Three Things Marketers Can Do to Accelerate Digital Transformation

“With consumers now spending significantly more time online, the notion of maximizing your brand’s digital presence has become a necessity. If you’re not reaching and engaging potential customers across a purchase journey that’s increasingly online, you can be sure another brand is.”

– Mata Martinez, Think with Google

Google teamed up with Boston Consulting Group to look at advertising transformation in the context of the pandemic. Along with They identified three things marketers can do to accelerate transformation and prepare their businesses for what’s next:

Let First-Party Data be Your Guide

Show up empathetically for your customers. People everywhere are reevaluating the relationships they have with brands. They’re looking for the brands that have something meaningful to say. Showing up for consumers requires you to get close to your first-party data and put user privacy at the heart of it.

Look at your first-party data with fresh eyes. What does the data say about your customers’ deeper motivations? How can you bring extra value to their lives? Knowing how many people visited your website or your average order value won’t give you this level of understanding.

To gain more powerful insights, use machine learning to automatically create customer segments, based on their lifetime value with the brand. This helps anticipate customers’ future actions to create more personalized websites and promotional messages, which ultimately helps increase engagement and return on ad spend.

Connect Your Data to Unlock Audience Insights and Improve ROI

Connecting data from all the various places it may exist within your organization in an anonymized, aggregated way gives you a more complete picture of your audience and the customer journey. An important first step toward connected data is to consider all the online and offline databases you have. You may have offline loyalty programs you’ve invested in for years and/or supply chain data that impacts which inventory is available on shelves. If this information isn’t directly connected to your marketing initiatives or your online data and digital media solutions, it isn’t useful to you.

Join your data to quickly adapt. Use integrated technologies that bring all your data together to assess tradeoffs and optimize in near-real time. Measure the success of your digital advertising against in-home consumption and take those lessons and incorporate them into your strategy moving forward.

Prioritize Strategic Partnerships

Making better use of data may require working with folks outside of your organization who have specialized skills. Do your websites have multiple analytics platforms with dozens of marketing tags? Can you consolidate everything into a single platform? A strategic partner could help you cut licensing costs and limit waste.

Lean into media agencies to help you identify trusted data and technology partners. These partnerships have become increasingly complex in the past few years, as many regions and countries have adopted their own privacy regulations. Media agencies stay on top of this evolving landscape and help ensure that brands know what’s legally sound across different markets, as well as what consumers in those markets are most comfortable with. This is critical knowledge that provides a safe environment for clients to get the most out of their data.

Martinez, Marta with Babine, Jayne; Loban, Michael; Paolozzi, Vin; Walker, Sarah. How 4 experts are accelerating digital marketing transformation. Think with Google. October 2020.