Tis’ the Season for Data Readiness

Get ready – Black Friday is almost here. Are you sure you’ve checked off every holiday preparation on your list?

If you’re a retailer, the holidays will bring a surge of traffic to your site. Loyal customers who you see regularly throughout the year will be joined by infrequent visitors and new customers who are looking for gift inspiration. Promotional offers, pre-shopping trip planning and holiday gift guides lure many regular store customers to check out your desktop and mobile sites. It’s no surprise then that retailers see significant surges in customer data – one study estimates the jump at over 70% – during the holidays.

Driving sales conversion and measuring the impact of this traffic on your overall business is undoubtedly your first concern. But peak traffic times also set the stage for peak log-in and registration rates, enabling you the opportunity to grow your customer database. Activating your customer data enables you to refine your audience targeting and deliver more personalized brand experiences which in turn can improve your sales ROI and brand loyalty.

Avoid Customer Data Collection Pitfalls

Marketers who take a campaign-based approach to customer data, by utilizing a DSP or retargeter for behavioral-based data, face limitations in the life expectancy of their data. Whether they mean to or not, they are trapping that data with one vendor instead of enabling a holistic view of the customer across partners. And in a matter of days or weeks, cookie-based date will expire or be deleted.

Utilizing a DMP or onboarder to activate your existing CRM or customer database limits your ability to be reactive to customers “in-real time” as they join your pool of active customers. In addition, renting these vendors’ identity graphs constrains your ability to transparently grow your brand’s own customer recognition asset.

Take Your Holiday Data into the New Year with a Persistent Data Asset You Control

A smarter approach is to leverage your peak, holiday traffic periods to capture customer data for enriching your identity graph and customer addressability. With the right technology in place, you can harness and use all that valuable data to scale identity resolution and create persistent customer profiles that are robust and long-lasting. Here are four tips for success:

  • Choose a vendor that gives you control of your first-party data and can integrate it with data from all of your marketing partners.
  • Stitch together your live behavioral data with the rest of your customer data, including real-time authentication captured through log-ins and registrations.
  • Constantly sync your data to media buying platforms, helping to include your latest customer authentications into your data set for marketing throughout the holidays.
  • Build your own identity graph to create a customer data foundation that you can take with you into planning and activating your media campaigns into the New Year and beyond.

During the holidays, think about the influx of customer data via your digital properties as the best gift a marketer can receive. And even better, it’s a gift that keeps on giving.

Originally published November 21, 2016

Susan McNally

Susan has an extensive background in digital advertising and programmatic technology, with 12 years of experience in digital marketing and media strategy. As Director of Product Marketing at Signal, she leads marketplace analysis and positioning across Signal's enterprise products and solutions.

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