At Fospha, we talk extensively about data integration. For us, it is the pivotal first step for marketing optimisation. Indeed, without an integrated view of your data, how will you know what your customers are doing? And without knowing this, how can you possibly improve your marketing to target them in a more relevant, timely and cost effective manner?
But most marketers don’t care about how to integrate their data, or what this will mean in an abstract ‘your marketing will improve’ sort of way. What they care about is the tangible actions an integrated data source will enable them to take, and the tangible results they will see. So today, we’re going to tell you exactly what you can DO with integrated data, and what this will mean for your marketing results (spoiler: the answer is accurately attributing your marketing activities to reduce the cost of customer acquisition and increase ROI…).
But first, what do we mean by data integration?
Data integration is the combination of technical and business processes used to combine data from disparate sources into meaningful and valuable information (IBM, 2017). Fospha have taken this definition to the extreme in order to help businesses optimise their marketing channels; we capture and integrate data from every step of the customer journey, from all available sources, devices, sessions and channels. We then automatically stitch this to provide a granular single customer view. From a marketer’s perspective, you can think of this as the one source of information that tells you who your customers are, what they view and how they interact with your channels.
Ok, got it – I can see my customers – and then what?
The simple answer is then you can accurately attribute value to your marketing activities. A multi-touch attribution model enables marketers to understand the accurate value of each and every marketing activity, in terms of what leads to customer conversions. Attribution is key for marketers wishing to optimise their marketing channels as, without an accurate view of what is leading to a conversion, is it impossible to know what activities are leading to a positive ROI, and which are draining your marketing budget. However, without integrated data, marketers can only go so far in attributing their activities. It’s simple logic that without a view of the end-to-end customer journey, you cannot understand the proportionate role and value of each touchpoint in this journey. So the first answer to ‘what can you do with integrated data’ is ‘build a data-driven multi-touch attribution model that shows you the exact value of each marketing activity’.
So integrated data= multi-touch attribution modelling?
Here’s a few concrete things you can do with accurately attributed data:
- Understand which individual keywords contribute to conversions on your paid search channels – A multi-touch attribution model, running off a rich, integrated data source can help marketers pinpoint specific high and low performing keywords and campaigns. Say, for instance, the phrase ‘car insurance’ was being clicked on 10 times a day, but the phrase ‘car crash’ was only being clicked on 3. You would be right to assume that it was better to bid on ‘car insurance’ because it has higher engagement from potential customers. But how do you know if these visitors become real customers? Attribution modelling can tell you whether phrases that are clicked on less are actually resulting in more customer conversions, and therefore bringing in a more positive ROI than phrases that are clicked on more. With this knowledge, marketers can cut their wasted spend and invest in words that bring in paying customers. We’ve pulled together a case study on how integrated data helps increase paid search activities here…
- Accurately understand your social media activities – One of the most common problems facing marketers is understanding the true influence of social media on their customer conversions. Indeed, social media interactions tend to be only one step in a journey to purchase and, as such, tends to be significantly under weighted in standard attribution models. As a result, marketers may struggle to secure the necessary budget for social media activities. With accurate data and multi-touch attribution modelling, however, marketers can show the true value of these touch points in a customers’ path to conversion, and use these insights to secure an adequate budget to continue their activities. Read how we increased a clients’ Facebook click through and conversion rates using multi-touch attribution…
- Increase email personalisation and open rates – With an integrated data source, marketers gain a deeper understanding of who their customers are and how they interact with your brand. Without this being fed into your email automation system, marketers are working from an incomplete picture of who to target with what message or product, but once the dots from the entire customer journey have been joined up, it becomes exponentially easier to target customers with personalised content, to increase open rates and conversions. One last case study…we’ve got proof multi-touch attribution works for email optimisation here…
Although we’ve only highlighted three tangible outcomes of integrating your data, and using a multi-touch attribution model, the possibilities do not end there – any marketing channel can be optimised once you have a more complete understanding of who your customers are and how they interact within and between channels.