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For Better Personalization, Brands Need to Embrace More Data

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This is a guest blog post from Rew Golding, Head of Partnerships & Alliances at Upland CXM – a Movable Ink Exchange Partner. Having worked in Marketing and Customer Experience for over 15 years, Rew heads up Upland CXM’s Global partner team bringing together best of breed partnerships to drive value for all CXM customers.

Many brands today seem to be racing to get the most data. But having a lot of data can be paralyzing to marketers. How can you best act on data when there’s so much of it?

It’s less so about acquiring as much data as possible but knowing how to analyze the most relevant data as possible in a way that does not limit our resource of time. Therefore, brands need tools that make the data we rely on usable. Brands need data to be plentiful, accessible, and actionable with their current marketing tech stack.

It’s no longer impactful to segment your audience by a behavioral attribute or two. People are multi-layered. We are not simple 25–34-year-old men, women in Chicago, or someone who has viewed an orange tie on Nordstrom’s app. We are so much more than that. Brands must dig into multiple layers of profile, behavioral, and contextual data to truly understand their customers. 

But to achieve that level of understanding, data can’t just sit unused in a data lake. Additionally, it’s not efficient to rely on analysts to dig through data for insights; that takes far too long.

Marketers should be able to tap into the data in real-time in order to maximize the relevancy of your campaigns. That means that every channel must be connected and unified, machine learning must be employed to extract insights efficiently, and marketers must be able to easily digest it all in real-time. 

There are three critical functions marketers must use to harness the full power of data:

1. Customer engagement platforms that use multiple layers of data

Your platforms should not be limited to only a few data points. The best customer engagement platforms empower the user with multiple layers, including both profile and behavioral data.

Profile data includes data attributable to something that a user could answer upon account creation – gender, age, location, favorite sports teams, hometown, favorite color. Behavioral data is how the user interacts with the channel – viewing certain products, abandoning carts, recent purchases, and number of interactions each day fall under this category.

Additionally, platforms must be able to capitalize on historical data. Your campaigns from the past, how users have changed over time, and ongoing metrics are key to continually optimizing your campaigns. Seeing the data from the past can help inform your future. 

Finally, automation is critical in customer engagement platforms. Marketers must be able to feed in data from other systems through integrations and APIs, rather than manually upload lists. A manual process takes out much of the time-saving and automated benefits of your tech stack. Without that capability, it once again becomes cumbersome to meet your data needs.

2. APIs

It’s important to note that you don’t need a full marketing cloud to unify your data. APIs can connect your data across platforms for omni-channel engagement.

Many of your users are likely interacting with you on multiple channels, like mobile app, SMS, email, web, and more. Don’t let that data exist in silos. If your user converts off an email and that fact is known on your CRM, that information should be sent over to your mobile app as well. Sending a push notification for the exact product they just purchased will be frustrating. They may even block mobile push notifications. Bring together your data to inform your strategy in meaningful ways. 

3. Integrations

You can’t do it alone. There’s no I in team. It takes a village. There are endless idioms about not doing things by yourself.

But the point is simple: your solution doesn’t have to be an all-encompassing solution. Leverage the expertise of other solutions by integrating them into your marketing engagement platform. 

From niche players to well-known clouds, integrations are critical. Niche partners can provide expertise in optimization or extending your data outside the platform. These may be advertising partners, content optimization solutions, or sales engagement. The huge clouds are also important, as many of you likely already use CRMs such as Oracle, Marketo, or Salesforce.

Integrations can help you get even more personal with the content of your messages. Upland Localytics is pleased to partner with Movable Ink as it enhances our customers’ messaging strategies. This partnership provides deeper personalization through the creatives used based on data across channels. Combining this with contextual data, our customers can present highly relevant creatives to their audiences. 

These functions enable marketers to get the most out of their data. With the right customer engagement platforms, brands can easily connect data, understand their audience, and target the right customers with every campaign. Upland Localytics does just that, collecting many layers of both profile and behavioral data, with the right integrations and APIs to connect to all your other channels. 

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