Insights Beyond Your Customer Base

The next version of consumer enrichment data will dramatically change retail marketing

Michael Bloomberg, the founder of the Bloomberg company, famously said “in God we trust, everyone else bring data.” His invention was the Bloomberg terminal which is used by virtually every professional in the finance industry. His mission was clear: empower finance professionals with data to enable better decision making. The Bloomberg terminal became the gold standard with near 100% adoption by finance professionals who view its data as essential.

Retailers have been operating at the opposite end of the data empowerment spectrum. Most brands have sparse data about their customers, and they use low fidelity targeting data for acquisition. The net result is a leaky customer bucket trying to be refilled using expensive and ineffective targeting data. This is about to change. Tomorrow’s successful retailer will have more data experts than merchandisers. They’ll be using a new type of insights data, let’s call it Insights 2.0, to better connect with customers. It will have a dramatic positive effect on retention and acquisition, and it’ll help brands level the playing field against the data rich mega-brand competitors.

Insights 2.0: Two Major Innovations

First, improved enrichment data on current customers will become far more comprehensive, with pre-computed data science already embedded in the data. How comprehensive? Rather than 5 or 10 columns of demographics data on your customers, you’ll now have 1,000 to 2,000 columns of shopper profile data on each customer. Imagine knowing the propensity score for every brand, for every customer, in every category. The data will also reveal the consumer’s favorite categories, the price ranges he or she chooses in categories ranging from jeans to running shoes, the gifts the customer buys for people in the household, and the on-sale categories and prices that trigger a purchase.

If this large pool of data sounds overwhelming, your anxieties will be allayed when you learn the data is available as an off-the-shelf online service. In this way, you can access the data using your web browser with no added burden for your already-overworked IT department. If you want insights about a customer, or you want to create a new segment for your email program, the solution will be available in your web browser.

Second, Insights data on your best acquisition targets will be equally revolutionary in retail data. The ad-tech ecosystem, which is built around DSP’s and online data stores, like LiveRamp, were designed to sell more media advertising rather than for you to sell more merchandise. Ad agencies make more money, via commissions from the media, when brands place more ads. Oddly, the agency’s incentives are often at odds with the brand. The agency wants to sell more advertising, and you want to sell more merchandise.

Brands now have the ability to shift the balance of control. The new insights data on acquisition prospects provides you with comprehensive profiles of each consumer you should target for acquisition. Imagine having 1,000 – 2,000 columns of data on both your existing customers and the same data on your best prospects. PreciseTarget has already quantitatively scored every consumer for every brand. The company used machine-learning to analyze over 5 billion SKU-level first party transactions, provided by brands, to learn the tastes of each individual consumer. The company has already scored consumers on your product assortment. This will enable you to narrow your acquisition efforts to those customers with the highest probability of conversion.

Data Enrichment Enabled by a New Privacy Strategy

This new generation of Insights data, covering both your existing customer and your best acquisition targets, is designed and built on a CCPA compliant foundation. A key construct of CCPA is a requirement to create operational separation between the PII data you possess about consumers and the pseudonymized identity you use for marketing. PreciseTarget has taken this one step further by using a trusted intermediary to create an even more rigid level of operational separation.  

The identities of all the consumers in its system are pseudonymized per the CCPA guidelines. While PreciseTarget isn’t capable of identifying the real consumers, given its database is filled with pseudonymized identities, it’s trusted match partner, Neustar, is capable of matching the data to the truthful consumer PII. This process enables you to acquire rich profiles on your customers and prospects, without PreciseTarget being able to identify your customers. 

Tomorrow’s retail environment will be based on a foundation of high-quality data. Our mission is to level the playing field as you enter the next chapter of retail.