom securely and safely matches a brand’s consumers with those of a social network, combining the data collaboratively, to deliver significantly higher performance.
Take a considered view
Marketers who understand audiences, send messages at the right time, and adhere to good social practice will present a trusted, consumer-focused and available business demeanour. Yet there’s more to targeting than just social.
If you consider that large percentages of socially active consumers say nothing (and that perfect prospects may not even be online), it’s clear that social data alone cannot be relied on to dictate all decisions.
Ultimately, successful marketing campaigns will be the ones that know this, combining social data with information from other sources to inform targeting. A comprehensive, integrated view of customers and prospects must always be considered to consistently recognise the multichannel consumer’s preferences. No matter the channels, this will not change.
About The Author
This article was written by Jed Mole, European Marketing Director at Acxiom a data analytics and software-as-a-service company.
SYS-CON Events announced today that HPM Networks will exhibit at the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. For 20 years, HPM Networks has been integrating technology solutions that solve complex business challenges. HPM Networks has designed solutions for both SMB and enterprise customers throughout the San Francisco Bay Area.
Aug. 3, 2015 06:45 PM EDT Reads: 555
For IoT to grow as quickly as analyst firms’ project, a lot is going to fall on developers to quickly bring applications to market. But the lack of a standard development platform threatens to slow growth and make application development more time consuming and costly, much like we’ve seen in the mobile space. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Mike Weiner, Product Manager of the Omega DevCloud with KORE Telematics Inc., discussed the evolving requirements for developers as IoT matures and conducted a live demonstration of how quickly application development can happen when the need to comply wit...
Aug. 2, 2015 11:15 AM EDT Reads: 377
The Internet of Everything (IoE) brings together people, process, data and things to make networked connections more relevant and valuable than ever before – transforming information into knowledge and knowledge into wisdom. IoE creates new capabilities, richer experiences, and unprecedented opportunities to improve business and government operations, decision making and mission support capabilities.
Aug. 1, 2015 10:00 AM EDT Reads: 352
Explosive growth in connected devices. Enormous amounts of data for collection and analysis. Critical use of data for split-second decision making and actionable information. All three are factors in making the Internet of Things a reality. Yet, any one factor would have an IT organization pondering its infrastructure strategy. How should your organization enhance its IT framework to enable an Internet of Things implementation? In his session at @ThingsExpo, James Kirkland, Red Hat's Chief Architect for the Internet of Things and Intelligent Systems, described how to revolutionize your archit...
Jul. 30, 2015 07:30 PM EDT Reads: 1,436
MuleSoft has announced the findings of its 2015 Connectivity Benchmark Report on the adoption and business impact of APIs. The findings suggest traditional businesses are quickly evolving into "composable enterprises" built out of hundreds of connected software services, applications and devices. Most are embracing the Internet of Things (IoT) and microservices technologies like Docker. A majority are integrating wearables, like smart watches, and more than half plan to generate revenue with APIs within the next year.
Jul. 30, 2015 02:30 PM EDT Reads: 163
Growth hacking is common for startups to make unheard-of progress in building their business. Career Hacks can help Geek Girls and those who support them (yes, that's you too, Dad!) to excel in this typically male-dominated world. Get ready to learn the facts: Is there a bias against women in the tech / developer communities? Why are women 50% of the workforce, but hold only 24% of the STEM or IT positions? Some beginnings of what to do about it! In her Opening Keynote at 16th Cloud Expo, Sandy Carter, IBM General Manager Cloud Ecosystem and Developers, and a Social Business Evangelist, d...
Jul. 30, 2015 12:00 PM EDT Reads: 2,094
In his keynote at 16th Cloud Expo, Rodney Rogers, CEO of Virtustream, discussed the evolution of the company from inception to its recent acquisition by EMC – including personal insights, lessons learned (and some WTF moments) along the way. Learn how Virtustream’s unique approach of combining the economics and elasticity of the consumer cloud model with proper performance, application automation and security into a platform became a breakout success with enterprise customers and a natural fit for the EMC Federation.
Jul. 30, 2015 09:00 AM EDT Reads: 2,182
The Internet of Things is not only adding billions of sensors and billions of terabytes to the Internet. It is also forcing a fundamental change in the way we envision Information Technology. For the first time, more data is being created by devices at the edge of the Internet rather than from centralized systems. What does this mean for today's IT professional? In this Power Panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists addressed this very serious issue of profound change in the industry.
Jul. 29, 2015 03:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,311
Discussions about cloud computing are evolving into discussions about enterprise IT in general. As enterprises increasingly migrate toward their own unique clouds, new issues such as the use of containers and microservices emerge to keep things interesting. In this Power Panel at 16th Cloud Expo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists addressed the state of cloud computing today, and what enterprise IT professionals need to know about how the latest topics and trends affect their organization.
Jul. 29, 2015 02:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,219
It is one thing to build single industrial IoT applications, but what will it take to build the Smart Cities and truly society-changing applications of the future? The technology won’t be the problem, it will be the number of parties that need to work together and be aligned in their motivation to succeed. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jason Mondanaro, Director, Product Management at Metanga, discussed how you can plan to cooperate, partner, and form lasting all-star teams to change the world and it starts with business models and monetization strategies.
Jul. 28, 2015 04:30 PM EDT Reads: 1,781
Converging digital disruptions is creating a major sea change - Cisco calls this the Internet of Everything (IoE). IoE is the network connection of People, Process, Data and Things, fueled by Cloud, Mobile, Social, Analytics and Security, and it represents a $19Trillion value-at-stake over the next 10 years. In her keynote at @ThingsExpo, Manjula Talreja, VP of Cisco Consulting Services, discussed IoE and the enormous opportunities it provides to public and private firms alike. She will share what businesses must do to thrive in the IoE economy, citing examples from several industry sectors.
Jul. 28, 2015 11:00 AM EDT Reads: 2,056
There will be 150 billion connected devices by 2020. New digital businesses have already disrupted value chains across every industry. APIs are at the center of the digital business. You need to understand what assets you have that can be exposed digitally, what their digital value chain is, and how to create an effective business model around that value chain to compete in this economy. No enterprise can be complacent and not engage in the digital economy. Learn how to be the disruptor and not the disruptee.
Jul. 27, 2015 10:00 AM EDT Reads: 2,057
Akana has released Envision, an enhanced API analytics platform that helps enterprises mine critical insights across their digital eco-systems, understand their customers and partners and offer value-added personalized services. “In today’s digital economy, data-driven insights are proving to be a key differentiator for businesses. Understanding the data that is being tunneled through their APIs and how it can be used to optimize their business and operations is of paramount importance,” said Alistair Farquharson, CTO of Akana.
Jul. 27, 2015 09:00 AM EDT Reads: 340
Business as usual for IT is evolving into a "Make or Buy" decision on a service-by-service conversation with input from the LOBs. How does your organization move forward with cloud? In his general session at 16th Cloud Expo, Paul Maravei, Regional Sales Manager, Hybrid Cloud and Managed Services at Cisco, discusses how Cisco and its partners offer a market-leading portfolio and ecosystem of cloud infrastructure and application services that allow you to uniquely and securely combine cloud business applications and services across multiple cloud delivery models.
Jul. 27, 2015 08:00 AM EDT Reads: 1,916
The enterprise market will drive IoT device adoption over the next five years. In his session at @ThingsExpo, John Greenough, an analyst at BI Intelligence, division of Business Insider, analyzed how companies will adopt IoT products and the associated cost of adopting those products. John Greenough is the lead analyst covering the Internet of Things for BI Intelligence- Business Insider’s paid research service. Numerous IoT companies have cited his analysis of the IoT. Prior to joining BI Intelligence, he worked analyzing bank technology for Corporate Insight and The Clearing House Payment...
Jul. 26, 2015 09:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,598
"Optimal Design is a technology integration and product development firm that specializes in connecting devices to the cloud," stated Joe Wascow, Co-Founder & CMO of Optimal Design, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City.
Jul. 25, 2015 02:00 PM EDT Reads: 408
SYS-CON Events announced today that CommVault has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. A singular vision – a belief in a better way to address current and future data management needs – guides CommVault in the development of Singular Information Management® solutions for high-performance data protection, universal availability and simplified management of data on complex storage networks. CommVault's exclusive single-platform architecture gives companies unp...
Jul. 25, 2015 01:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,982
Electric Cloud and Arynga have announced a product integration partnership that will bring Continuous Delivery solutions to the automotive Internet-of-Things (IoT) market. The joint solution will help automotive manufacturers, OEMs and system integrators adopt DevOps automation and Continuous Delivery practices that reduce software build and release cycle times within the complex and specific parameters of embedded and IoT software systems.
Jul. 25, 2015 12:15 PM EDT Reads: 491
"ciqada is a combined platform of hardware modules and server products that lets people take their existing devices or new devices and lets them be accessible over the Internet for their users," noted Geoff Engelstein of ciqada, a division of Mars International, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City.
Jul. 25, 2015 12:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,566
Internet of Things is moving from being a hype to a reality. Experts estimate that internet connected cars will grow to 152 million, while over 100 million internet connected wireless light bulbs and lamps will be operational by 2020. These and many other intriguing statistics highlight the importance of Internet powered devices and how market penetration is going to multiply many times over in the next few years.
Jul. 25, 2015 09:00 AM EDT Reads: 1,510