Align MarTech and AdTech to Avoid Over-Targeting and Supercharge Personalization

TJ Prebil | February 25, 2020

Disconnected AdTech and MarTech systems often have differing goals and run list-based campaigns for audiences that are defined at a set moment in time. From the consumer’s perspective, such an approach has the potential to introduce friction into the overall customer experience by creating a splintered experience.

Today’s dynamic customer journeys deserve a more cohesive, customer-centric approach. Providing the open web as a channel available to a direct marketer is an enormous opportunity in the quest to provide every customer with a hyper-personalized experience throughout an omnichannel customer journey.

The always-on, continuously connected consumer expects this type of an experience with a brand – across all digital and physical channels. In the Harris Poll survey commissioned by Redpoint, 43 percent of consumers define one aspect of personalization as a brand knowing that they’re the same customer across all touchpoints. Notably, consumers in the survey do not make a distinction between addressable and un-addressable channels.

Marketers know that meeting the expectation for personalization seamlessly across all channels that span known and unknown customer journeys is hard to do. According to the CMO Council report on data-driven customer strategies, just 7 percent of marketers say that they’re able to deliver a real-time, data-driven engagement across digital and physical touchpoints. Fragmented and disconnected systems are cited as a chief roadblock.

The traditional separation of AdTech and MarTech stacks is responsible for some of the disconnect, clouding direct marketers and advertisers from having a unified, real-time view of the customer across both ecosystems. Common personalization failures that result include serving an existing customer a digital ad for a recently purchased product, engaging with the customer in the wrong channel, or sending too few or too many touches.

Optimal Channel, Optimal Outcome

A platform that runs multi-touch ad campaigns on the same rules-based platform that manages direct, PII-based communication equips marketers to manage and personalize a customer journey across all channels – in known and unknown environments – from a single point of control.

Marketers define an audience once, and the campaign runs according to rules that determine which audience segment receives a touch and when – whether that touch is PII-based (email, direct mail) or targeted to an unknown record (programmatic ad). Keeping unknown records in a separate, anonymous database that strips a record of PII ensures privacy compliance, but the single campaign flow allows for that audience – prospects, for example – to be stratified in the rules-based campaign along with lapsed or existing customers.

In practice, one use case could be to develop a canvas on a single interface with the intent to send a rich offer to eligible customers (purchase last 60 days, or lapsed within 90 days, or web visit last 30 days, etc.). Preset rules and thresholds suppress more active existing customers or other audience segments, and a customer’s record is updated according with behaviors in the campaign flow.

Accomplishing this on a single platform ensures that marketers are engaging with an audience in the optimal channel to solicit the best outcome. It eliminates having to define an audience multiple times and run separate, list-based campaigns using two or more systems that are typically not connected. A list-based restriction risks introducing friction into a customer journey by not being in synch with the customer. For instance, pulling a list of lapsed customers to receive a programmatic ad but not being ready with the rich offer when a lapsed customer self-identifies on the website.

Personalization Across the Board

In the Harris Poll referenced above, 37 percent of customers say they will avoid doing business with a brand that fails to offer personalization. By bringing the MarTech and AdTech ecosystems together in a single campaign flow, the Redpoint platform enables unique personalization opportunities.

In addition to being able to, say, offer tennis content to a tennis player – as one example of basic personalization – the platform’s single campaign flow enables more nuanced personalization by automating messaging in the optimal channel. With rules set to trigger an action based on a customer’s or prospect’s behavior within the campaign, automated machine learning models optimize a journey in concert with both the customer’s pace and with how the customer is responding – the real-time actions they’re taking.

Drilling down, this fully supports suppression as a personalization method – more than channel and content optimization, it’s optimization characterized by what a target customer or prospect doesn’t see. Will a display ad drive an intended result if another communication already triggered an action? In a Forrester “Future of Omnichannel” report, nearly 100,000 internet users who used an ad blocker in the past 30 days were asked their reasons for doing so. Not surprisingly, “too many ads” was the top reason cited (48 percent), quickly followed by “ads are annoying or irrelevant” (47 percent), and “ads are too intrusive” (44 percent).

Consumers expect better. With the open web as a channel available to direct marketers, seamless personalization in pitch perfect sequence with an omnichannel customer journey is possible. Sometimes less is indeed more, and aligning the AdTech and MarTech stacks in pursuit of a common goal takes into account frequency as an underrated and underutilized personalization tactic.

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TJ Prebil
TJ Prebil

TJ Prebil is the Senior Director of Product Marketing at Redpoint. He and his team oversee messaging and positioning tasks related to Redpoint's customer optimization and engagement solutions. Connect with TJ on LinkedIn https://linkedin.com/in/tjprebil and Twitter https://twitter.com/tjprebil.