More Effective Data Solutions: Bridging CRM and Digital Marketing

Experienced marketers often wonder if the convergence of direct marketing and the digital world has been fully realized. We believe this inflection point has arrived and it will drive millions of customer relationship management (CRM) investments into the digital marketplace.

In the digital marketplace the targeting offerings are uneven, but the fundamental foundations exist. The good news is today’s data science approach allows marketers to model audiences based on content, location, time of day, and device and then target on a more granular basis according to the marketer’s objectives.

The more advanced data solutions today no longer have to rely on demographic or vague segment-based targeting. The best audience targeting and marketing expertise likely comes from the database and direct marketing worlds, where marketers have always understood the power of precision marketing at scale approach in a privacy-compliant way, through database marketing and message personalization leveraging the USPS.

Today, we are finally at a juncture where we can leverage the longstanding expertise of direct marketers to execute against the new targeting opportunities that digital marketing affords us based on real people not cookies. Combining traditional direct marketing CRM tactics with available channels, technology, and tool creates a new world of targeting – and improved effectiveness – for marketers.

There has been much focus on – and equal doubt about – “cookies” as effective tools in the new digital world. Marketers perceive them to be the most powerful way to target audiences. These same marketers don’t want to be told that the cookie that they are addicted to is not the best way to target in the digital world.

But, if they could set their mind to several new key areas of consideration – that take into account the best of “traditional” marketing, combined with the opportunity that the new tools of the digital world offer – they would be on their way to more masterful enterprise-level brand marketing.

What Constitutes Today’s Best Data Solutions?

According to the recent Forrester DMP report, here are the three categories for the best data solutions:

  • Cookie-based. Cookies are the most scaled targeting option but the least accurate across platforms.
  • Person-based. Person-based targeting brings the highest accuracy at the expense of reach.
  • Inference-based. Inference-based targeting shows promise but remains limited in utility and adoption.

The real key is to incorporate addressable media as a new tactic in online advertising.

Up until now, lookalikes and other inference-based tactics have been the gold standard, but now with the ability to access CRM data in a safe, privacy-compliant way, the bar has been raised to target real people online.

How can this be done? CRM data needs to be anonymized by technology that is accurate, secure, and privacy compliant. There are only a handful of companies that have the infrastructure in place to accomplish this task.

Leveraging CRM data is the backbone of direct mail and email to drive effectiveness. Therefore, if online users check their social media sites in the same way they check their mailbox, the same marketing tactics apply at a fraction on the investment.

Opportunity for Precision Marketing at Scale

The bottom line is that integrating CRM and online data sources, marketers can create segments of real people (not cookies) who interact with media every single day in multiple formats.

The opportunity now exists for marketers to reach beyond the physical mailbox to take their traditional practices into a new environment. This is a huge opportunity for both large markets as well as large publishers with verified users to tap into CRM spending in addition to advertising investments from marketers.

The precision of the offline CRM is desperately needed in the online world to eliminate the waste associated with some techniques used in the advertising world today.

This is the year in the digital world where CRM marketers will lead the way on best practices for effective targeting across digital channels.

Image on home page via Shutterstock.

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