As we move into 2023, it’s important to take a step back and reflect on the data-driven marketing strategies that worked in 2022 and determine the need to adjust tactics for the year ahead. We may indeed, as this new year feels different. In addition to the regular yearly wrap-up, we’re dealing with an extraordinary set of headwinds, including:
- A potential global recession slowing consumer spending
- Massive cross-industry layoffs
- Interest rates at a 30-year high
- Once consistent channels for converting new customers drying up
Phew, tough list.
More than ever, marketers need to marry smart tactics, robust and accurate data, and best-in-class tooling to capture consumer attention rather than crossing their fingers for adequate results using antiquated tactics and outdated tools.
Let’s dive into the strategies.
Focus on your core metrics
Central to any well-oiled marketing machine is a hyper-focus on core metrics. Particularly in periods of macro-economic turbulence, marketers should cut through the clutter and shape their strategies around three core metrics:
- CAC – customer acquisition cost
- LTV – lifetime value
- ROAS – return on ad spend
Buried within these metrics are layers of nuance, beyond the ever-present riddle of obtaining the right tooling and data to accurately measure them. How well do you know these core metrics across channels? Do you have the right data foundation to accurately measure them today? How well do you understand LTV across your buying personas? Do you know which levers to pull to influence each one? But, most importantly, how confident are you that the numbers are correct?
This is where access to and accuracy of your marketing data ecosystem becomes critical. To truly measure core metrics across channels, tactics, personas, and geographics, marketing data needs to be:
- Clean: Your data is structured and organized in a way that it can be used.
- Accessible: Your data is in a platform/location where you can easily access it for use.
- Accurate: Your data is correct and aligned with the core sources of truth that define your business.
- Timely: Your data updates with a cadence to match the needs of the business.
- Complete: Your data contains the breadth needed to execute against core use cases.
It’s all about the customer experience
Given the aforementioned challenges, brands that tailor and optimize their customer experience will see the most success. It’s a line you’ve heard a thousand times, and yet we all continue to receive irrelevant advertising all day, every day. Personalized and powerful customer experiences continue to be the exception, not the norm.
To cut through the noise, successful marketers advertise in a highly customized fashion. Not only do they push messages that are relevant and timely, they will also understand the optimal frequency of communications and respect the boundaries that customers put on the relationship. In order to enact this type of marketing, marketing teams need a complete view of the customer across all business touchpoints, which, if we’re being honest, continues to be a tremendous challenge for most marketers.
Historically, marketing data is largely siloed and stitched together with incredibly outdated technology, while the data rarely interacts with most organizations’ broader data infrastructure. So how can marketers accurately build a single source of truth and optimize a market-differentiating customer experience if their data isn’t both complete and accurate?
Here are a couple unseemly scenarios that consumers experience:
- Imagine messaging a customer differently if they’ve just logged a support ticket – there’s no need to offer your bestselling sweater for 40% off when their order was just shipped to a different state.
- Offering flash sales to your best customers when the product they’ve recently bought is understocked.
Each of these CX misses hurts brand equity and the results of campaigns.
The elephant in the digital marketing industry
The digital marketing industry is made up of disparate, inaccurate data driving billions of dollars of media buying decisions.
I know it. You know it.
The truth is, marketers have relied on antiquated technology to collect data across channels, tactics, and devices and then dumped that data into dozens of silos, none of which work well with each other, much less broad organizational data.
For the customer experience to thrive in 2023, we need to evolve our tooling to take advantage of huge gains in data management. The powerful tool marketers aren’t taking advantage of? Data platforms their company has probably already invested in, holding untapped data insights that are going unused.
Step One: Marketers need to centralize their data
Data centralization is a new concept in the broader marketing world. We’re used to website data and mobile data, email and display data, and cookie data all sitting in different silos, sometimes tacked together by the aging, soon-to-be deprecated third-party cookie. Data fragmentation inhibits world-class customer experiences and holds back organizations from establishing modern marketing practices.
The Snowflake Data Cloud is truly an answer to many of the ills of fragmented marketing data. Already, Snowflake powers the broader data ecosystems of 6,000+ customers, but marketing teams are still in the process of discovering the full power of the Data Cloud. The smartest data-driven marketers use Snowflake as their centralized hub, where they warehouse all of their marketing data with their organization’s broader business data—including order data, customer service data, and whatever else is available.
Snowflake seamlessly takes in all types and methods of data, so marketers don’t have to dedicate time and resources to the cumbersome and expensive tasks of stitching data sets together to grasp a single view of the customer.
The outcome is every customer touchpoint sitting in a centralized, secure, easy-to-use, and flexible platform. Without a solid foundation that unifies all relevant customer and business data, marketers are stuck in first gear and unable to deliver the differentiated experiences that will distance them from competitors.
Step Two: Combine centralized data with a customer data platform for optimized customer experience
The future of data-driven marketing is driven by data centralization on platforms like Snowflake, which is why Simon Data integrates with Snowflake natively.
The result is marketers finally having both the tools to personalize customer messaging using every single piece of customer data. This tooling includes data-driven testing, targeting, and measurement. Marketers can execute on cutting edge strategies such as:
- Leveraging the full power of their enterprise data to create segments
- Centralizing customer identity
- End-to-end, full-funnel workflow
How to plan for a better customer experience in 2023
As you’re thinking about budgeting for the year ahead, there is a massive opportunity to differentiate yourself. This will be a year for smarter investing in marketing tools, using data to make critical decisions, and combining these investments and data with best practice tactics.
Below are some practical questions to reflect on when planning for the year ahead:
- Does your MarTech application strategy enable fast and granular access to data in a cloud data platform?
- Do you have the right measurement facilities in place?
- Do you have the right metrics defined (for example, what exactly is LTV)?
- Are your MarTech tools sharing back the right data for analysis?
- What’s your campaign execution time and cost? From an operating perspective, efficiency gains come from iteration cycle times.
- From data to segmentation to campaign, how many resources are required, and what’s the total time end to end?
The marketers who will thrive in 2023 will leverage world-class data practices and best-in-class tooling.