Most technology for marketing has a big gap: Prospects


Why CPRMs are the future of identity resolution.

Written by: Rebecca Lieb, Analyst & Cofounder, Kaleido Insights

A large sports apparel company long assumed its target audience was the male athlete between the ages of 18-25. They had no reason to question the data from their tech stack, so their marketing strategy was primarily directed to young male athletes.

But they were missing something.

When the brand was able to look at both their customers and prospects, they quickly learned that while they were selling lots of product, it wasn’t just to those young male athletes. Instead, buyers included moms and wives purchasing for their sons and husbands. The insight resulted in an expansion of their market, including target audience, customer experience and messaging. Now, the brand talks directly to this segment about previously ignored product attributes such as how easy the clothes are to clean and their overall durability.

If the anecdote sounds familiar, you’re not alone. It’s an all-too-recognizable story. Why then do brands continue to lack key insights for their marketing efforts?

The missing link

DMPs, DSPs and CRMs sound great, but something is missing from the dense alphabet soup of marketing platforms.  All have value, but none deliver insights on all-important prospects, nor do they possess the ability to differentiate between existing customers and those prospects, much less in a cross-media, cross-channel, cross-device, online/offline universe.

Sure, you could buy a prospect list from a third party, but by the time that list has been cut, segmented and is ready for activation, it may be six weeks old. That “valuable prospect” may already belong to a competitor.

The insights many platforms and lists offer amounts to tunnel vision: a narrow view across only a small cohort of specific channels or media rather than a 360-degree spectrum of behavior across not only digital experiences, but also offline stores and real-world actions.

Despite ever more sophisticated technology, fundamental challenges remain that limit marketers’ ability to communicate effectively to the right audiences, as well as to wisely spend their budgets. This is particularly true for companies with numerous distinct brands. Such limitations fundamentally impact both consumer experiences, and for marketers, performance, efficacy and a competitive edge.

Introducing CPRMs

A new technology, customer and prospect relationship management (CPRM) platforms, can provide the missing links.

CPRMs, like Conversant’s Mesobase, unify online and offline data from first- and third-party sources, and across multiple channels to create a single view of each customer and prospect that is persistent and evolves over time.

With a single view of individuals, marketers can truly deliver people-based marketing, including quickly shifting how they communicate with individuals based on their actions. And when all your customer and prospect data is aligned, it is easy to see that customer records that you originally thought were different people are the same person on different devices. You can eliminate some of your marketing spend by reducing the number of duplicate messages you were sending to the same individual.

A robust CPRM offers brands a hands-on, anonymous environment to analyze individual consumer profiles, measure campaign performance and track attribution across all marketing touchpoints. This permits marketers to be confident they are sending and refining highly personal and contextual messaging to individuals based on data they can see for themselves, all while maintaining an individual’s privacy.

Smarter spend, less waste and vastly more effective messaging. Who wouldn’t want that?

Take, for example, a major hotel chain that assumed its most elite loyalty card members were just that: loyal. It wasn’t until they looked at their customers in a CPRM that they realized these “loyal” individuals were spending twice as much at two rival hotel chains to achieve elite status at all three brands.

Their existing tech stack allowed the hotel to reach 20 percent of its customers, a baseline expectation. With the increased match rates made possible by a CPRM, that reach could soar to up to 80 percent of existing customers, plus 20 percent of prospects they couldn’t previously message.

Similarly, a beauty retailer sought a way to bring all its data together but understood that building an in-house data lake was too resource-intensive. Still, it wanted one place for loyalty programs, email campaigns, point of sale data and website visitors to ensure the customer experience was consistent. A CPRM allowed the retailer to consolidate all its data to create a single view of customers, and thus to personalize the experience each had with the brand across all channels and touchpoints.

CPRMs can simplify a complex environment by linking and aligning many disparate pieces of data, channels, media, and customer and prospect information. Rather than an alphabet soup of platforms, it brings customers and prospects into focus, increasing marketing efficiency and making campaigns smarter and more effective.

This post originally appeared on Adweek.