Tracking customer journeys across digital and offline channels is becoming a major cause of headache for marketers. The Drum spoke to three industry experts from the 2018 DADI Awards judging panel; TSB, Dare and Uniform, on how brands and marketers can better utilise location tracking in a mobile-first world and if brands should be looking at measurement and real-world behaviours when targeting consumers.
Living in a mobile-first world
Marketers and brands are finding it difficult to connect meaningfully with their consumers in a mobile-first world. Only 39% of marketing executives say they are able to understand their customers' cross-device behaviours.
But in order for brands to maximise their opportunities to link online and offline customer journeys, they should be creating value, says Dare founder, Michael Olaye.
If customers can see the value of giving their data, then they are providing a good service that uses that data to enhance the experience that they have with a brand or product.
“Loyalty schemes, bonus engagement, repeat purchases, first time customers that you acquire etc. You can use the data that you have. If offline; to make the online experience a lot more enhanced. Or you can collect data online and use that to create physical experiences that benefit and add value to the experience.”
Organisations must adopt a multi-channel mindset and consider that no customer journey is linear anymore. As TSB marketing director, Pete Markey says, “The more companies demonstrate best practise at this, the more pressure there rightly becomes on organisations who aren’t doing this - the bar is constantly being raised.”
Brands need to listen to their customers and become more responsive, take action and continually improve and evolve because nothing stands still.
Is there a holy grail of attribution?
Buzzwords are the bane of the industry. Perhaps attribution is 2018's. But how can you reach the holy grail of attribution? Is this even possible? Some believe so, and others call it “bullshit”.
Head of digital at creative agency, Uniform, Valerie Bounds has always struggled with the idea of genuine attribution, because you’re trying to draw precise numbers from something that combines measurable metrics with the psychology of human intent. How can you measure intent accurately or know what sparked it?
She explains: “An interaction with a brand, or a purchase decision is stream of consciousness influenced by so many factors, often that we’re not aware of ourselves. Location tracking does enable the bridging the gap between touch points, so you get more insight into motivations in the real world.
“So, even though we can’t measure the emotional/ decision making drivers, we can see much more about how that translated into behaviours - so more to base assumptions on.
“This also relies on businesses being set up to delivery and track marketing in this joined up way too, which many still aren’t.”
For Olaye, the holy grail does not exist. He believes that there’s only the need of the customer. It's very hard to know what the holy grail is from the brand’s point of view because in today's world you have got to test and learn and keep reiterating.
However, the holy grail, from a brands point of view is to build an eco-system (digital or not) that you can continually iterate.
“The technology exists today to allow brands to do that. The complication comes from ourselves and the way we try to work in a very old fashioned, monologue siloed way. We look at marketing, branding, social, we are still looking at them as separate things, but from a customer point of view, there is no difference.”
Optimising mobile to drive footfall uplifts
Should brands be looking at measurement and real-world behaviours when targeting consumers? Markey thinks that mobile can be used across the board to drive consumer response.
“It’s a powerful and personal media (if used well) to reach and interact with consumers,” he explains. “I’ve seen this work particularly well at a local/regional targeted level with proximity to out of home poster sites (used by your brand) or in proximity to shops or branches.
“The key here is relevance and personalisation. The beauty of mobile if it’s done right is geo targeting and the chance to directly get your message to the right customer at the right time, in the right location (which might happen to be right outside your store).”
According to Olaye, brands should test to learn. The best way to do this is to release your product, use your customers, receive feedback, don't take it personally, work with your partners and get your agencies to work together to create overarching strategies for your brand.
On the other hand, Bounds believes that brands should be considering real world behaviours when building their mobile buying journey.
“But equally it has to be without it being intrusive or feeling watched,” she muses. “There’s a big trust issue here as we know.”
Using location data to connect digital versions of the same person
Markey underlines that what’s great with location data is that it increases relevance and ultimately response. “It helps you deliver something meaningful to your target audience in a timely manner in the right location. Ultimately it helps you get closer to your customer and adds a greater depth of insight to your understanding of how your target audiences react to specific pieces of tailored communication.
On how this use of technology could transform the way brands reach and talk to consumers, he suggests that the right use of tech allows for marketing to be far more dynamic and responsive encouraging more of a 360 degree/two way style interaction. “Ultimately it should allow your brand to be more relevant to your target consumer.”
The creative responds to the data, and needs to be delivered in a timely way, adds Bounds.
“It’s a different approach to planning and delivering your activity; it’s proactive, considering how to connect at those different touch points and how to influence. It will mean focussing on new touch points which haven’t been part of your marketing before.”
To harness this effectively, she concludes, brands need to really understand their data, to be set up to interrogate and use it and have effective strategies in place which adapt based on audience behaviours.
Bounds, Olaye and Markey are all judges for The Drum Awards for the Digital Industries (DADIs) Awards. If you want to show off that you know how to produce effective digital campaigns and strategies, then these awards are right up your street.
The entry deadline is Thursday 5 July, download your entry pack now and show the industry the outstanding work you have been producing.
These awards are in association with UKFast and sponsored by Shazam.