Marketers are under intense pressure to deliver relevant, personalized experiences to customers. But at the same time, consumer expectations are growing. Marketers are also facing challenges with increasing privacy regulations, lack of consumer trust, new channels, and changing technologies.
What if there was an “easy button” to help marketers solve their biggest challenges?
This is the question that Isaac Sacolick asks his guests at the end of every Customer Data Perspectives podcast episode – with some eye-opening responses. We’re sharing the highlights with you here, along with additional perspectives from other marketing leaders who navigate these challenges every day.
Tune in to the podcast to hear more from these leading industry experts.
From the Customer Data Perspectives Podcast
Easy Button #1: Testing and Learning to Make Data-Driven Decisions
According to David Raab, founder, CDP Institute, marketers are still challenged with unifying their expanse of data sources, and activating that data in a way that allows them to test, learn and iterate.
“I think that pulling together different channels is still hard….With the loss of third-party cookies on the advertising front, it becomes even harder not just to target people, which is what we think about when we hear about the loss of third-party cookies, but also to measure results.
Marketers know the right way to measure the impact of their activity is to do a proper test where you set aside a control group, and you send some people that treatment, and you don’t send the other people that treatment. CDPs make that easier, but you still have to set up those tests.
I wish marketers would really just bite the bullet on that stuff and use the technology which makes that a lot easier to do those kinds of tests. You can track who’s in which group and control their experience to some extent. It’s the only way you’ll learn all the other metrics we look at. I wish marketers would accept that and do it right, which they know they need to do in their heart of hearts. If they don’t do that, they’re going to chase a lot of bad information and make a lot of bad decisions.”
Easy Button #2: Creating Clarity in the Vendor Selection Process
According to Dale Tuck, CITO, Primerica, vendors have room to improve how they communicate their value to prospects.
“The easy button for me for onboarding a vendor or supplier is someone who doesn’t just show me a PowerPoint, but actually says, I’m willing to invest in understanding your environment. So if you’re a vendor or supplier and you think you have some secret sauce, if what I’ve shared today has piqued your interest, then my easy button to push is to come in and help me on my journey – understand my problem. Vendors and partners with that mindset of ‘let me understand before I put a solution in place’ can be my easy button to make things better.”
Easy Button #3: Iteratively Improving Data Management and Reporting
According to Anthony Manson, CDO, WebMD Medscape, marketers need to invest more in learning from their data.
“There are a lot of things I could list. The goal is not a sprint; it’s a marathon, right? I mean, that’s an old cliche, but it’s really true. I think with data, you have to keep building on top of what you’ve already built. I wish we could get 10x smarter on our data measurement and reporting standards. But that takes time, and you’re trying to keep up with it, and you’re trying to elevate it. There’s no easy way to do it other than just keep building it brick by brick. I do wish that was easier.
Some of the CDPs and other SaaS systems overpromise – install the system, and you’ll have a magic one. I don’t think that’s true. It takes work to get those things to work the way you want them to work. And there is no easy button there. We have to do it.”
Easy Button #4: Tapping Into Zero-Party Data
According to Kim Davis, editorial director, MarTech, tapping into new data collection methods will make it easier to build direct relationships with customers, without a reliance on third-party data.
“I think, especially with third-party cookies famously being deprecated, we’re going to see a lot more interest in zero-party data. I think that is going to make it easier is starting to deliver a personalized experience very early in the customer journey. In other words, don’t be obsessed with who they are; find out what they’re interested in.”
Easy Button #5: Getting Aligned on Data Management Systems
“So much of the pain I see even now with the reintegration of MarTech into the broader company is a misalignment of labels and definitions…This has nothing to do with the technology, per se. This is mostly about: how do companies get alignment on a shared understanding of the data model? And it’s hard because it’s such a huge universe. And boy, if there was a way to press the easy button and get everyone to at least agree on the same names for the same things with the same definitions..Yes, that would be awesome.”
Easy Button #6: Cutting Through the ‘Cookieless’ Conversation
According to Allison Schiff, managing editor, AdExchanger, vendors need to be more clear when it comes to their approach to cookieless marketing, so clients have a better understanding of capabilities.
“I want a BS detector for supposedly cookieless solutions – truth serum that makes the people who sell those solutions explain them properly and not be obscure about what they really do. That would help me do my job. Because I get pitched constantly with all of these companies saying they have really amazing tools and whatever.
...And then, it would help marketers, because they could run tests with companies that have legit solutions and not get sidetracked by nonsensical promises and pitches.”
Easy Button #7: Artificial Intelligence to Deliver Smart Suggestions
According to Paul Roetzer, founder/CEO, Marketing AI Institute, there’s still opportunity for business leaders to use AI more effectively when surfacing intelligent insights.
“I think the more AI can play an assistive role in identifying patterns and making recommendations based on data to help us make strategic decisions about what we do – that’s where I want it to be….I want something truly there to assist me in making better business decisions.”
Easy Button #8: Using Data to Empower Customer Service
According to Ted Rubin, Social Marketing Strategist, better investments in data can help make customer service interactions easier.
“I don’t know if there’s an easy button, but the button I would like is one that can merge human and machine. As a human or a customer service person, I can jump into some kind of an app or technology that allows me to quickly view things about the person I’m talking to. One that is trying to help and knows things about the person and gives me a quick view of it right in front of my screen.”
More From Marketing Leaders
We also went to the greater marketing community to hear their wishes for an “easy button.” These are responses that every marketer will understand intimately.
Easy Button #9: Optimizing Marketing Content Across Channels
According to Charlie Southwell, Marketing Director at Let’s Talk Talent, efficiently creating omnichannel campaigns can help make maximizing value from content easier.
“The one thing I’d love to be easier in the world of marketing right now is the ability to repurpose and optimize videos and images for all the different marketing channels we use.”
Easy Button #10: Getting Smarter About Omnichannel Campaigns
According to Anshul Motwani, Founder at Wittypen, a seamless way to distribute content across channel will help justify campaign efforts.
“Creating content is 50 percent of the job; the remaining depends on how well the content is distributed to the right audience, at the right time, and with the right message. Attention spans are getting lower, and on social media channels, it is difficult now more than ever to drive organic traffic. The distribution of content is still broken and fragmented, which takes a lot of effort from multiple stakeholders to justify the efforts spent in creating original content.”
Easy Button #11: Understanding Analytics to Deliver Personalized Experiences
According to Luciano Viterale, project Manager, Finder, a better understanding of customer activity makes it easier to create personalized customer experiences.
If I could make one thing about my job as a marketer easier, it would be knowing exactly who visits our site each day. We receive traffic from so many sources that it’s hard to know any deep customer demographics. If we were to know this, we could tailor homepages and pop-ups to suit the particular user demographic. This would also help us be more effective with our paid ads.”
Easy Button #12: Using Data to Drive Product Development
According to Will Yang, Head of Growth at Instrumentl, tapping into customer data would help make product innovation more efficient.
“The thing I’d most like to make easier is the process of deciding which new features we should develop. We have a lot of different ideas for new features, and it’s hard to know which ones are worth spending time on. We could spend months trying out a new feature and then find out that it doesn’t actually move the needle for our users, so I’d love some kind of shortcut that lets us figure out which features are going to be successful before we invest all this time and effort into them.”
What’s Your Marketing ‘Easy Button?’
There’s never been a more exciting time to be a marketer. The opportunity to connect and engage with customers in a personalized, relevant way makes all the hard work worthwhile. But it takes time and effort, and those easy buttons from above? Well, hopefully they’ll all exist – one day.
But maybe, just maybe, that makes all the effort that much more rewarding in the meantime.