For many companies, customer acquisition and customer retention seem to exist in two separate vacuums. The advertising and lead gen functions happen on one side of the marketing house, while the customer relationship nurturing happens on the other.
Bringing the two together has long been recognized as a tremendous opportunity, but also a problem, especially across channels. With ads targeted based on cookies and devices, there’s been no reliable way to link new incoming clicks and leads to existing CRM data, until the lead actually converts. And thus, marketers have missed a valuable opportunity to learn about potential customers’ interests and intentions until they’ve officially made a purchase.
It’s even more complicated on social platforms and mobile apps. Lacking any authentic way to engage with potential leads, marketers’ only option is retargeting—continually hitting the same leads with ads until they (hopefully) convert. Only then can they begin monitoring and leveraging behavioral data to refine personalization with accurate relevancy.
The Data Disconnect
Historically, technology has been largely responsible for these silos. Digital AdTech, including programmatic, real-time bidding and direct buy has become an industry of its own, focused on bringing in new customers. Meanwhile, MarTech solutions like CRM and marketing automation platforms track customer data to a persona, allowing marketers to leverage known behavior and profile data to connect with customers already in the database.
Bringing AdTech and MarTech together would enable marketers to form a one-to-one relationship with customers at the very top of the funnel across every domain and nurture that relationship meaningfully throughout the buyers’ journey. Because customers’ expectations around personalization are extremely high, this would not only create a richer, more relevant experience for customers but also a better revenue opportunity for marketers. A win-win, right?
Tearing Down Silos
Until now, there’s been no viable way to connect the dots. Marketers know that AdTech breaks the ice and MarTech continues the conversation, but that transition point has been missing. The ability to send AdTech leads into the MarTech funnel before the point of purchase has been elusive, lacking a “connection” between the two platforms. The addition of multiple channels—namely social and mobile—have added to the siloed problem.
Now, a new approach is enabling MarTech to reach its goals at the scale of AdTech, delivering personalization for millions of audience members. And, you might be surprised to learn that it’s email powering the convergence.
How Email Drives Convergence
Once considered “old school,” email is experiencing a renaissance for its ability to serve as a unique unifying identifier, providing the missing link between lead data and CRM data. This capability, which enables the convergence of AdTech and MarTech is giving marketers a powerful new way to precisely personalize and target potential and existing customers based on known behavior.
Here’s why email works for convergence:
- It’s ubiquitous. Virtually every channel requires an email address for subscribers—including social and mobile apps. By connecting these channels, email allows marketers to tie behavioral data collected over time across multiple footprints to an individual. Technology can recognize the same individual on the web, on Instagram, on Facebook, etc. and tie these marketing experiences together into a cohesive personalization program.
- It’s tied to an actual person. Unlike a random user name, an email address belongs to a real human. This not only helps reduce paid impressions wasted on bot social accounts, but also overcomes the issue of multiple accounts for the same user. Even an Instagrammer with multiple accounts will likely use the same email address to register them. Email personalization lets marketers target that user accurately on every account.
- It’s more accurate than cookies and device targeting. The trouble with browser cookies and device targeting is that they’re often shared, and they can’t distinguish one user from another. It’s not unusual for multiple family members to use the same laptop or tablet, for example. But email addresses are very rarely shared. They’re unique to the individual, which makes targeting and personalization based on email much more accurate.
Why worry about convergence anyway?
Converging AdTech and MarTech makes for a better experience for both marketers and consumers. And, it’s necessary for keeping up with the demands of modern marketing. Modern audiences are technically savvy, demanding experiences that are more attention-grabbing and relevant. Therefore, publishers and other platforms are moving toward convergence, giving brand marketers enhanced capabilities for targeting and personalization.
By leveraging email as the unifying identifier, marketers can achieve better data centralization, smooth the acquisition-to-relationship-building transition to eliminate the disconnect between AdTech/MarTech platforms. And, it helps to eliminate the silos between channels by connecting them all through one attribute.
This singular identifier also provides a singular customer view, where marketers can track and better understand customer behavior, and thus provide a more cohesive, relevant experience across every channel.
Marketers also benefit from meaningful scalability—as leads come in (through AdTech), they can be instantly connected/funneled into the MarTech process to begin tracking and personalizing content and targeting immediately. At the same time, personalization becomes much more accurate, driving higher engagement and better customer satisfaction. This also lowers the cost of re-acquisition for lost customers because they don’t appear as new leads, but instead as returning customers.
With less friction in the process, measurement accuracy also improves. Companies can establish uniform KPIs and metrics to gauge success, which resonate with both marketing and sales to enable collaboration and a more cohesive effort, thus driving more revenue and overall business growth.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jeff serves as CEO of PowerInbox, an innovative technology company helping companies monetize their email newsletters through dynamic content. Before joining PowerInbox, Jeff served as President and CEO at Oversee.net, managing worldwide operations and building Oversee’s owned and operated portfolio of domain names into one of the world’s largest, establishing the company as the leader in Internet real estate. Under his leadership, the company diversified into lead generation, building several high growth and high margin businesses. Before that, Kupietzky served in leadership positions with X1 Technologies, Digital Insight (Intuit), Siebel Systems (Oracle), and Loudcloud/Opsware (Hewlett-Packard). Jeff began his career as a consultant for McKinsey & Co., developing business strategies for software, insurance and banking clients. A frequent speaker at Digital Media conferences, he has also been featured on CNN, CNBC, and in many news and business magazines. Jeff earned an MBA with high distinction from Harvard Business School and graduated Summa Cum Laude with B.A. in Economics from Columbia University.