Don't leave prospects on social blind to your brand! Leveraging your own customer data on Facebook
We’ve heard it all before… Marketers are becoming more and more dependent on social media as a part of their advertising mix. In fact, according to eMarketer, social media advertising budgets more than doubled worldwide from 2014 to 2017. Facebook is still the front runner in terms of ad revenue with over 65% of revenue share compared to other social channels.
So it’s not surprising that, as marketers, we have all become more and more dependent on the available Facebook customer targeting attributes ranging from geography and age to general interests, with many of us utilizing Facebook Lookalike Audiences to reach prospects that greatly resemble our customers. And it’s great, right?
Haven’t heard about Facebook Lookalike Audiences? Here’s how it works: Lookalike models use statistics to find prospects who resemble past buyers and area a cost-effective way to acquire new ecommerce buyers, beyond search and retargeting. Facebook Lookalike Audiences use Facebook’s own proprietary user data to build a model that ranks each user’s similarities to characteristics found in your customer list. Just upload those email addresses and you can target those users that most resemble your best customers – most marketers start with the ‘best’ 1%, or roughly two million users.
And it does work really well. But… Unfortunately, what many of us fail to realize (or what we chose to ignore) is that Facebook utilizes its own engagement data as a primary source for finding those similar customers.
As a result, utilizing standard audience selections for targeting or Facebook Lookalike Audiences via Facebook and Instagram only reaches the top 10-15% most “clicky” of users, (those which are most active), limiting the reach of a company’s campaigns. Because Facebook only provides one model per customer list, performance of its lookalike audience rapidly degrades once the ‘best’ 1% becomes less responsive.
And, because we are continually targeting the same “clicky” audience as everyone else, we end up wasting precious marketing budget bidding on the same exact audience as every other company. So, how can emerging brands compete with the big-name brands when bidding for the same social audiences?
RightJoin picks up where Facebook leaves off It all starts with building a true understanding of your company’s customers and their unique characteristics. RightJoin uses best-in-class external data combined with your own client data to identify best prospects. Knowing what makes your brand’s customers different from everyone else’s makes it possible to create not just one, but unlimited custom segments on Facebook outside of the standard Facebook Lookalike Audiences model.
And, because RightJoin’s segments are built using data linked to actual people, they can be used anywhere – on other social media, any digital platform, and even on more traditional channels like direct mail and email.
Marketers who use RightJoin segments find that they perform at levels comparable to their BEST performing Facebook Lookalike Audiences, expanding their reach by up to 5X.
But the advantages don’t stop there. See how RightJoin solutions can optimize your social media marketing and acquisition programs.
We’re used to the idea that industries are disrupted by new technology. But a full scale, revolutionary disruption of the consumer products industry is gathering force in the US economy, and it’s being driven by consumers like us. We’re shifting our dollars to a new class of goods, brought to us by a new generation of companies. Much as the adoption of solar energy has been driven by actions of millions of individual home owners, consumers are shifting how they eat, dress, and care for themselves and their homes. Given the opportunity to purchase natural, organic, sustainable, and safe products - people are switching to these alternatives in ever growing numbers.
A New Generation of Consumers Has Product Heavyweights on the Ropes
As a result, industry giants, and the retailers that serve them, are in full panic, rushing to embrace the trend as their only path to survival. Traditional brands are losing consumers faster than population growth can replace them. As documented by Boston Consulting Group (BCG) and Information Resources, Inc (IRI) in their annual study, the larger CGP companies are like canoes paddling upstream in a rapid - spending huge dollars on advertising and promotion, and going nowhere. As a group, they have grown sales at around 1 percent annually - for the last six years. Meanwhile, a wave of smaller companies is capturing all the growth in consumer spending, surging like salmon up the Columbia. Companies with less than $100 million, have grown more than 5 percent over the same period, while the big guys languished.
AtRightJoin, we focus on these smaller marketers, helping them understand and reach their customers and prospects by implementing Big Data strategies.With many of our natural food industry clients, we can see the shift in buyer profiles as these healthier, organic, and many times, more sustainable products become more mainstream. It used to be the ‘Whole Foods consumer’, as a parallel universe of upscale, urban young people and well-off families sustained a thriving, but small, universe of ‘alternative’ products through specialty channels. Natural brands never came to the attention of the majority of the country, and a preference for products that were organic or sustainable was viewed by most as a fringe obsession.
But this is changing...
Stepping back to view our clients collectively, we can see that a preference for natural products is moving beyond the ‘Whole Foods’ customer. Groups like millennials with moderate incomes and average levels of education living in major metropolitan areas, and middle-class women in more rural communities, looking to maintain health and appearance as they move into their post-child raising years, are infiltrating the customer sets of marketers we serve. Natural product buyers still skew toward owning an Audi or a Subaru rather than a Chevrolet or an F100, but the gap is closing. And as those Chevy and truck drivers drift into the natural product lane, the consumer products business is swerving to follow.
Traditionals shift towards Nutritionals
That same BCG study showed that the large companies that performed well, delivering growth and shareholder value, were those that successfully acquired upstart companies in their categories, and nurtured them enough to sustain the growth post acquisition.
Companies like Hershey’s, which bought Krave and BarkThins to add to its artisan chocolate brands, Dagoba and ScharffenBerger, Johnson & Johnson with Aveeno, Pepsi with KeVita, or Unilever with Seventh Generation are looking to graft growth onto the aging base of their existing product lines.
It’s just about the only strategy that’s working for big Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) companies, although some, like Kimberly Clark, with Huggies Nature Care, are successfully embracing the natural without having to acquire the means to do it through an acquisition.
It’s worth pointing out that the current move to natural and sustainable does not mean people are shifting to products that are boring or merely functional. Tasty snacks and convenient beverages are the hottest natural categories in the food sector. For example, packaged goods category with the unappetizing label, ‘plant-based’ food, now includes flavorful, convenient, creamy non-dairy beverages and yogurt alternatives from companies like Califa Farms and Forager.
We're not in Kansas anymore
And looming on the horizon is cannabis, a monster ‘plant-based’ product that consumers as voters are enabling to join the legitimate economy. There is an understandable focus in the press on cannabis’s similarity to alcohol and tobacco as comparable products, but cannabis advocates make a strong a case for healthful benefits and characteristics of the plant, particularly as an alternative to pharmaceuticals for relief of pain and chronic conditions. So even cannabis, as it emerges from the shadows, is well-positioned to benefit from consumers’ move to embrace healthful, safer, sustainable products.
Fighting for the 'sustainable' consumer in a niche market
Last of all, an important part of the story of the growth in a new generation of consumer products is that the upstarts are finding their customers in an entirely different way. The more established set of CPG firms required large-scale manufacturing to reach unit costs that yielded acceptable margins. Enormous investments in television advertising enabled these companies to gain sufficient awareness at the time of launch to drive enough buyers into stores to justify allocating scarce shelf space to achieve high levels of sales in short periods of time. It was a system that favored the well-capitalized incumbent. Major companies like P&G,Unilever, and Pepsi carefully curated their line of products to offer consumers enough variety to maintain their market share while suppressing innovation and competition that would undermine profits.
Consumer adoption of the internet has broken this oligopoly hold on the product innovation process.
Most of the companies capturing growth today have never shot a single TV commercial. They start out life with an Instagram page, add a website and a presence on Facebook, and launch e-commerce on Amazon. They’ll recruit some ‘influencers’ who are active on social media, and work hard to get their advocates to promote them on their pages. When they get a little bigger, our upstarts will start selling their products through their own site, and will support that effort with some paid Google search and some retargeting on Facebook. As they add retailers, they will support store promotions, and might participate in the social media ad campaigns offered by those retailers, who are leveraging data on their loyal customers to promote sales to likely buyers.
Growth of upstart brands is truly consumer led: Find your audience, and encourage them to promote you on social media and in their daily life.
Breaking the mold - Where we come in... And that's where RightJoin comes in... We help our clients get smarter about their own ad targeting, leveraging their customer data to better understand their best customers, and find and reach those prospects who have the greatest likelihood to become customers, influencers, and promoters of their products.
And so, while consumer products today is not primarily a story of technological disruption, the technological age we live in, one of personal communication and extreme, costless interconnection between people, provides an essential ingredient to the recipe for success of the challengers. Their approach offers a window into the future of marketing where customer data intersects with mass media regardless of channel.
Social media is the new mass media, and successful consumer products upstarts, among their other achievements, have mastered the art of marketing in the social media realm. __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ AtRightJoin, we make it easy for you to truly understand your customer, and to leverage that understanding to make marketing communications more efficient and tailored, transforming YOUR customer data into marketing you can trust.
In the next few weeks we’ll walk you through our unique 4-step solution, which allows marketers to execute ‘big brand’ data strategies on a mainstream marketing budget.
It’s not rocket science, it's data science tailored to your specific needs.
Four Steps to Marketing Like a Pro
STEP 1: Understand Your Customers
STEP 1: UNDERSTAND Your Customers
Most marketers already have a good idea of their target audience, and many have spent a pretty penny with agencies and consultants to help them identify certain characteristics within the general population. While establishing personas for your brand or product is a useful practice, sometimes starting with agency-derived personas can be like trying to fit a puzzle piece into the wrong puzzle. Just because the piece seems right, doesn’t mean that it is.
Let’s take ‘John’ for example: he’s 21 years old; a student; lives “in the city”; enjoys having coffee, meeting friends and hanging out. And, you know he’s spends a lot of time on social networks because that’s where most millennials spend their time, right? Truthfully, that does not offer a marketer much to go on when it comes to targeting others like 'John' across channels and partners. Especially when you are not only trying to reach John, but Rebecca, Katherine, and Amir; all different personas, all your target audience.
You know that your customers are unique, so why not ground the characteristics of each persona in facts about real customers? Being able to market towards the exact demographic, sociographic, and behavioral nuances that make them more likely to buy from you and not your competitor is what separates the “big brand” marketers from the rest of us when it comes to executing on these “big data” strategies in our campaigns.
But how do you get there? Well, you start with those you know: real customers that have bought your products. Understanding what makes them different from everybody else and what this means exclusively to you, your products, and your brand.
RightJoin is able to match your customer list to a trusted database of over 95% of U.S. adult consumersand households. From there, we compare your customers to the general population in categories such as age, income, net worth, presence of children, gender, ethnicity, and geography, identifying those nuggets of information that make your customers your customers. Once you have developed this level of understanding you become the master of your audience segments.
Information like this isn’t just interesting, it can change how you do business. One of our clients had no idea that a third of their buyers had net worth over $2 million. Their PR agency changed their approach right away, targeting media that would appeal directly to a more sophisticated buyer. Another was surprised to find that women were as likely to be buyers as men, even though their products were directed at the male population.
Up until now, diving into that level of detail has been a pipe dream for many of us, a nightmare for most. Lack of budget, time, resources and… did I already say time? Anyway, RightJoin makes understanding your customers easy, fast, and affordable.
Understanding is just the first step to truly data-driven customer acquisition and retention. RightJoin has a proven process for helping mainstream marketers engage more effectively with their customers, and for finding more people like them.
Coming up next - STEP 2: Discovering Your BEST Customers Stay connected: Follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and G+ and sign up for future newsletters.
__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ At RightJoin, we make it easy for you to truly understand your customer, and to leverage that understanding to make marketing communications more efficient and tailored, transforming YOUR customer data into marketing you can trust.
Marketers live in a divided world, separated into the data ‘haves’ and data ‘have-nots’
The Data ‘Haves’
There’s a special class of marketers that we all look up to, let’s call them mega-marketers. They generate $10 billion to $100 billion in annual revenue, and every year they spend hundreds of millions, if not billions, on marketing programs, including lots of paid media. They have CRM systems where they bring together data collected from customer interactions, partners, and external sources. They have a team of Ph.D. statisticians and data scientists on staff. The data team mines the CRM data to generate insights and report on performance, and uses it to select subsets of people, both customers and prospects, to target in marketing campaigns. After each campaign, promotional and transaction data are merged and mined to measure results and inform future efforts.
The learnings from these activities get built into processes that allow mega-marketers an enviable degree of predictability in their top line. Armed with these data management capabilities, mega-marketers can make generating revenue look a lot like a manufacturing process, at least in the short run. Put the right data in, define the objective, apply the recipe, and a relatively predictable volume of new customers or revenue appears more or less on schedule.
For instance, big telecom marketers tune the size and timing of promotions to reflect the value and likely response of each recipient, across every marketing channel. Retailers use purchase data from loyal customers to design campaigns that promote a specific supplier’s products, paid for by the supplier, including reporting back to the supplier on the ROI of the campaign. Big auto companies concentrate on relatively small segments of people predicted to be highly likely to buy a car this year, based not on clicks or any overt consumer action, but on a battery of characteristics that are collectively highly predictive, including past car buying behavior, current life stage and car ownership, location, and financial means. From these elements, not only purchase likelihood but preferences by brand, vehicle, and financing type are effectively inferred. And, credit card companies slice and dice the population every month to match their own evolving needs for growth balanced against tolerance for risk. Armed with sophisticated data and analytics, the financial marketer selects which individuals to invite to accept each credit product or feature, with what set of terms, backed by a highly accurate projection of acceptance rates that in turn enables forecasting of financial performance months and quarters ahead.
All this data management and infrastructure costs eight figures annually, but that’s a small piece of their nine and ten figure marketing budgets.
Make no mistake, marketing is an imperfect science, even for these well-heeled and disciplined mega-marketers. Competition, economic factors, changes in consumer taste, and random events interfere with predictability. Creative concepts wear out, products lose their edge, etc. But, in the short run, working carefully and using the learnings from the recent past, these marketers pretty much control their destiny, trading off near and long-term benefits to meet current requirements while investing in customer relationships that will pay dividends in future quarters.
The Data ‘Have-Nots’
By comparison, the bulk of marketers, or mainstream marketers, live in a constant state of data poverty.
With marketing budgets far below that of the mega-marketers and growth goals aplenty, mainstream marketers generally survive on only the systems they need, and many times have had to beg for, nothing extra. Mainstream marketers are forced to make hard choices when it comes to the channels they engage in and the resources they have to activate those channels. In basic terms, a mainstream marketer might have a website, with some SEO and paid search, a presence on a few social media sites, a one-size fits all email program to push promotions out, and an agency to do a certain amount of outbound programs, events and media. Customers more or less present themselves on their own initiative, either via direct or retail channels, or both. If a mainstream marketer is able to scrounge up the dollars, the time, and the know how needed to understand customers directly, maybe once a year they’ll go to a syndicated research provider like MRI or IRI to commission a study that profiles customers based on a small sample drawn from the provider’s panel. That’s about it.
Quite a contrast to the mega marketers. The mega’s harvest every gram of customer data, refining it into insight to help measure effectiveness and ‘signals’ to help define the next wave of targeting segments. For the mainstream marketer, customer data is mostly untapped. It remains buried in fulfillment records, in the systems of channel partners, in their billing system, in web and social management platforms, in the email platform, and embedded in spreadsheets and platforms at the agency. It is not extracted or collected, let alone enhanced with external data and analyzed.
Hope for the Mainstream Marketer
While the data gap between mega and mainstream marketers is large, there is some good news for mainstream marketers: It turns out, there’s never been a better time to start leveraging the value inherent in a company’s customer data. For one thing, marketers of all kinds are having more direct interactions with and direct access to their customers, so more customer data is being created that belongs to mainstream marketers. Plus, the cost of storing and analyzing data has plummeted and will continue to do so. And, the quantity and quality of insightful data becoming available to help understand customers is accelerating. Finally, the willingness of companies of all kinds to partner and share data to drive shared insight is also growing, making it possible to break down barriers that have traditionally kept data in separate, company-specific silo’s.
Where and how to begin?
Here are a few guidelines to consider:
Don’t build your own asset, rent one that’s already built. Most of the work and investment required to market based on customer data is the same for every company that tackles it. So, it makes sense to find a service that has already built a database that contains all of the data you need to generate insight, that is already set up to produce segments and push them to whatever channel you need the them to be, and can ingest data from your or your partners to create end products that meet your unique needs. Find someone who will sell you the quantity of expert analytic service you need, without having to build and manage your own staff.
Start by choosing a way of marketing that already works well for you, and then use data to make it work better.
The best way to evaluate and capture the power inherent in your customer data is to use it to improve the results from something you are already doing. That way, you have an established yardstick for comparison. If you are simultaneously working to understand a new channel, experimenting with new creative, and employing data for the first time, you won’t know whether poor results are because data doesn’t work or you just haven’t mastered the new channel, or how much of any success you achieve to attribute to the data itself.
Don’t be drawn into pursuing world peace; focus on quick wins. Mega-marketers who are already experts at using data tend to dominate the conversation about data-driven marketing techniques. So, in the marketing press, one hears and reads most about the latest challenges facing the mega-marketer. For instance, many of the largest marketers these days are trying to determine how to disentangle the effects of different forms of marketing on the same customer, through a methodology called multi-channel attribution. If you are already using a dozen paid channels to reach your customers, wouldn’t it be great to know how much credit to award each one for every sale, so you could balance your investments? This is an example of a very tough problem, and it certainly would be great to know the answer. But, it’s a problem that people should only tackle once they’ve already gotten pretty good at using data to manage and measure the individual marketing channels that are most valuable to them.
With a cost-oriented, practical approach, any marketer can break out of the cycle of data poverty, and start turning the unique knowledge inherent in customer identity and behavior to drive successful customer acquisition, upsell and retention. It’s the dawning of data democracy.
The Tower of Babel "People-based marketing" is a phrase you hear a lot in marketing these days. Facebook’s Atlas platform is pushing it hard. Lots of less well known companies claim to offer it. In fact, Google identifies 39,000 links to the term.
Surprisingly, a lot of the companies driving the buzz don’t actually talk much about ‘people’. Instead, they talk about ‘cross-device’, ‘cookie synching’, ‘mobile ID’s’, and a lot of other technical buzzwords. That’s because people-based marketing is part of an effort by digital marketing specialists to address a bigger problem, namely, that digital marketers no longer trust the data they’re using.
For example, popular data, commonly used to represent simple facts such as the age, gender, and income range of a person using a device, are shown to be barely better than making random guesses.
And, there is so much bad data out there, from so many sources, that agencies can easily, even unwittingly, unearth a source to show that a particular device is being used by a person of every possible age, gender and income class. It’s a Tower of Babel in a new marketing world.
Cutting through the ‘buzz’: Putting ‘people’ first In our view, people-based marketing needs to start with the people you already know, your customers, not with random sets of data provided by agencies, or media and channel partners.
It’s the obligation of every marketer to take responsibility for knowing exactly who he or she is aiming to serve. And we mean WHO. Not some broad description, not a phrase in a brand positioning statement.
It’s time to get specific!
With the help of analytics and technology, you can now pickexactlythe people on whom you will focus, prospects, as well as, customers. It is now possible to consistently reach this defined group with programs across every touchpoint, and to intelligently respond to each person as he or she engages with your company, in real time.
Never before have companies had access to more information about their own customers. The winning companies will be those that harness that knowledge first.
It’s imperative that you bring your own valid customer knowledge to your media partners, rather than rely principally on them to tell you who they think YOUR customer is. And, when it comes to choosing data sources, instead of picking blindly among hundreds of intermediaries, you should use your own data as the measuring stick to match and find more customers like yours.
It’s a trust issue Today, marketing as a discipline is held back by companies wondering if their marketing investments really work, if the measurements they use to assess performance reflect reality, if the stories they tell and are told about marketing success are really true.
Once you begin from the ground truth about who your customers are, you can build marketing programs and strategy that produce more reliable, trustworthy results.
A focus on customer knowledge can help close the trust gap. Knowing who your customers are and what is true and different about them provides a core of basic facts that can be used to bring greater integrity to your marketing efforts, producing results you can explain and replicate. That’s where trust begins.
We would know! RightJoinfounders have been at the forefront of enabling people-based marketing strategies that begin with precise, client validated data and seeing those efforts transform into success stories for the world’s largest companies.
The Data Democracy and what RightJoin can do for YOU RightJoin democratizes access to data and analytics techniques used by the largest marketers.
We believe that mainstream marketers need a solution that reliably produces and deploys customized data segments to use in marketing campaigns. These custom segments must be grounded in knowledge of a company’s unique customer data combined with high quality external data, and must be distributed as needed to each marketer’s software platforms and partners.
RightJoin’sData-as-a-Service (Daas) offering meets this mainstream marketer need, dramatically improving customer knowledge and the process of creating consumer segments. Other leading data and analytics companies are too focused on the largest companies to address the needs of this wider market.
So, if you are a mainstream marketer, or you know someone who is, RightJoin has a solution to make marketing work better, a solution that is easy to implement, affordable, and built to scale as it succeeds.
RightJoin is the next generation data company, delivering the best in consumer data and analytics, as a service, in real time, affordably and across channels and products.
Through thirty-plus years of experience in the data, media and technology industry we have witnessed a handful of seismic shifts in the way companies engage consumers and seen these translate into enormous business opportunities for our clients.
We created RightJoin to participate in the next phase of such a shift. We believe that exposing the insight latent in customer data is the path to marketing with real transparency, accuracy, and accountability: marketing that inspires trust.
RightJoin was designed to make these revolutionary techniques available to mainstream marketers and businesses. Other leading data and analytics companies are too focused on the largest companies to address the needs of this wider market.
RightJoin democratizes access to data and analytic techniques used by the largest marketers making it possible for mainstream companies to unlock the insight inherent in their customer base, combine that insight with the power of the highest quality external data, and deploy it throughout their business, on demand and in real time. All this without the big investments in software, infrastructure, data and analytic expertise made by large companies that have pioneered this approach.
If you are a mainstream marketer, or you know someone who is, RightJoin has a solution to make marketing work better, a solution that is easy to implement, affordable, and built to scale as it succeeds.