Practical Tips

Optimization – focus on testing instead of a 360° customer view

Veröffentlicht am 15 September 2020 | von Maximilian Hermann

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Many companies fail because of the numerous efforts and hurdles involved in establishing a 360° customer view and using it for individualized digital dialogue marketing measures. Measures that are easier to implement often generate a far greater uplift in results. This is where testing stands out in particular. With the right technology, it is even possible to establish multivariate testing procedures with little data, which optimizes digital dialog marketing measures so precisely for small segments or even individual customers that one can speak of genuine individualized 1:1 communication.

For years now, marketing has promised to merge the diverse data obtained at digital touchpoints, such as tracking data, transaction data, etc., into a 360° customer view and to derive relevant 1:1 communication from this. So far, most companies have only been able to implement this promise to a limited extent, if at all. One reason for this is that such optimizations require a high manual effort as well as a comprehensive data view. Building a 360° customer view is therefore not a goal-oriented approach for most companies, at least if they only have limited resources. What should be done instead? Companies should focus on consistent optimization through testing. Here, higher uplifts are possible with less effort.

Typical steps to build a 360° customer view and use it for individual communication are:

  • Collect all available customer data at all digital touchpoints
  • Merge this data into a central single customer view
  • Analyze the customer profiles in order to learn the needs of each individual customer and find the right communication for them
  • Predict exactly when a customer will be interested in which offer and then create and play out an individual dialogue marketing measure, such as a newsletter

Each of these steps involves efforts and hurdles of an operational, technological and/or legal nature. Not to mention that the collection of large amounts of data (as well as the consent to use them) requires a lot of time, during which some data may become obsolete.

Results instead of comlexity

Building a 360° customer view and the individualized communication based on it can be a very effective measure. However, many companies are unable to cope with the associated costs, at least not under time, result and budget pressure. It is therefore advisable to plan marketing measures according to efficiency criteria. Which measures offer both a fast time-to-market and a high ROI? What quick wins can be achieved? Fast results with simple measures and the successive increase in complexity take precedence over monolithic large-scale projects that will only lead to success in the distant future.

Multivariate testing leads to better results

A simple but rarely consistently used optimization method is the structured testing of dialogue marketing measures. Marketers have various methods at their disposal. Even with simple A/B(/C/D/…) tests, which are used to determine the best variant of a measure, uplifts are already possible which, for example, exceed those of many individualized recommendation mechanisms. Once these simple test procedures have been implemented and are used consistently, the testing can be further expanded and the results can be improved successively. Multivariate testing procedures provide the best results. For example, the company RTL interactive was able to achieve a result uplift of 575 percent with the launch of a new TV portal through a multi-stage campaign with multivariate testing, and this without a 360° customer view and complex recommendation mechanisms.

The multivariate testing tests various elements of a dialogue marketing measure in various forms, e.g. five subject lines, three header graphics and two call-to-action buttons, in order to identify the form with the highest probability of success for each element. This can be done for the entire customer distribution list, but also separately for each segment, since different values usually work differently for different segments, or there is no best value for all.

The complexity of such procedures can be increased at will, theoretically up to individual tests for very granular small segments or even individual customers. From a certain number of test variants and segments, however, the complexity of multivariate tests also increases to a level that can no longer be handled manually and at some point even with „classic“ marketing automation. AI-supported procedures that enable companies to carry out tests of any complexity and thus enable ever greater optimization provide a remedy. Dialogue marketing measures can thus be individually adapted to individual customers even without a 360° view.

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