Get more revenue with a retarget customer data platform using Arena Personas.
Customer Data Platform
September 30, 2022
A customer data platform needs the right fuel to achieve growth—data from sales systems, customer loyalty data, insights from programmatic advertising, and advanced analytics all help. Ultimately, the way to lift conversion rates requires significant first-party data.
If you ask most marketing teams, they’ll say they are drowning in data from analytics tools. The burden gets even more significant when you factor in customer insights from third-party data. That’s why your customer data platforms need to emphasize direct interactions with customers (i.e., first-party data).
To make the most out of your marketing activities and get better retargeting results, you need the proper foundation in place first. With the right marketing technology, it is far easier to focus your advertising campaigns to achieve better click-through rates and increase conversion rates.
Fulfilling your business strategy is easier when you can make Facebook ads, email marketing, and overall digital marketing deliver more results. Effectively gathering first-party data into a centralized database makes it easier to provide personalized experiences.
To build accurate customer profiles, look at the data you already have, like purchase history, insights from your legacy systems, and other data points available in your marketing automation platform. These data points are vital to building a company’s first-party data foundation. However, there is much more high-quality customer data you can gather.
Online events and community experiences give you an unusual way to transform anonymous visitors into potential customers. To achieve this feat, your tech stack needs to be equipped with marketing automation tools like Arena Personas and live chat. Once your email systems and preferred marketing solution are ready, it’s time to engage your target audiences.
Using marketing campaigns to gather today from various customer segments is easier when there is a value exchange. Every single customer should get something out of interacting with your company like a community experience, pricing (e.g. discounts), early access to products or useful insights.
For example, you can use Arena live chat to deepen your customer relationships by running engaging online events. As you add more engaging experiences, customer acquisition cost may go up for a period of time. In the long term, providing customers live event experiences can raise customer retention.
Instead of attempting to understand the desires of anonymous segments, tracking user engagement in different types of online activity (e.g. chat and website use) leads to more actionable insights. Let’s break down how gathering first-party data with an online experience can help.
For example, B2C customers may react with excitement in a chat session during a livestream event. To see how this information could be used, consider e-commerce brands. They may be considering launching 10 products over the next quarter but can use this insight to improve the results of product launches. By observing the chat and related behavior patterns like website clicks, you can estimate demand for products (e.g. “Hey, we noticed over a hundred people wanted the new blue shirt!”).
With this insight in mind, there are at least two ways you can get more business. First, you can run a targeted campaign to your current customers and reference your chat experience (e.g. “We saw that many of you are excited about our new linen blue shirts! Order by Friday and you’ll get 10% off!”). Second, you can then make changes on your advertising platform to emphasize the new shirt.
Marketing campaigns often focus on bringing in net new customers and prospects. In addition to that objective, it’s important to engage your current customers. In many respects, it’s easier to execute data-driven personalization is to focus on customers. Unlike anonymous website visitors, customers have signaled what they value with their buying behavior including offline purchases. Let’s illustrate this use case for enterprise-level companies in the software industry.
Selling complex business software often feels like a Herculean task. Achieving business success often requires a full team of sales professionals like account executives, sales development representatives and others. Further, the marketing team is constantly working hard to collect customer stories, optimizing online advertising campaigns and more.
In this context, it’s vital to make the most of your customer base. For example, you might have a significant percentage of customers on a mid tier plan while your goal is to emphasize the top tier enterprise plan. In that case, you might offer online experiences showcasing the success of users in the top tier plan and encourage them to share their success stories. For instance, enterprises users might rave about the analytics capabilities and native integrations available in your top tier plan. Running a live event where customers have the opportunity to share their experiences with each other is powerful!
There are some downsides to this type of campaign. It requires significant insight into customer behavior. It’s vital to know your customer satisfaction levels so that you shine a spotlight on your most delighted customers. This type of campaign also requires significant collaboration between sales and marketing. Fortunately, solutions like Arena Personas make such marketing efforts easier to arrange.
In Facebook advertising, it has been a common practice to create a lookalike audience by uploading your customer list. Facebook then uses its customer match capabilities to find more people who are similar to your current customers. This approach to Facebook advertising isn’t your only option. What if your target audience isn’t on Facebook or Facebook campaigns aren’t producing satisfactory results? The first party data you gather can help you to market more effectively.
The downside to relying entirely on an advertising platform for lookalike audiences is that you are dependent on their database. If some or many of your customers are not active users on Facebook, retargeting via the Facebook pixel may not work well.
The alternative is to build your own lookalike audiences. With a large enough audience, you may be able to pursue granular segmentation in a custom audience as shown in the following example.
Every purchase is ultimately made by an individual, whether they are buying as a consumer or at a company. Therefore, it is usually wise to start with these factors.
If you are focused on appealing to B2B audiences, the following customer attributes are important.
Audience segmentation can become less useful when the audience becomes too large. IF you end up with an audience segment with millions of individual customers, it may need to be narrowed down. Leverage feedback from the sales team and customer service to narrow the list. They may be able to help you identify the customer attributes associated with the most valuable customers (e.g. people who tend to move through the customer journey quickly).
When a customer cancels their account or stops buying for a long period of time, all hope is not lost. In many cases, you have a good chance to reengaging lapsed customers with a retargeting campaign. To build this type of audience segment, it’s important to choose who to include and who to exclude.
Start by defining a lapsed customer. For simplicity, let’s define a lapsed customer as a prior customer whose last purchase was six to twelve months ago. Once you have that list, it’s vital to filter it further using your customer relationship management data. Specifically, you want to exclude customers who complained or experienced significant problems. Reengaging such former customers is much more challenging and may require more guidance from the sales team.
Now that you have your audience segment prepared, prepare a custom advertising campaign. B2C companies often find that a simple “we’ve missed you!” style message with an incentive (e.g. 10% off coupon) is an effective way to bring back customers. For B2B campaigns, communicating new features or capabilities can help. Even better, reengage lapsed customers by inviting them to an online event.
Once you choose one of the ideas from above to execute, there is one more critical point to consider: market awareness. The three part market funnel - top of funnel, middle of the funnel and bottom of funnel - gives us a good framework. Let’s pair the market funnel concept with the audience segmentation we covered earlier.
In the top of the marketing funnel, most prospects have little to no understanding of your product and how it might help them. This is the marketing equivalent of cold calling. The advantage of top funnel marketing is that you have the greatest opportunity because this segment is always the biggest. The disadvantage is that you usually need to be more patient.
With a top of funnel focus, leveraging the “Offer Online Experiences To Potential Customers” strategy makes sense. In this case, your primary marketing campaign would focus on inviting prospects to an online event. After the event, you would follow up with retargeting campaigns to offer an event recording or other assets to give people a reason to opt in to your marketing.
If you use events, use our how to promote your virtual event guide to get more attendees.
Also known as the evaluation stage, the middle of the funnel is an intermediate step in the customer journey. In this stage, the potential customer has some awareness of what you offer. It’s now up to you to nurture the prospect further. In contrast to top of funnel, you likely already have some prospect or customer data in place so you can start off with a retargeting campaign.
Consider adapting the “Create Campaigns For Your Current Customers” concept to middle of the funnel campaigns. Highlighting your current customers via an event, case study or interview is a powerful way to prove your credibility. Using your customer data platform, identify prospects who have interacted with your brand in the past 3 months (e.g. attended a webinar, participated in a live chat etc). Once you have identified this audience segment, create a marketing campaign to emphasize your case studies.
Converting leads at the bottom of the marketing funnel depends on your business model. If customers make an online purchase, a campaign offering a deadline and incentive is often a good bet. For B2B or enterprise sales, running marketing campaigns may not be your best best. Instead, it may be more effective to collaborate with the sales team to find out what type of campaigns they want. For example, highly customized and targeted direct mail campaigns may be the best way forward.
Data driven personalization campaigns and advanced audience segmentation all depend on having high quality data. To help companies get more of the data they need to grow, use Arena Personas. It’s the fastest way to collect and import first-party data into your customer data platform. Then you’ll find it far easier to run retargeting campaigns across the marketing funnel.