Takeaways from LeadsCon Connect to Convert 2019

84% of customers say being treated like a person is a critical factor in winning their business. Leading brands are responding with people-based marketing programs that speak to individual customers with the right message, at the right time, through the marketing channel they are most likely to engage with. 

At LeadsCon’s Connect to Convert, I moderated a panel discussion on this topic with Michelle Tilton, VP, Marketing, Infutor Data Solutions; Hari Sundram, CEO, Verikai; Michael Tolmie, Managing Director, Marketing for National Education Partners. I’ve summarized a few takeaways from our session here.

We discussed three primary data capabilities that are necessary for laying the foundation for people-based marketing:

  • Resolving Identity: Who is the person you’re marketing to?
  • Attributes of the Person: What are they capable of buying and what do they have intent to buy?
  • Channels of Engagement & Timing: How and when should I reach this person?

Resolving Identity: Who is the person you’re marketing to?

Identity resolution is the core foundation for anyone who wants to market to people. It’s impossible to personalize your marketing efforts if you can’t first accurately resolve a fractional identifier to a real person.

Michelle Tilton shared a great overview of this practice: Infutor looks at identity resolution as the ability to resolve all of the identity markers (name, address, phone, email, etc) to a single person, residing within each enterprise platform (CRM, billing, delivery, etc). This also includes the ability to instantly identify consumers when they reach out to engage with your brand to provide the best possible customer experience. So, regardless of whether you work in digital marketing, billing, sales, or any other division, there is a single, linked view of the consumer. 

This foundation of identity resolution is so critical for all other organizational efforts: Personalization, analytics, outbound activation. This resolved identity enables so many other critical marketing functions.

There are a few functional aspects of identity resolution:

  • Data hygiene: Cleaning up fractional identities to optimize quality for resolution
  • Identity completion: Taking a fractional identity marker and filling in the other missing pieces of information
  • Identity enhancement: Adding other known markers to optimize your ability to join disparate identities. 

Each of these identity markers plays a key role in linking disparate identities together. Once you have a complete picture of all of the consumers within your enterprise systems, you can work to link them together. 

These steps enable marketers to stitch identities together to form a powerful picture of their consumers and positively impact their outbound and inbound marketing strategies. 

Attributes of the Person: What are they capable of buying and what do they have intent to buy?

Once you’ve been able to figure out who the individual is that’s on the other end of your marketing, the next step becomes layering in attributes of that person that will impact if and how you market to them. 

We think about attributes that help answer one or both of these primary questions: What does this person have intent to buy? What is this person capable of buying? 

At Jornaya, we’ve traditionally specialized in answering this first question. We help marketers discover when their customers and prospects are showing behavioral signals that indicate they have intent to make a major-life purchase, such as buying a new home, taking out a mortgage or an insurance policy, or going back to school for a Master’s degree. 

Hari Sundram expanded on this concept, discussing the importance of understanding the intersection between intent to buy and the capability of buying. Verikai specializes in building models with unrivaled accuracy in their ability to predict an individual’s likelihood of being qualified to buy a brands’ product and turn into a high lifetime value customer. In the Insurance marketplace, in particular, carriers have a huge amount of wasted marketing spend directed towards people for whom they will not ultimately be able to underwrite a policy, even if they are successful in their marketing efforts. 

Understanding qualification higher up in the marketing funnel is critical; and when a view of qualification is combined with a view of in-market behavior and intent to buy, marketers are able to zero in on the highest value segment of people who not only want their products but are capable of purchasing them.

Channels of Engagement & Timing: How & when should I reach this person?

Last, but definitely not least, is determining when and how to reach the customer or prospect. 

We’ve all been victims of poorly timed advertising. Michael Tolmie shared his recent experience: After purchasing ear-plugs online for his scuba diving vacation in Mexico, he has been receiving non-stop online advertising from the same company, for the same ear-plugs. 

If only they were using a basic understanding of recent purchase data to suppress Michael from their retargeting campaigns, they might not have lost him as a future repeat customer when he makes his next trip… 

One of the things that we’re hyper-focused on at Jornaya is helping marketers understand the sliding scale of consumer intent around major life purchase events in order to determine when to engage an individual. Instead of running a remarketing campaign to every person in your CRM or every person who visits your website, what if you only targeted the people whose behavior indicates they are still in-market to buy?  

In addition to knowing when to engage, choosing the right channel(s) of engagement is equally important. Different channels come with different costs, and achieving an ROI is impacted not only by the marketing itself but also by the choice of which prospect to engage in which channel.

Michael Tolmie shared a great example on this topic, illustrating how the use of data can maximize the return on marketing investment. At Northcentral University, he has been able to implement predictive scores that use attributes of a person to assess their likelihood of enrolling in a degree program. These scores are then used to route only the highest intent prospective students to Enrollment Officers for outbound phone calls, one of the highest cost (and highest return) marketing channels. Lower intent prospective students are instead engaged with lower-cost marketing efforts, thus maximizing Northcentral’s overall return on marketing spend.

We also learned about the growing importance of reaching consumers on their mobile devices. Infutor has recently developed a solution to help marketers incorporate Mobile Advertising ID’s into their Identity resolution practice, making it easy to incorporate mobile advertising as a part of the marketers’ omnichannel approach to reaching their prospects and customers.

Thank you to Michelle, Hari, and Michael for participating in the panel and sharing their expertise on these topics. Please feel free to reach out to any of us with questions.

 Eli Schwarz is Vice President of Data Strategy & Partnerships at Jornaya.