By Gaurav Seth
In India, digital advertising is growing at a torrid pace, fueled by the availability of affordable smartphones and data sets. In fact, digital is the fastest growing media platform in India. But marketers already have more information about customers than they can use. To benefit from new consumer insights, marketers must address three major data challenges.
Challenge No. 1: Marketers are drowning in data
Digital properties like websites and web apps offer marketers a broader view into customer behavior, when compared to traditional mediums. Every click generates data that can help them understand who their customers are and what they want. With sharper customer insight, marketers can better target and personalize their campaigns. Unfortunately, those clicks—and the associated data—accumulate quickly, and data insights don’t surface on their own.
Digital marketing offers a more complete view of the customer—but only if all the data is taken into account. Marketers must collect and analyze data generated across the many channels and devices that customers use throughout the buying journey. Otherwise, with only a single data point, the picture is not only incomplete, but it can be incorrect and lead to wasted ad spend.
Challenge No. 2: Mapping the customer journey and identity
The buying journey grows increasingly complex as consumers use a variety of channels and devices to research products, engage with brands, and ultimately complete a purchase. In fact, studies suggest 41-65% of all online purchases involve multiple devices. And yet, marketers only identify 15% of purchases as involving many devices. In order to advertise to customers at the right place and right time, marketers need complete, unified visibility into the customer journey so they can determine who that customer is and where they are on their path.
As customers move through the buying process, their digital activity is associated with an identifier. The problem is, each channel, device, and visit can generate a different identifier. In order to map the customer journey effectively, marketers need to be able to collect, map, and connect the various identifiers generated for individual customers. This is increasingly more important when it comes to privacy regulations and respecting consumer choices across every instance of their digital footprint.
Challenge No. 3: Data quality
Data-driven marketing is no longer a novelty. As it matures, marketers should take a closer look at the quality of their partner data. While no one would argue that they don’t want quality data, it isn’t always a given. Some data providers have sacrificed a high quality to increase scale with practices like cookie stuffing and the mis-characterization of data.
Data quality should take center stage to ensure smart ad spend and a positive consumer experience. Diving into provenance, recency, and origin of data is more important than ever. Ask these questions of your potential data partners and reconsider relationships with those who aren’t open and transparent. Data quality and accuracy are the future of our industry.
According to GroupM, advertising investment in India is expected to grow 14% in 2019 and yet nearly half of all advertisers lack confidence in their ability to draft meaningful insights from the data they get. Marketers must tackle these data challenges head-on and develop strategies to harness the power of data for audience development and customer engagement.
The author is the managing director,Lotame India.
February 07, 2020