Along with high quality content, data and analytics have become a marketer’s most important tools. In the face of what they see as too many messages from too many brands, customers are beginning to lose patience with experiences that don’t speak directly to their needs. Indeed, research from Kantar found that 55% of UK consumers feel “completely apathetic” towards advertising.
My visit to the Cannes Lions this year reinforced this reality. There was widespread consensus that customer insight is the key to building real relationships with your audience and driving loyalty.
However, this is easier said than done, especially with the balance of power shifting from brands to consumers, who have more control than ever over which media they consume and when. How can marketers cut through and remain successful under these conditions? I sat down with experts from Deliveroo, Google, and Starling Bank at Cannes to crack this question.
Here are my top three takeaways from our chat:
- Lazy data marketing is dead
All the data in the world will deliver very little without a clear vision of what you want to achieve. Who you want to target, what action you want them to take, how your communications will drive them to the next logical step in the purchasing journey – all these factors must guide your approach to analytics. After all, achieving status with customers is about more than pushing out messages. It’s about delivering the right combination of personalisation, convenience, and service quality.
Aida Bejgane, Head of Field Acquisitions spoke about how Starling Bank has built their content function around their data capabilities, and how it has helped them communicate with their customers in a more personalised manner.
“We have our creative products in-house to be able to adapt the message quickly in response to data,” she explained.
Or, consider how the Telegraph Media Group used data to transform its approach to content. Working with Adobe Experience Cloud, the company went from being a traditional newspaper to a multimedia publisher, using mobile and digital channels like Snapchat to deliver news to their audience however and whenever they want it.
- Use analytics to drive creativity
The winners in every industry will be those who understand the change consumers want to see and can deliver it in inspiring ways. Data can provide invaluable insight, but that knowledge must then form the basis for more creative and relevant customer experiences. Creativity, technology and product must be connected in a virtuous loop, with innovation helping brands to work faster, make more space for creativity, and ultimately deliver a higher quality product.
According to Alice ter Haar, Senior Manager, EU Marketing from Deliveroo, technology companies can play a leading role in helping marketers transition to a data-led future.
“It’s no coincidence that this panel is filled with tech brands,” she said. “We are investing in data to get to know our customers and what they want. Delivery-only kitchens were born from this approach – the data helped us perceive the food that local areas wanted most, and the kitchens helped us fill this gap.”
Using Adobe Audience Manager, Princess Cruises were also able to analyse its customer data to better understand their customers – who is taking cruises, and which activities, experiences and services they most enjoy. The company’s marketing team then uses Adobe Sensei AI to apply lookalike modelling to this data, helping it to find additional customers with a similar profile and increase the size of Princess Cruises’ addressable audience.
- Make yourself essential
There’s a reason brands are shifting their focus from products and services to customer-centric experiences based on data – they want to know their customers so well they become essential parts of their lives. Companies like Spotify and Uber have set themselves apart by transcending the basic service they deliver (music streaming and ride-sharing, respectively). They have become utilities, drawing on customer data to create highly tailored experiences that have quickly become indispensable.
“When experiences work they delight you, when they fail how fast you turn!” mused Nishma Robb, Ads Marketing Director UK, from Google.
“Experience is what the brand stands for, and building those experiences around the product is more important than ever. The companies able to build brands as a service will find themselves more relevant in the eyes of consumers.”
From Heathrow Airport to BUPA, brands across every industry are leaning more heavily on analytics to get closer to their audience, and to rethink the way they work to serve customers. We are also seeing a convergence between “consumer-focussed” and “business-focussed” storytelling. It’s not about B2B or B2B any more, it’s about B2E: enabling experiences for everyone. And a more strategic approach to analytics is the best way forward.
Learn more about how Adobe Analytics can help your company bring structure to data and turn insight into exceptional customer experiences. Click here.