What’s a CDP? Does your company need one?

Gartner predicts that the average US adult will own more than six smart devices by 2020, making cross-device IDs and identity resolution — the ability to consolidate disparate sets of data into an individual profile — a critical need for marketing effectiveness. As the number of touch points in the customer journey expands, Customer Data […]

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Gartner predicts that the average US adult will own more than six smart devices by 2020, making cross-device IDs and identity resolution — the ability to consolidate disparate sets of data into an individual profile — a critical need for marketing effectiveness. As the number of touch points in the customer journey expands, Customer Data Platforms (CDPs) allow marketers to break down first-party customer data silos to unify and normalize contact information.

MarTech Today’s “Enterprise Customer Data Platforms: A Marketer’s Guide” examines the current market for enterprise customer data platforms (CDPs) and the considerations involved in implementing the software. This report answers the following questions:

  • What features do CDPs provide?
  • What trends are driving the adoption of CDPs?
  • Does my company need a CDP?

Also included in the report are profiles of 22 CDP vendors, pricing information, capabilities comparisons and recommended steps for evaluating and purchasing. Visit Digital Marketing Depot to get your copy.

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Back to basics: Measuring your social media efforts with unique acquisition channels

Segregating paid, organic and social activity in analytics clarifies the activity that drives which type of conversion.

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Most organizations are spending a considerable amount of money and resources on their social media marketing efforts. These efforts generally take the form of three types of effort – organic, paid and promoted (also referred to as owned, paid and earned). No matter how you label them, you should segregate them into three unique marketing acquisition channels in your analytics reports to correctly evaluate how effective your efforts are.

To segregate traffic driven to your site from various social media properties, you’ll need to configure custom channels in your analytics tool. (For a detailed explanation on how to do this in GA, see the Marketing Land article The Google Analytics Social channel is broken. Here’s how to fix it.

Defining custom social channels

Before starting any configuration changes, first decide not only the names of these new channels, but what they represent for your clients (both internal and external).

I’d recommend setting up the following three channels.

Paid social: Consists of any paid ads you are running on any social media property to drive traffic to your website.

Promoted social: All activity performed by your social media team where no additional marketing fees are required. Typical activities that fall under this channel include typical posting to your social media channels.

Organic social: Any activity that the general public (people not on your payroll) drive traffic to your site from social media. This includes a person clicking on a “Share This” icon on your blog post or perhaps just including a link to your site in a spontaneous social media post.

Once you’ve defined your social media channels, you need to define the medium definitions (for GA the utm_medium parameter value) to be used your generate a custom URL to track (see Google URL Builder). The great news is you don’t need to do anything for organic social.

Here are some typical medium definitions (required by your analytics software) or make up your own. Note you can use more than one to refine your analysis at a later date.

Paid social: Paid-social, Social-PPC, Social-CPC, Social-display, Promoted-post

Promoted social: Psocial, Promoted, Post, Tweet

Remember, these changes to your analytics tool are permanent and will remain in place unless deleted. They will not impact historical data.

Repeating the benefits of custom channels

With this additional information, you’ll be more effective at evaluating which content is performing best and you’ll be able to compare its performance across the organic, paid and promoted social channels.

 

Another advantage is it will be much easier to compare conversion rates and goal achievement between different channels. In this example, a Data Studio report was created to showcase different goal conversions by all defined channels.

It is only by segregating paid from organic from promoted social activity that a complete picture of which activity drives which type of conversion. From the above chart, the Paid Search channel generated the most contact forms being submitted, while social (organic) and paid social drove zero forms being submitted. In this case, it’s important to look further into your analytics reports for assisted conversions (does a site visit generated from Paid Social come back to the site later through another channel) to determine the influence of Paid Social on contact forms being completed or other conversion points.

Any questions?

I hope you found this useful, and hope you’re as thrilled as I was to be able to segregate my client’s social traffic into meaningful refined channels. We are now able to put a true value on all our social marketing efforts (paid or promoted) and to calculate a realistic ROI which makes all business owners happy.

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AdStage launches Join to automatically unify campaign, analytics, sales data in one dashboard

Customers will have full-funnel visibility into how their search and social campaigns are driving sales outcomes.

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Source: AdStage. An example of leads data available in AdStage Join.

Does this scenario sound familiar? Marketing rejoices in all the leads it sent to sales. Sales grumbles that too many of the leads were garbage. Animosity and bitterness fester until the two teams function more like competitors rather than like a unit working toward the same goal. If you’ve worked in a B2B-oriented business for any length of time, this is a story you’ve likely heard before.

To help shift this paradigm and help align sales and marketing teams, AdStage launched Join on Tuesday.

What problem is it trying to solve? The San Francisco-based campaign reporting and automation startup’s new product pairs sales and marketing data in one dashboard. AdStage Join launches in response to what the company sees as a “macro movement” toward addressing the need for marketing and sales alignment.

“At the very least, [sales and marketing] need to be sharing data if not working directly together,” said AdStage co-founder and CEO Sahil Jain in an interview last week. “Only the most sophisticated organizations are doing this, and they have to do it manually in Excel. That’s time intensive and error-prone.” Additionally, Jain said, most of these efforts only get to the campaign level.

To give marketers the full view of how their campaigns perform for the sales team, Join brings together campaign data from search and social channels such as Google, Bing, Facebook and LinkedIn, on-site behavioral data from Google Analytics and lead and sales data from Salesforce.

How does it work? Join automatically maps sales and campaign data together, without the need for URL rewrites. As illustrated in the screenshot above, advertisers can see cross-channel campaign data from both Google Analytics and Salesforce all in one view. Marketers can then drill down to the keyword level for optimization insights.

Jain stressed this is not a multi-touch attribution product: “Maybe one day we’ll get there, but for now we’re just connecting the data.” If you’re using Bizible, for example, AdStage brings in that already attributed data. Join can also be used with AdStage’s other products. For example, an advertisers could set rules for Facebook campaigns in Automate based on sales data it sees in Join.

AdStage Join, is the fourth in its suite, which also includes an analytics product called Report and campaign automation solution Automate, along with the AdStage Data API.

Who is the target customer? Join is aimed primarily at providing a solution for B2B focused, lead generation advertisers. Jain says the current customer base is fairly evenly split between agencies and direct clients. “This is a new tool for agencies to go beyond top of funnel for clients and be held to a higher standard,” said Jain.

Digital agency 3Q Digital has been using Join in beta for roughly 6 weeks. CEO David Rodnitzky said optimizing campaigns based on sales data had been a painful challenge prior to the agency’s adoption of Join, noting that connecting ad data to Salesforce saves staffers time and provides critical information.

Why you should care. Join surfaces data from each step of the funnel — from ad impression and click to lead and revenue — across search and social channels in one dashboard. Bringing data sources together in a frictionless way could save marketers buckets of analysis time and help the sales and marketing teams work more more efficiently together toward shared goals. AdStage says it now sees more than $900 million in ad spend annually on its platform.

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WPP merges agencies to form ‘data-driven’ Wunderman Thompson

The new agency aims to offer “inspiration that is rooted in data-driven insight.”

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Wunderman Thompson Global CEO Mel Edwards and Chairman Tamara Ingram

Wunderman Global CEO Mel Edwards (left) will take on the same role at the new agency, while J. Walter Thompson CEO Tamara Ingram (right), will become Chairman. Photo provided by WPP.

Advertising holding company WPP Group said Monday it would merge the venerable creative shop J. Walter Thompson with the data- and direct-marketing-oriented Wunderman to form a new agency, which it says will offer “end-to-end solutions… at a global scale.” 

“Wunderman Thompson is a formidable combination,” WPP CEO Mark Read said in a statement, “bringing together the capabilities our clients are demanding – award-winning creativity alongside deep expertise in technology, data and commerce – in a single organization. “

Data before creative. Leading with the Wunderman brand, whose roots in direct marketing are decidedly less glamorous than the Mad Men-esque creative brand J. Walter Thompson, speaks volumes about how WPP seeks to position itself for its clients — it wants to be creative, but driven by data rather than by more nebulous “big ideas.”

“To achieve transformative outcomes, clients today need inspiration that is rooted in data-driven insight,” said Mel Edwards, the current global CEO of Wunderman who will take the same title at the new agency. “Wunderman Thompson offers precisely what clients want: brilliant creativity, expertise in data and sophisticated technology skills.” 

What it means for marketers. The reorganization affirms the need to focus on marketing technology in today’s marketplace. Noting the profound influence of technology on marketing, the WPP announcement touts “close and long-standing partnerships with Adobe, Amazon, Google, IBM, Microsoft, Salesforce and SAP.” In recent months, Wunderman has beefed up its technology portfolio with two acquisitions: Dutch martech performance company Emark and Amazon consulting firm 2Sales, which helps brands maximize their partnerships with the online retail giant. 

Edwards was just appointed global CEO of Wunderman in September, but previously served as CEO in the UK and EMEA regions. Tamara Ingram, CEO of J. Walter Thompson, will take the Chairman role at the new agency.

Wunderman Thompson, which is expected to be “fully operational” early next year, will employ 20,000 people and operate in 90 markets. They already share a number of clients, WPP says, and the agencies’ sites showcase work for brands like Coca-Cola, Shell, Nestlé, Samsung and ING. 

 

 

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Did the data-driven era miss an exit?

If the focus is on the right data aligned to business strategies instead of the same basic demographics, marketers don’t have to live in fear that inaccurate data will derail campaigns.

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people crossing in crosswalk

According to headlines, martech embodies technical sophistication, touting thousands of companies fueled by sumptuous features like artificial intelligence, virtual reality, personalization and more. Yet, a recent study found that what marketers really want is more, high-quality demographic data. I can’t help but think, did the data-driven era miss an exit?

The modern marketer can use thousands of pieces of consumer information — demographics, purchases, hobbies, social activity, geolocation etc.—but many marketing efforts are still based on the same basic demographics of age, gender and income. The status quo may be considered the easier, more risk-averse route. But if we stay in autopilot, marketers will slowly lose speed, falling behind for failure to embrace new technology in the spirit of innovation.

Time for an oil change of our way of thinking

First of all, I don’t propose we do away with demographic data, as it is incredibly powerful. But it only represents a sliver of the information available about a person. Furthermore, the accuracy of demographic data is already in question, and the cost of its poor quality can add up for marketers.

If a marketer over-relies on only a few demographic data points when defining an audience, accuracy of those specific data points is mission critical. But with a more comprehensive approach to defining an audience, where thousands of data points are considered, no single data point is at risk of toppling the operation.

No junkers, no hidden gems

There are hundreds of data aggregators in the martech ecosystem, specializing in CPG, behavioral, online, offline data and more, and many claim theirs is higher quality than others. These claims should make marketers wary. For example, I recently read an article claiming online purchase data is the ideal source of truth because it’s tied to a tangible transaction. But for a retailer that wants to drive new, incremental purchases, an advertisement targeted to someone who already bought is not ideal. In this instance, the quality of the behavioral data is a moot point because it doesn’t align with the retailer’s objectives. Further, when marketers have thousands of data points at their disposal, it seems risky to put so much weight into a single point.

Get into gear

Too often marketers question accuracy and quality before knowing what they want to achieve. Take, for example, a TV manufacturer that wants to find new customers. Using recent online purchases, even if the data is 100 percent accurate, won’t find many new customers. Would an audience of men that’s 100 percent accurate fair much better? Or an audience of people who live within a 5-mile radius of an electronics store?

Accuracy is important. But an audience with perfect accuracy that isn’t tied to campaign objectives won’t drive performance.

What if, instead, the manufacturer considered past purchases as one piece of the puzzle — a way to group its valuable customers. Then it could consider the thousands of additional data points available about those customers to find the commonalities that comprehensively represent the ideal customer. This audience mitigates the risk that a single data point’s accuracy will negate performance, considers all relevant data points, and bases the audience on the goal of driving purchases.

Who’s behind the wheel

With the right data aligned to strategies and in concert with business outcomes, marketers don’t have to live in fear that inaccurate data will derail campaigns.

When it comes to performance, it’s not just about data accuracy, but comprehension, recency, longevity, frequency, scalability and more. Once marketers are able to consider all of the data at their disposal, the martech industry can get back on track to the destination that the data-driven era promised, one where data drives smarter, one-to-one decisions that improve efficiency and results.

This story first appeared on MarTech Today. For more on marketing technology, click here.

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PureCars launches an attribution platform just for car dealerships

The auto dealer-focused online marketing platform says this new solution is the first to solve dealers’ unique problem of attribution.

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Buying a car these days often involves extensive online research before visiting a physical dealership.

That’s a key reason why attribution has been difficult for auto dealers, says car marketing platform PureCars, which released a sales attribution/business intelligence platform this week that it says is the first one to fully track the path from online research to dealership visit.

Called Signal Pro, it is complementary to PureCars’ existing Smart Advertising marketing automation platform for dealerships, which enables multi-channel campaigns. CEO Sam Mylrea said clients can use Signal Pro in conjunction with Smart Advertising, or separately.

The challenge. Mylrea said that car purchases present a unique attribution problem, because buyers typically spend so much of the pre-purchase time conducting research online, with a physical trip only in the last stage of test driving, final negotiation and purchase. In other words, the funnel dynamic is particular to this industry.

A solution. Signal Pro gets a feed from the inventory management system of its clients, about 3,000 dealerships in the US. It tracks user activity at dealer websites, engagement activity with ads run by its client dealerships, and, via third-party data services, engagement and impression data on car-related ads that are run by others, like auto makers.

When a user goes to a dealer web site or views one of the ads, PureCars is able to match the user to a cross-device graph, which employs IP addresses and other indicators to match anonymous users to persistent identifiers, like phone numbers. Those identifiers then help match the customer who walks into a physical showroom and buys or leases a car to an ad engagement or a site visit.

Previously, Mylrea said, his company could track ad campaign engagement, as well as specific attribution signals like a user filling out a contact form or a user calling a specific phone number. Now, he said, Signal Pro enables dealers to link the online research to the physical purchase, and also predict where each customer is in the buying cycle. Mylrea claims Signal Pro can accurately tie about 80 percent of dealership purchases to the relevant marketing or advertising impetus.

Why you should care. While other attribution services similarly offer multi-point attribution, including linkages between online marketing and offline purchases, Mylrea said Signal Pro is the first specifically tied into dealer inventories and designed for auto purchases.

Given that cars are generally consumers’ second-biggest purchase after homes, knowing which ad spend or site content impacted sales can be a valuable piece of the marketing puzzle.

This story first appeared on MarTech Today. For more on marketing technology, click here.

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Unlock multi-touch attribution with CRM campaign tracking

If you’re using a CRM to house leads then you likely have the campaign tracking tools for middle funnel activity even if you have an offline transaction point.

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display chart graphic
Image credit: www.Curata.com

Brands with an offline transaction point often struggle to measure the full customer journey from acquisition source through to revenue. Often times, if revenue can be attributed back to something, it’s to the marketing channel responsible for the lead. This measurement is usually implemented with either a first or last touch attribution model for channel attribution and completely leaves out the rest of the customer journey.

The missing visibility and measurement is post lead acquisition. Once a lead enters our systems, how do we measure the effectiveness of our campaigns and lead treatments? Even better, how do we attribute revenue to content pieces and treatments applied to that lead in-funnel?

The answer may be something we already have access to. If you’re using a CRM to house leads then you likely have the tools to track middle of funnel activity at your fingertips with Campaign Tracking.

What is campaign tracking?

Campaign tracking within a CRM is technically an entity or object that tracks a variety of information about an event, mailing, emailing, or other marketing initiatives. It’s basically a container that houses all of the components of a campaign across channels and treatments.
Leads and contacts can be members of one or more CRM campaigns allowing visibility into the effectiveness of both single and multiple campaign influence across all levels of our funnel from lead to cash.

campaign graphic
Image credit: www.Salesforce.com

What are the benefits of CRM campaign tracking?

Depending on the CRM and how it has been architected and implemented, campaign tracking provides a significantly deeper level of insights and measurement including the ability to

  • Tie marketing activities to our sales pipeline
  • Compare the effectiveness of different marketing initiatives and their influence on each other
  • Measure mid-funnel activities alongside marketing channel attribution
  • Measure the effectiveness of content post lead acquisition
  • Inform the sales team of historical marketing activities via the contact record
  • Roll-up similar lead sources into a single object
  • Connect online & offline activities
  • Enable holistic ROI reporting
  • Preserve data integrity & maintain hygiene
  • Enables multi-touch attribution modeling within your funnel

Attribution and CRM campaign tracking

Now that measurement is enabled at such a granular level in-funnel we can see marketing activity influence across the funnel from lead to customer. This is where attribution really gets complex! Similar to the first-touch, last-touch, multi-touch debates on marketing channel attribution. Now we have these same debates in-funnel when attributing back to campaigns within our CRM.

Do we give credit to the campaign that initially acquired the lead?

Do we give credit to the campaign the lead responded to before they converted to an opportunity?

Do we give credit to the campaign that influenced the lead right before they converted to a customer?

First-touch attribution model

First-touch is pretty self-explanatory. In this attribution model, all credit is given to the very first action taken by the user that created the lead record.

attribute graphic
Images credit: www.Curata.com

The first-touch attribution has its advantages, it’s super easy to implement. The lead is tagged using a custom field and that field rides on the record all the way through the funnel to closed won. However, this model leaves so much of the story out neglecting to consider all other interactions the user had or actions the user took beyond that initial entry into the database.

Last-touch attribution model

Last-touch attribution is the opposite of first-touch. Instead of giving all credit to the first action the user took, we’re giving it to the last step the user took. Also easy to implement by merely over-riding that custom field.

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Last-touch is fantastic for measuring the effectiveness of campaigns targeting the bottom of the funnel geared directly toward driving a purchase decision. However, if we only look at what ultimately turned into a sale, we really lack insights into what levers to pull to get them to that point and we are leaving a ton of opportunity on the table. We are also boxing ourselves into diminishing returns and expensive tactics and are unable to scale our marketing programs.

Multi-touch attribution model

Multi-touch models are more complex, recording all interactions and giving credit to all touch points in the journey. They provide the clearest picture of attribution and provide the most insights regarding what levers to pull across the funnel to improve velocity and efficiency of our marketing investments. To implement a multi-touch attribution model within your funnel you have to utilize CRM campaign tracking. This is the biggest benefit of the campaign tracking tools within your CRM.

CRM campaign tracking reports

Once campaign tracking is properly set up and working within your CRM and when used in conjunction with a clean and granular lead source strategy, CRM campaign tracking opens up rich and robust reporting options. Your data will tell a very different story!

Here are a few sample reports that can be generated when both campaign tracking and a clean and granular lead source strategy are applied within Salesforce.

display graphic chart

I’d love to hear how you are utilizing campaign tracking within your CRM and what kind of new insights you’ve been able to pull. My guess is that once you were able to get to this level of insights, marketing resources were moved around to concentrate on what you didn’t even know was working within your marketing program.

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Use predictive personalization to drive increased conversion rates

Every day, every month, every quarter, marketers are tasked with a conundrum: create web sites and messages that resonate with target audiences. It’s not a rare request. In fact, it’s a fundamental principle of marketing. Why is it a conundrum? Because you’re being asked to make one size fit all of your visitors. Think about […]

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Every day, every month, every quarter, marketers are tasked with a conundrum: create web sites and messages that resonate with target audiences. It’s not a rare request. In fact, it’s a fundamental principle of marketing. Why is it a conundrum? Because you’re being asked to make one size fit all of your visitors. Think about your site. Who are the different segments of visitors? What are their different needs and motivations when visiting your site?

Predictive personalization systems use machine learning to automatically choose and deliver the experiences most likely to drive each site visitor to convert.

This white paper from Intellimize covers:

  • How predictive personalization works.
  • The advantages of predictive personalization vs. A/B testing.
  • How predictive personalization works in practice.

Visit Digital Marketing Depot to download “An Introduction to Predictive Personalization.”

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Step up your multichannel marketing game

Join our experts from Epsilon as we share four critical steps to improve multichannel marketing execution. From CRMs to CDPs, we’ll explain the differences between technologies, discuss the use cases for each and offer tips for optimization. We’ll provide a must-have checklist that will help you prioritize, centralize, measure and evolve your data to move […]

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Join our experts from Epsilon as we share four critical steps to improve multichannel marketing execution. From CRMs to CDPs, we’ll explain the differences between technologies, discuss the use cases for each and offer tips for optimization. We’ll provide a must-have checklist that will help you prioritize, centralize, measure and evolve your data to move the needle further with customers.

Trying to better manage and act upon first-, second-, and third-party data? Still figuring out how to build out a truly multichannel campaign?

Attend this webinar and learn how to:

  • Identify unknown visitors to uncover what you already know about them.
  • Align your organization to eliminate data silos.
  • Choose the right technology tools for your data needs.

Register today for “Step Up Your Multichannel Marketing Game produced by Digital Marketing Depot and sponsored by Epsilon.

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