2011 has been the year of data and it’s a trend that looks set to continue. The digital age has undoubtedly sparked a data tsunami. Waves of data crash into companies each and every day. To put this into context, Mashable estimates that it would require 57.5 billion 32 GB iPads to store all the 1.8 Zetabytes of data that will be produced this year. That’s an investment of $34.4 trillion, the equivalent of the US, Japanese, Chinese, German, French, Italian and UK GDPs combined.
Whilst marketers need only worry about a comparatively small percentage of that data, making sense of what they have is no easy task especially at a product level. Pinpointing the relevant data that will drive up the success of marketing campaigns can feel like mission impossible. Most organisations know that the data they are sitting on is potentially a pot of gold, but unless they can find a way to sort the wheat from the chaff it is, frankly, useless.
This is where an affiliate model can paint a unique picture for brands as it’s in the position of being able to capture information from across multiple touch points within the performance channel (mobile, search, email, reward…) in one data set. By creating visibility into the ebb and flow of product sales cycle, companies will be able to see if little black dresses are a seasonal item, which channels bring in the biggest holiday spend and where to push sale stock in order to get a larger share the consumer pound. These insights can be used to better understand how marketing processes should be engineered so that they can be optimised. For example, if a retailer knows that three publishers drive the most shoe-buying customers to its site and it has a surplus of stock on shoes, it can focus on creating bespoke arrangements to help sell off the excess.
Over time as companies better understand how customers come to their site, and via what partners, they can hone and refine their marketing strategy. It will also enable them to build a relationship with the customer based on their actual – rather than perceived – purchasing behaviour. By doing this, marketing strategies can be devised that actually resonate with customers and this in turn helps to capture the holy grail; lifetime spend.
This is all compelling stuff, but the question is of course how? Clearly companies don’t have the time to crunch through millions of lines of data. What they need is a centralised platform that can provide the bite-sized chunks of relevant insight that will have a tangible impact on their operations.
As companies move into mcommerce and their channels to market continue to diversify, so data will drive further innovations. Helping clients to make sense of their data is a real opportunity for networks to showcase their value. As transparency becomes ever more critical, those not on board with the data revolution may well be swept aside. As the say goes, you’ve got to be in it to win it.
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