Consider how our day is starting. Reading news on smart phone to checking mails; reviewing map directions of client meeting place to counting calories of breakfast; we are leaving traces of our likes, dislikes, sentiments, priorities on worldwide web. When we put together all these digital clues in one place, can be called as- Digital DNA. A proxy life of our real self, most active now days for better or worse!
This Digital DNA data is everywhere, from shopping carts to digital searches, from word documents to comments on blogs, sharing pictures to social updates. It’s obnoxious if used in wrong context. As digital DNA becomes more prevalent, privacy advocates fear that it could lead to abuse. As marketers, we should not cross that thin line between privacy and knowing your customers, we can create the best experience for customers about products and services which ultimately create loyalty. The resent debacle of Target store sending baby products coupons to a teen house is the example of crossing that line which is the lesson we all should take seriously.
So how do marketers interpret that DNA and create a best case scenario?
As the saying goes – The devil is in the details. These details come from data. For starters this is not easy. The data needs to be stored properly and process to take this information out. This is extremely useful for marketers to create “personal branding”. In a general practice, marketers have different data systems storing this information in silos. A user interacted with your rich media ad, did a mobile search about the product at a later time, landed in your page, explored the content, checked the product reviews in different sites and made a call to your call centre to order that product and paid for the purchase as cash on delivery. In this every day consumer journey, there are multiple channels used at different times to make this purchase. It’s a non-linear process which needs to be represented exactly in our data bases to read your customer mind. Let me be very upfront. This is not possible today unless a user identifies him with your site via logins. When that user remains anonymous, his identification remains anonymous in multi-channel process. But to see, what is possible today – identifying these unidentified users in a single channel environment!
Why is this integration so difficult to achieve? Many companies are not set to operate under this data-driven environment and we often see the operations of each media under different setups. This dependency leads to inefficiencies in data collection and data consolidation. Another reason is also that this disconnected data sources can’t identify users across channels with a unique identifier, which throws user identification to limbo.
The marketing community have to look towards technology to provide more accurate and sophisticated solution for this problem. For now, we need to have the cookie pool data collected with right attribution model in place. CRM data bases are in a better place with a primary key to identify these users. If a CRM database with sufficient attribution model extends to cookies to identify users before they got logged in can be a tactical solution. For all this to happen, data is the connecter.
Share your thoughts and happy investigation!