Data Over Demographics

With brands as traditional as Oxo moving away from stereotypes, demographics are no longer the vanguard of advertising strategy. Whilst still useful, consumers expect to be seen as much more than a broad brush typology.

Socio-economic change means that traditional demographic stereotypes are no longer relevant. People refuse to be pigeon-holed by their age, gender or background. Today’s consumer requires, and expects, a personal approach, which is tailored to their individual wants and needs. The data revolution empowers us to deliver this. It allows us to stop inferring and start observing characteristics, preferences or behaviours of a person – using these real world insights to inform how we target customers.

A personal touch: Treating your customer as an individual

Data enables us to gain complete visibility over individual customers across their entire purchase journey – providing marketers with a vast array of information which they can use to their benefit. It’s up to marketers to use this information to better target consumers, and to provide them with what they’re actually looking for.

This means knowing what data to capture and how to turn this into meaningful, actionable insights to create truly tailored campaigns for individuals – based on purchase history, preferred channel, or browsing habits. This data also allows brands to use predictive targeting– knowing the best time to engage with a customer to trigger a repurchase or to cross or upsell based on the information they hold on them.

Multi-channel continuity: Joining the dots with data

Consumers no longer stick to one device to serve their internet needs. According to YouGov, household now own 7.4 internet ready devices on average. Data allows us to create a Single Customer View across all channels and across the full customer journey – helping to solve the cross device dilemma faced by many brands.

To create a single-customer view (SCV), brands must be in a position to aggregate and interpret all the data they hold about customer engagements across all channels and devices. This includes focusing on social media channels – tracking conversation and sentiments and building these insights into marketing strategy.

Creating this holistic picture of the customer helps brands to understand how to more effectively tailor their interactions in the future. In order to achieve this SCV, marketing heads must remove silos within their own team, joining up workstreams to ensure that they are creating one unified strategy with the customer at the centre.

Talk – don’t stalk

Whilst data gives marketers a vast quantity of information about consumers, they must be careful not to abuse the information they have. With all the data available there’s a temptation amongst brands to hyper personalise engagements. But as in the real world, people are protective of their personal space and there’s a point at which brands can get too up close and personal

Ensuring that the data you use is adding value each and every time to the customer will make consumers more comfortable parting with their personal information. A “give to get” scenario, where customers perceive the benefits of handing over their data, will create a win-win situation. Transparency is also key – 67% of consumers would share their personal information if organisations told them more about how it would be used – so marketers need to be aware of reassuring consumers on how their data is used.

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