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Why democratized data drives smarter retail marketing
June 7, 2023
Author: Katelyn Ares, Sales Director, LiveRamp
Although marketers across the retail world are under increasing pressure to make their budgets stretch further, many have yet to put effective strategies in place that can get the biggest bang for their buck.
In particular, they are missing out on a number of business opportunities by not having a sophisticated data strategy in place. For example, a recent report found 33% of retailers lack a coherent data capture strategy on their sites. Most worryingly, none of those surveyed are currently able to identify visitors across devices and post-cookie expiry.
This lack of a strong data foundation is seriously hamstringing retailers’ ability to build a complete 360-view of their customers. This is becoming increasingly important as consumers interact with brands on multiple touch-points and expect a consistent experience across channels.
If retail marketers are to stay competitive, particularly in the face of the sustained economic pressure, they not only need to embrace the data opportunity available to them from their current customers, they also need to rethink their strategies for maximizing the activation of this data. This includes leveraging available tech solutions, as well as adopting new thinking as to how data is shared.
The power of direct data
In the privacy-conscious world, first-party data should be at the heart of any data collection strategy. The data that retailers are able to capture directly from consumers provides invaluable insights into the consumers interactions, as well as their buying habits.
Retailers should look to optimize their first-party data strategies to learn more about them and their interests, and so gain more owned data in the process. This data can then be leveraged to provide consumers with the personalized, cross-channel and consistent shopping experiences they are looking for, and enable the retailer to plug any identified gaps in their current offering.
In order for these customer insights to be at their most effective, brands should ensure that their data is democratized across the business, enabling different stakeholders to utilize it to inform smarter business decisions. As a result, the brand is able to deliver a more consistent cross-channel experience for the consumer. Leveraging the company’s collective insights will ultimately drive better outcomes and give the business a competitive edge over its rivals.
First-party data should therefore be placed at the center of any successful business, and not solely within the marketing department. Unlocking currently siloed insights can help to drive the delivery of a privacy focused experience, and become the crucial cog in powering business decisions going forward.
Although having the data available in the first case is key, retailers also have to possess the right tools to use this data to derive insights, as well as activate it and measure the use of this data against KPIs.
Any data solutions that a retailer uses should go beyond just making the collection of data easier for the business, it should also enable the validation of customer personas through the data collected. For example, by using enhanced data clean rooms, businesses can make these valuable insights accessible and measurable across the organization in a privacy-focused way. Being able to utilize data to spot the right customer signals, and then measuring these campaigns against the KPIs that matter to the business, is just as important as collecting the data initially.
Once a retailer has been able to identify its best performing channels and campaigns, its output can be optimized toward delivering more similarly successful campaigns. Data is only valuable to retailers if they use it to inform actions to make their business better.
A first-party future
As the world embraces the privacy-focused future, retailers need to ensure their data strategy is both aligned and prioritizing consumer safety. Building this strategy around first-party data enables retailers to build trust with consumers by proving their privacy is a priority, while delivering the experiences they want to see.
The key is now for businesses to find ways to deliver these experiences across all touch-points by establishing a system for data to be collected, organized, shared, and analyzed across departments. Having a capable data foundation for privacy-focused collaboration in place gives the retailer a sustainable advantage against any data, or economic, challenges that may arise, and ensures that the business can build a competitive edge.