In the past few years, the huge growth of digital products has caused a lot of change in every industry. Especially marketing has gone through a big digital change, and marketers have had to update and digitise their strategies to make them more data-driven.
While data has become an important tool for marketers trying to personalise CX, data privacy is becoming more and more important to both governments and businesses. This is why companies like Apple have stopped allowing third-party tracking. But there’s another way for companies to better understand the whole customer experience while still meeting privacy rules: First-party data on how people act. Once thought of as information that only product and engineering teams could use to plan their strategies, today’s top companies put product data at the centre of their marketing plans. Here are the reasons why that change is so important now.
The end of data from third parties
Marketers have used third-party data for a long time to help with everything from designing campaigns to retargeting to making decisions about how to market products. But in recent years, data privacy has become one of the most important things to think about when using third-party data.
Consumer privacy is important to both governments and businesses, which is why they are cracking down on groups that track users’ data across the internet. For example, in several European countries, it was found that Google Analytics didn’t follow EU GDPR rules. This is a big problem for marketers in the EU.
With the release of Google Analytics 4, Google tried to respond to changes in how people behave (GA4). But this new platform isn’t likely to fix some privacy problems that already exist, like how Google Signals works.
Google Signals, which is how Google Analytics finds out who anonymous visitors are and adds more information about them, is currently allowed under GDPR as long as certain rules are followed. If Google Analytics is any indication, though, this might change. If these decisions keep coming down, Google Analytics could lose some of its best features in the EU.
The increased focus on privacy issues is a reflection of how people feel, as many people today are reluctant to give their personal information to large corporations. But customers still expect B2B brands to give them the personalised experiences they’ve come to expect from B2C brands. So, how can marketers do this now that third party analytics are being phased out?
Making your product the main focus of your business
In B2B, it goes without saying that most of the buying process happens without the brand being involved. The pandemic has made this behaviour even worse. It’s not a good idea to count on prospects to get in touch with sales. Customers prefer to research or try out products online and only get in touch with sales when they are ready to buy.
This customer behaviour gives marketers a chance to start using product data to collect information about how their customers act, giving them a better understanding of the customer lifecycle as a whole. Product data tells us what content or features users are interested in within the product. This helps teams find key growth metrics like increases in subscriptions, retention, or revenue. All of this information can then be used to launch marketing campaigns and new features that are more proactive and tailored to each user.
The most successful marketers know that they need to switch from the old sales-driven model to a new product-driven model. Some marketers still base their strategies on vanity metrics, such as the number of website visits, downloads, and total users. Surface-level web analytics lack context, don’t make it clear what the goal is, and can’t guide action or learning. This makes it hard to figure out “why” people act the way they do. With first-party product analytics, companies can track and analyse how users interact with their products, and then they can build cohorts to make the customer experience more personal.
Personalization without putting more money into marketing
In today’s market, people in charge of marketing have to show that their investments have paid off. In the coming year, they won’t have the time to waste on failed campaigns. Marketing teams will need to be data-driven if they want to drive growth with few resources. To save money, marketers should try to get rid of tools that do the same thing and give priority to solutions that improve data quality and analysis. Instead of using one product to gather all of your data and another to analyse it, you can and should combine these functions to save money.
Data management is a big part of improving personalization, which can help your bottom line in the long run. But many businesses get what they need from a number of different places. For example, a business might use a customer data platform (CDP) to store their data, another platform to analyse it, and a third platform for testing and personalization. What’s wrong with this? When you move your data between different platforms, each step is a possible point of failure that could lead to differences in the data.
Start with the tools you use to create a culture of good data hygiene. This will make sure that all decisions are based on accurate, real-time data and that personalization efforts work better.
In the past few years, it has become more and more important for marketers to drive business growth. As long as the economy is unstable, all leaders, not just marketing leaders, will need to defend their investments and use data to help them make decisions. With behavioural data insights and strong data governance, it is possible to improve personalization without spending a lot of money on marketing or breaking privacy laws. The companies that win their markets will be the ones that can respond quickly to changing business conditions and grow in a way that is efficient and based on their products.