After the lively discussions during the DDMA meet-up ‘The balancing act revisited’ on November 7 have pondered, it is good to shortly reflect. What a turmoil do the planned new cookie law and email code arouse. Yes, this will keep brands from blasting their advertising messages to their target audiences. With data gathered from brokered lists and data brands collect from different places on the Worldwide Web. But why all that commotion?
Communication based on general behavioral characteristics from brokered lists remains to a certain extent traditional push marketing. OK, it is not like random shooting, but at least throwing fragmentation bombs. In the case of retargeting banners that seem to pursue long after you bought exactly thát pair of shoes, it is likely for banner blindness to manifest itself again. On average people visit some 10 favorite websites know where the banner positions are and just filter them out. But the media agency does register a view that has not in fact taken place.
Relevant communication and database hygiene
The most prominent challenge for brands is how to ensure relevant communication. And that is where database hygiene comes into play. In case I bought a BMW 3 months ago, it is not very likely I am now in the market for a Volkswagen. A smart thing for Volkswagen to do is to ask me if they may approach me again with a personal offer in some 24 months. The moment I may be in the market for my BMW’s successor. And, if you have something of my personal interest or value, you may also contact me during the prior period. In short: how will you make sure, as a brand, who will be in the market for which model at which moment in time?
Obviously, it is essential for peoples’ willingness to keep you informed as to this kind of information. That is easier for brands with a high degree of likeability. And brands that are lucky enough, just because of the product category they are in (e.g. beer and music), to find themselves enjoying a high degree of emotional connection among their audiences. In case you market washing powder it may be less easy to activate your target audience. But also in the first case, it is a challenge to remain relevant. Enriching your customer database with data from a Facebook campaign looks interesting at first sight. But then there is always the question of what the value of a Facebook like is. Do people like that video because of the fact it is a cool video? Or do they like you just because they like you?
Relevance always does the job
What will work for brands to make true customer connections at any time is offering relevance. Build your own database. Enrich those customer profiles through campaigns and brand activations. If you do not have one yet, develop a customer contact strategy. Based on an elaborate customer journey map. This is the basis that will enable you to communicate with individual customers with relevance and effectiveness on those scarce contact moments you have. As well as it is the foundation to get into peoples’ heads. A smart thing to do, also, is to ask individual customers on obvious moments, e.g. on check-out in the webshop or in the confirmation email asking if the fall-back email address is still correct, to update their personal profile. That will allow you to communicate based on always up-to-date customer profiles. And work on mutual valuable relationships. If you do that right from the heart of your brand, then privacy is really a non-issue.