As we continue to move forward during these uncertain times, we’re presented with an opportunity to look back and discover. This assessment should not be centered around reassessing contingencies or how much money we should have reserved for a global pandemic, but instead, we should reflect upon how we ensure we are treating our customers as people and individuals. In this time of reflection, organizations should be reviewing what makes their best customers their “best” customers; the characteristics of those people, the channels with whom they engage, the content they read, the types of promotions and offers in which they engage. Organizations should be focused on how they can continue engaging with their best customers which means shifting focus to data and analytics to lead the way. Companies that are not used to this type of focus will likely see a continued strain once this is over as they deal with hundreds of millions of media dollars flooding the market, as well as, the money invested for the upcoming election. Recovery will be expensive, so making those dollars count will be important.
Finding Ways to Satisfy Needs
Those of you without a content or targeting strategy built around really knowing your customers are going to have all the typical challenges of a generic strategy but will also have to deal with a marketplace that will see changes in user behavior. As a B2B advertiser, are you comfortable sending more and more mail to individuals’ home addresses? This will be a smaller barrier of concern once you are able to identify your customers’ B2B/B2C consumer behavior. Grocery delivery is likely to still play a large role moving forward because of convenience and lingering concerns, so how can this knowledge apply to other sectors and industries?
For those organizations that can fulfill during these times, this behavioral data presents further data points that you can use to refine your customer set; who is still buying online vs. off? How much have their purchases shifted? Are most new visits to the website struggling in a particular area? This can all be used to build a strategy moving forward with the right content and the right targeting, but it all starts with the analytics. Analytics feeds the refinement of the messaging, feeds the proper prioritization for targeting, and provides the right direction on the investment levels required to make an immediate impact.
Now is the time for organizations to embrace their own data and other data points. Organizations can start by shifting funding to those areas that will aid in fast tracking data points and insights. The goal is to become an organization that leverages data to guide your marketing and creative strategy because that will best equip you to navigate on the other end of these uncertain times.
If you are unsure where to start, here are some initial ideas of actions that can be deployed:
- Identify the customers who drive 80% of your revenue and place them in an addressable media platform to prioritize targeting them with win-back/promotional messaging
- To further refine, build out an LTV model to see if that list changes
- Bring in third-party data to understand consumer and psychographic characteristics that can lead feed into your creative and messaging strategy
- Mine your web analytics data to understand shifts in online behavior and identify opportunities to refine or optimize your experience
- Review your SEO page rankings, site speed for critical content/queries and put in place optimizations to increase your page rank
- Setup an initial high-level media mix to understand which channels lead to incremental purchases.
It is not too late to start pivoting organizations to be data-driven and analytics-led. By starting to put focus on these examples, organizations can put themselves in position to be successful in not just the short-term recovery phase, but for the long-haul as well. Getting into good practices now will only lead them to be more efficient and effective in the future, as well as, be a set of tools that can help navigate further challenges in the future.
Whether you just need an idea of where to start or want to simply brainstorm around some barriers to complete a project, our team at Merkle is ready to listen and provide support however we can to support organizations through this period.