Contrary to popular opinion, paid media campaign outcomes are not defined by data. Data, which is easily captured and anonymised, speaks to our physicality – not to the nuanced social aspects of humanity or human behaviour. The origin of data is human engagement and action which means paid media campaign outcomes are defined by humans. Askia Underwood of Miroma Project Factory explores.
Humans with specific intentions and motivations. Easy enough, right? Not at all.
We’re approaching 6.65 billion global smartphone users. This represents 83.72 percent of the world’s population. As such data accrual is increasing every day. In other words, the process of driving traffic to a website, capturing, then capitalising on data has evolved. This means marketers have to be deliberate and more than ‘data-driven’. Here’s why: how your brand acquires, interprets, pairs and leverages user data over time has a major impact on your ad performance and business outcome achievement.
We know this because marketing teams have access to more data than ever before. However, some are still struggling to understand how to leverage what they know about their customers. This is necessary to accelerate customer acquisition and improve retention.
Great decisions are founded in data and insights. It determines how your team pairs data and digital product technology to tell your brand story. It informs paid media strategy and audience segmentation matters. Data and insights help to understand where your digital product development studio steps in centre stage.
Future-proofing paid media outcomes
A major issue around data and its use is ‘data’ can be informative to anything strategically – business, media or creative. What marketers and data analysts need is the ability to close any gaps in their paid media campaign budget and improve return on ad spend. This involves moving and interpreting data between disparate internal and external systems quickly and efficiently. In this case, reflective of most cases, marketers need to fully connect their digital ecosystems.
What digital ecosystems do that makes them pivotal to future-proofing paid media campaign outcomes is simple – digital ecosystems remove obstacles from the customer journey. When integrated, digital ecosystems allow advertisers to focus on delivering value to consumers by optimising data and workflows from different internal departments, tools, systems, as well as customers and external stakeholders.
For digital ecosystems to thrive, your marketing department must foster collaboration between your developers, designers and strategists from the start. In the race to establish an online web presence to drive sales from e-commerce (without spending six-figures on web development), marketers forgot to plan for the future of digital – transformation. A crucial misstep.
To solve this, CMOs will need to take a step back to gain a clear understanding of how their digital products work together and shift their direct-to-consumer thinking to a future-focused ‘designed-to-connect’ mindset.
The world we live in today is not the world we lived in pre-pandemic. Sixty-nine percent of consumers want companies to translate the products and services they’ve enjoyed all along into new formats (namely, digital versions of in-person experiences) and with 88 percent of consumers expecting for companies to accelerate digital initiatives due to COVID-19 design matters more than ever. Consumers expect a frictionless, impactful experience with any brand and companies are now challenged to meet these new customer needs and expectations.
This could mean a number of things – an original animation of the person’s name, a slick welcome from an AI powered text reader, an interaction that draws them into an environment and delivers the awe of innovation, with clean design and clever participation touchpoints, and most important rooted in user input and designed to be indicative of their purchase intent. These highly personalised customer experiences, when offered to millions of individual customers are difficult for competitors to imitate.
For advertisers with e-commerce websites and apps, it is extremely important your content and ad campaigns deliver a consistently seamless experience across all platforms. According to Harvard Business Review’s 2021 Analytic Services Study of 680 executives on customer service, nearly three-quarters of business leaders (73 percent) said that delivering a relevant and reliable customer experience is critical to their company’s overall business performance today, and 93 percent agreed that it would take at least two years to accomplish this.
Thankfully, we are finally in a place where intelligence, data, technology and automation can deliver personalised experiences to every connected consumer.
Personalisation is the act of tailoring experiences and communications to information you learn about your prospects and customers, and how your digital product development studio helps improve a user’s perception of their value to your brand. And while it is impossible to solve for every human idiosyncrasy, marketers can control whether or not their customers feel seen and if their customers feel a sense of control in their experience with a brand. This is accomplished with Customer Experience (CX) Design.
Customer Experience (CX) is the design process your design team will follow to optimise customer experiences at all touchpoints before, during and after conversion. CX Design fuels and ignites [human] customer-centred strategy at each stage along the purchase path. When CX is well-defined, not only is content retention improved, conversion from the content significantly improves as well. To identify points of hesitancy and friction along the purchase path, I recommend allocating a portion of your paid digital budget to an audit of your CX prior to any paid media campaign launch.
Essential to growth
Digital product development studios provide immense value to marketing and product teams by providing actionable insights and perspectives key to decreasing the risk of failure, allowing the business to innovate to its core end user.
This process describes the process of developing a minimum valuable product (MVP), a product with enough features to attract early-adopter customers and validate a product idea early in the product development cycle. By taking the MVP to market and gathering user research, MVPs deliver product teams with feedback they can use to inform iterations for improving usability and driving unprecedented engagement.
Unlike other digital studios and agencies, digital product development studios have cross-functional teams of experts who align and collaborate to build the best digital product for the desired business outcome (revenue growth). Many teams consist of Front and Back end developers, UX and UI Designers, Strategists and some employ highly-skilled Creative Technologists, Data Scientists and Human Behaviour Specialists.
Their initial research and discovery phase includes their immersion into your brand, products and customers, including an audit of your competitors, which allows the team to define areas of hesitation and friction, and identify gaps in interoperability. Everything you need to spend your paid media budget intelligently.
Intelligent ad spending (reimagining the sales funnel)
Marketing has become more important to a brand’s success than ever and as ad rates across all channels continue to increase, digital marketers and strategists have to look at the parallels and intersections defined by users before any decision is made around channel, budget and in most cases, audience.
With 71 percent of consumers reporting using multiple channels to start and complete a transaction, consumer’s online purchase habits have evolved. The elusive digital-first consumer moves on and off the purchase path multiple times, entering and re-entering from multiple channels, making the sales funnel concept less like a cone in its shape at all.
I challenge you to reimagine this decades old achievement cone as a straight line or continuum of intention. Next, translate your first-party data into user personas and contextually relevant audience segments. By mapping user personas and customer journeys to campaign data, your digital product development studio can identify your brand’s unique spectrum of purchase opportunity based on highest and lowest purchase intent (low intent purchasers to the left, high intent purchasers and customers to the right).
Seeing customer intent across a number line allows you to draw straighter lines to attribution and optimise customer/user journey to inform your ad campaigns before they launch – allowing your media spend to work smarter and more-efficiently towards your business outcomes.
In a world full of digital disruption and rapidly evolving processes for customer acquisition, seek help from a digital product development studio which offers boost capacity for faster innovation, ad campaign solvency and brand survivability.