The need to take a fresh look at consumer data

COVID really means rethinking customer data and journeys from the basics up.

Our understanding of data-driven marketing and advertising has changed in the last six months, evolving into a real reflection of what is occurring with consumers in the changing economic, health and social environment. 

Major life events. Previously, data collection often focused on major life events like marriage, birth of a child or purchase of a new house or vehicle. It’s just not clear right now that those familiar lifestyle patterns will necessarily be reproduced in the new society being created before our eyes. These simple, traditional milestones may need to be replaced with more in-depth data collection aimed at better understanding consumers’ current circumstances before reaching out to them.

That’s the message from David Zapletal, CIO for Digital Remedy, a data-powered technology and service provider for marketers, which recently introduced the AdReady+ platform. “Large faceless datasets really reflect an era that has passed,” said Zapletal. “COVID accelerated this move away from general data, and long drawn out processes, to more specific consumer data in an expedited process.” 

The new rules of data. Large scale data is readily available to most brands, but simplifying and developing specificity within datasets has been a challenge. According to Patrick Johnson, CEO of Hybrid Theory, a data-driven advertising platform, the complex world of consumer data can be made simpler by following some new rules:  

  • Analyze current consumer datasets to judge relevancy for current economic, political and social climates;
  • Separate any new data that has been retrieved in campaigns since the onset of COVID as the most relevant data;
  • Re-trace all consumer journey paths via data to make sure they are relevant to the current market; and
  • Verify all current data to ensure validity.

“We are asking each one of our clients what challenges they are seeing from collecting data, then modifying campaigns accordingly,” said Johnson. “Fresh data captured since the COVID outbreak is so much more relevant. Before we were using data to complete a person, now the right kind of data collection can help us build a picture of a new population right before our eyes.”

Why we care. Six months, the realization is growing that the world has changed, and among everything else that’s in a state of flux, traditional business assumptions are changing too. Crude demographics were already on the way out, but the need for understanding where consumers are in their lives, and the help they need, gets increasingly urgent. 

This story first appeared on MarTech Today.


About The Author

Rodric J. Bradford is the Editor of MarTech Today and has worked in the marketing technology industry as both a journalist and corporate project manager. Prior to joining MarTech Today Bradford served as Convention and Technology Beat Reporter for the Las Vegas Review-Journal’s Business Press publication and worked as Technology Reporter for Global Gaming Business, the world’s largest casino publication. In the corporate world Bradford has served as Technology Project Manager for CNA, Cigna, General Dynamics and Philip Morris. Bradford is an alumnus of the University of Missouri-Columbia.

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