It’s no wonder marketers are an anxious sort. The relevance of our brand to our customers means everything to us, but it’s also one of the hardest things to achieve and measure.
Recent advances in marketing technology have eased the pain considerably, with shopping cart abandonment offers and discounts; product recommendations based on purchase history; and offline point-of-sale data informing online re-targeting efforts. The best bit of all this has been the mutual benefits: increased marketing ROI for you and more timely, engaging and useful marketing for your consumers.
You know you’re probably still guessing
But there are still plenty of shortcomings, one of which is more potent that all the others combined. It’s this: 1st party data only gives you a narrow, artificial view of your customers. Basing any marketing activity on 1st party data alone—that’s the data on people who have directly interacted with you—feels disconcerting. That’s not to say it isn’t enormously valuable, because it is. But if we’re talking about achieving contextual and meaningful customer engagement, 1st party data is foundational work.