Owned Data, Paid Success

“In the decade of the customer, knowing your customer means owning your data.” – Ernst & Young

“Our customers have been asking us to help them apply what they know about their customers to their ad campaigns…And we see this as a way to help them better target their audience and transform the way brands advertise.” – Peter Goodman, vice president Salesforce Marketing Cloud

How would you reach your customers if your outbound email program suddenly died?

What if you found out one day that you couldn’t reach “your” customers with the same techniques as your closest competitor?

Are you prepared to pivot your entire “email marketing” program?

Long misunderstood and often maligned by social media snobs, email is on the verge of staging a stunning come-from-behind, against-all-odds comeback.

But the resurgence of email doesn’t have much to do with your newsletter. Your open rates aren’t going to improve dramatically, even if you listen to Dela Quist’s sage and simple advice to “mail more.”

Your store of valuable CRM data – in the form of email addresses – is what is going to save your business in the long run. Ask anyone you know who has been in the catalog or data compilation business.

The amazing thing that is going to happen is that your valuable CRM data – email addresses – is finally going to be useful outside of your first-party newsletters, but only on one condition: you must own the rights to use this data for these purposes.

Bringing owned data into paid media channels – sometimes referred to as data-onboarding – will revolutionize marketing like nothing seen before the invention of the Internet. But if you do not have rights to use “your” data in third-party channels, you are going to miss out on a big piece of the next big thing in interactive marketing: CRM retargeting.

You might ask, “How is my file not my owned data? I can email it. I can drop cookies on it and retarget it. I can even send terrestrial mail to it. That sounds like it’s mine.”

The data you collect via social signup is yours…to some extent. But if you acquired “your” customer via a social signup, there are restrictions on what you can use this data for. For instance, you may not be able to use the user data you’ve collected to leverage third-party advertising – aka paid media. What’s the big deal?

Here is what Facebook says on its developer page. If you use Facebook Connect for social login or signup, you are required to adhere to these (and MANY other) requirements:

  • Don’t transfer any data that you receive from us (including anonymous, aggregate, or derived data) to any ad network, data broker, or other advertising or monetization-related service.
  • Don’t include third-party ads (including for other apps) in posts, notifications, or requests.
  • “User data” means any data, including a person’s content or information that you or third parties obtain from or through Facebook.

The big deal is that we are entering a new era that is fueled by relationship marketing. And relationship marketing is predicated on permission. And if you use social signup, your marketing permissions – the element underpinning email marketing since Seth Godin’s Permission Marketing – are in question.

It is hard to acquire email addresses from your users. But it’s not impossible. Brands and publishers have captured millions of email addresses without resorting to social signup.

If you want to preserve your long-term customer data integrity – meaning ownership – it is critical that you own your subscriber data without question.

With the advent of the logged-in Internet and the hash of the email address poised to become an excellent and viable alternative to the cookie, owning your data is more important than ever.

Winning in paid media with CRM data is a critical success factor for all email marketers. Get ahead of this now so you don’t fall behind later.

Related reading

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