Analytics, Blog, Digital Marketing, UX / CX

5 Foundational Elements to Audience Building II

In part 2 of this 2-part series on 5 Foundational Elements to Audience Building, I’ll be covering the 3 remaining elements: Data Integration, Identifying Conversion Points, and Understanding the Data’s Value. If you are first reading this post, you can read the first part of the series by clicking:
5 Foundational Elements to Audience Building (Part 1 of 2).

As noted in the first part of the series where I covered Trusting Your Data and Data Governance, teams can be quickly overwhelmed without key elements being in place when they start down the path of customer experience management and audience building.

Lets take a look at the remaining three elements.

Data Integration

Regardless of the tool, planning for data integration is a key element to creating robust audiences that engage across marketing technology platforms.  From email systems, video, and content management systems to account based management, social media engagement data and propensity models, these are all sources of data that can be combined with website and/or mobile data to create a clearer picture of your visitors, and customers.

data integrations

Having a full picture of engagement and touch points through out the client journey is key to managing the customer experience. Each of the touch points is potentially another data integration point.  Unfortunately, there’s not one system can collect all that data at 1 exact point in time, that’s why planning for data integration is imperative to building usable audiences. 

The planning takes on two aspects:

  • HOW:  From a technology standpoint, how is the data going to integrate and into which tools will data integrate with. 
  • WHEN:  How often does the data need to be integrated with other systems.

Mapping out your data integrations will empower your teams to have a more robust view of the client’s journey as they move through various engagement points within your acquisition or marketing funnels.

Identifying Conversion Points

Conversions are most frequently tied to what happens during a shopping cart, but shopping cart transactions are not all sales based.  Many conversions do not even involve the sale of a product or service.  For certain industries, conversions take place in in other systems of record such as a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system. 

When defining the audiences you want to build, identifying your conversion points will help you understand how your audiences are engaging and converting through the entire process.  Think about what is it that you want your audiences to do.  Perhaps you want them engage on your website or mobile app by getting them to read your blog posts, or watch a series of videos, sign up for a newsletter or complete a survey.  Those are the easy conversion points to identify, but what about engagement across marketing technology systems and even platforms?

Take for example a customer journey that involves a customer who engages with a display ad, gets sent an email, website visits for research, going to a a physical brick and motor store, using mobile application while in the store and finally making a purchase at a point of sale (POS) system using a coupon within an application, text message or email?  In this scenario you have numerous conversion points and numerous systems that all have customer engagement data.  As this example demonstrates, only one or two (depending if you count the coupon as one) conversion points involved a financial transaction, but all of these engagements were a conversion point that could be used to move the customer/visitor though defined customer journeys.

Consider the following when identifying your conversion points:

  • How does the potential conversion point affect the customer’s journey?
  • Does the conversion point signify the customer’s interest or something else?
  • Does a combination of conversion points reflect new opportunities?
  • How many different platforms do your customers or visitors engage with you or your competition?
  • Are there similar or duplicate data points collected that define conversion activities in different platforms or systems?

Understanding the Data’s Value

When building audiences and working across different teams, platforms and marketing tools, it’s important to understand the value of your acquisitions, engagements and conversions to each stage of the defined customer experience or customer journey for each team.  While engagement with a particular piece of content might have a specific value to a sales team, it could have a totally different value to the content production and customer experience teams based on their criteria that define success.

Keep in mind the following when understanding the value of data to audience building:

  • Apply context to data, don’t just provide the data points
  • Consider that success for one team with a conversion point, might have a different value for another team
  • What story does the data help the teams tell?
  • What opportunities does the data show for creating new audiences with similar conversion points?

Understanding the value doesn’t mean prioritizing which data has a higher value.  When you understand the value of the data for each team, platform or tool, the knowledge empowers your analysts to produce reports in context to what the data points mean to each audience.  That empowerment leads to better identification of additional opportunities with current audiences, opportunities to build new audiences and knowing when an audience you’ve built just isn’t producing as expected. 

While audience building is as much of a science as it is an art, the key to building out successful audiences is knowing how to incorporate these 5 foundational elements.

Read the first part of this series here.

Li Evans
Liana “Li” Evans is a published digital marketing author, speaker, and multi-solutions architect, with over 18 years’ experience in the online marketing industry. She works with clients who have complicated mar-tech tool stacks that need integration, implementation, and optimization in order to help them deliver the best user experience to their visitors. Outside the office, Li enjoys writing, karaoke and spending time with her 2-year-old son.
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