Marketers Must Know Consumers Well Beyond the Pixel

Marketers Must Know Consumers Well Beyond the Pixel

June 19, 2020

Xaxis Senior Vice President APAC Deepika Nikhilender says for marketers to most effectively derive value from their media spend, it is imperative to bridge the gap between online and offline data to obtain a 360-degree view of their consumers.

By Deepika Nikhilender

It’s no question that data is growing at an unprecedented pace, and the increasing amount of consumer data in particular is fundamentally changing how brands operate in the region.

Despite the imminent cookieless future, advancements in contextual targeting, increasing adoption of consented consumer data such as Consumer Data Platforms and Consumer Panels, and growth in first party data gives advertisers a great view of their consumers in the online environment. Companies are also becoming more equipped with technologies that can provide marketers with consumer data in the offline environment, such as geofencing, beacons and point-of-sale (POS) systems.

However, while brands have ever increasing rich data coming from both the online and offline lives of consumers, this data currently sits in silos with no bridge to synergize them. This siloed data results in siloed media planning for online and offline campaigns, with no influence coming from one another’s data.

Econsultancy found that only 23 percent of marketers in Southeast Asia believe their current solutions are excellent at providing data integration and a unified view across all channels.

Omnichannel marketers can’t afford such disunity in their understanding of the consumer. This is especially true with the effects of the pandemic, where the already complex path to purchase has evolved even further, setting the scene for unpredictable long-term changes in consumer behavior that we must be prepared to address.

For advertisers to remain accountable and most effectively drive business outcomes with their media spend, it is imperative to bridge the gap between online and offline data to gain access to a 360-degree view of the consumer across the entire journey.

 Silo-Based Media Planning and The Two-Dimensional Consumer

Media spend for both online and select offline channels is still going strong across Asia Pacific. The online share of ad spend is anticipated to grow +550% by 2023, and while less spend is going to traditional offline media channels as a whole, these traditional channels still continue to make up a substantial portion of advertising budgets. Out-Of-Home in particular is still going strong in the region, having grown +19% in 2019.

In planning for these campaigns, brands are of course using the aforementioned rich data for both their online and offline consumers to inform their segmentation and targeting. The issue is that both of these data sets live in isolation from one another, and media planning teams are unable to use online data to influence offline media planning and measurement, and vice versa.

The lack of a bridge results in media planning that is divorced from the complex reality of how consumers behave across channels. Unlike our current access to online and offline data, consumers aren’t two-dimensional. They don’t live in online and offline siloes, and the purchase journey is no longer a predictable funnel.

Most marketers would be familiar with the omnichannel concepts of webrooming (where consumers gather information about the product online then make the purchase offline) and showrooming (where consumers physically visit the store to get a firsthand look and feel of the product before eventually making the purchase online), but even these concepts are oversimplified representations of how dynamic the purchase journey has become. In reality, consumers are in a constant flux between online and offline touchpoints as they make their way through not a funnel, but a maze of actions and interactions with the brand on the path to purchase.

Understanding this maze and getting a single view of the consumer as they seamlessly transition between online and offline touchpoints is critical, especially at Xaxis, where driving outcomes for our clients is the name of the game.

Driving Outcomes by Bridging Online & Offline Data

The Solutions and Innovation Strategy Team at Xaxis developed Beyond, a solution to bridge the gap between siloed consumer data to help advertisers more effectively drive business outcomes. Beyond leveraging proprietary data management platform insights, which has built a database of online portrait data by combining advertiser data, such as customer behaviors on the brand’s website and mobile app, with third party browsing-behavior-based data to provide a more complete picture of how individuals behave online. Beyond then takes it a step further by unifying the rich portrait data available on insights with offline movement data to bridge the gap and uncover the true behavior of consumers across both online and offline actions.

This bridge is being used to drive a variety of outcomes across multiple sectors:

Cinemas and entertainment companies use insights from actual movie attendees to inform their online campaigns, rather than general interest targeting based on a movie’s target audience, and thus reach a more relevant audience and potentially driving more footfall to cinemas.

Retailers learn the most frequented locations of their customers to inform Out-of-Home (OOH) and Digital Out-of-Home (DOOH) planning and boost awareness where it most counts.

Auto manufacturers gain visibility into the other showrooms their customers visit to get a better understanding of their true competitors and run winning campaigns to more aggressively drive competitor audiences to their test drive pages; and

Fast food chains create audience personas of visitors to physical store locations based on their browsing and movement behaviors, then serve them dynamic ads of the most relevant deals to boost online conversion.

Whether a brand hopes to drive online conversion or track offline footfall, marketers need to be equipped with a much deeper understanding of their consumers across channels to enrich their media planning strategies.

Now is the time for marketers to break down their data silos, go beyond the pixel, and meet know their consumer.

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