Signal Use Case: Target Your Best Offline Customers Online with CRM Targeting

Everyone likes to talk about Big Data. Today, let’s talk about Best Data.

The best data that most companies have on any consumer group is their own customer data, typically sitting in the company’s offline CRM system. These databases store highly specific details on individual customers such as past purchase behavior, response to promotions, and loyalty membership level.

For decades offline CRM systems have powered highly-segmented direct mail and other targeted marketing campaigns. For example, I’m an avid fisherman, and Bass Pro Shops knows that about me because of my buying behavior at their stores. Even though they sell a wide variety of outdoor products—from hiking to hunting to boating to camping—I only receive catalogs and other promotions for fishing equipment.

In fact, their CRM-driven, direct mail programs work so well, I think my wife has been starting to hide those catalogs from me if she gets to the mail first…

Online CRM Targeting

Until recently, online marketers were generally only able to activate offline data via their email systems for customers who had opted-in to receive messages. But today’s marketing mix incorporates a broad set of owned, earned, and paid channels that can benefit from CRM data.

The Signal Open Data Platform makes it easy for marketers to do more with their CRM data by offering them a foundational layer to enable integration and data-sharing among their marketing technologies.

Signal’s platform was purpose-built to help you get data out of your “hard-to-reach areas” and then syndicate it—making it unbelievably simple for all of your online marketing teams to use. That’s our mission at Signal, and it’s why solving the CRM offline-to-online challenge is right up our alley.

Our flagship product, Signal Fuse, enables marketers to connect a customer’s offline CRM attributes to his or her online attributes. The Fuse feature that resonates most with CRM professionals is the ability to connect their pre-defined CRM segment definitions (in some cases developed over decades!) to all of their marketing platforms. This provides a seamless workflow between offline and online targeting strategies.

Some common uses for online CRM targeting include:

  • Triggering audience buys on programmatic media platforms like DSPs
  • Defining audience cookie pools for your DMPs
  • Identifying customer segments for premium publisher/direct display campaigns
  • Personalizing on-site promotions and internal advertising

CRM targeting is worth considering anywhere your offline CRM data could be employed to better target, message, engage, optimize, or measure your marketing efforts online.

3 big reasons to use Signal’s CRM targeting

1. Extend your offline relationships with your customers.

Your customers are the most important consumer segment to your business. Make sure that you continue those great relationships you have with your offline customer base, as they spend more and more of their daily media time online.

2. Better first-party data.

Many marketers already invest heavily in third-party data from audience vendors to power their DMPs and DSPs. Why not start by filling your programmatic buying practice with your own, highly-accurate and comprehensive CRM data and then complement it with the very best third-party data sources?

3. The Signal Universal ID.

It doesn’t do you any good to have rich data on customers if you can’t connect it to them online—and do it well. At the heart of any CRM offline-to-online solution is the requirement to merge anonymous cross-channel and cross-device profiles into a single view of each customer. Signal’s Universal ID meets this need.

CRM targeting is just one way that marketers can use Signal’s Open Data Platform to collect, connect, and act on their own customer engagement data to solve some of today’s key cross-device, cross-channel marketing needs. We love helping your tools work better together.


Originally published August 21, 2014

Josh Dreller was formerly Director of Product Marketing at Signal.

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