In recent years, the number of data points available for marketers has exploded. Brands now have a plethora of online customer-facing touchpoints, with usage propelled by the pandemic. 

During this time, first-party data has really come to the fore. Driven partly by trends in direct-to-consumer and e-commerce and thus opening up a wealth of opportunities, marketers now have ready access to data from online, conversational and social commerce and so much more. The volume of harvest loops for data in marketing has also increased, creating more accurate recommendations and predictions, even with just first-party datasets. 

This new volume of data is definitely overwhelming for any marketer, and as such we’ve seen agencies and tech vendors move towards providing more effective and efficient data solutions to their customers. 

We’re in fact entering the next age of data in marketing. One propelled not just by marketing data, but of connected data silos across an organization. 

Data-driven marketing 2.0

The increased volume of online purchases means that marketers now have deeper insights into data around their customers, particularly through owned channels, from understanding site behavior to the product reaching the hands of customers and everything in between.

Owned commerce channels can provide a brand with invaluable insights into its customer’s purchasing behavior and what drives actual purchases, ultimately narrowing the gap between marketing and sales on both online and offline channels. These insights can then be used to inform creative and content production, channel strategies, sales promotion measures and product development and improvement. 

There are now also newer data silos that can be utilized, such as data around deliveries, which can often be the only physical customer touchpoint if a brand taps on online commerce. This can uncover facets such as highly accurate location data of customers (if it’s not already on a database) for more effective location-based channels, targeting and offers, and even returned orders for customer satisfaction and product quality.

This shift towards online commerce and fully online shopping experiences also give rise to the need for brands to provide some form of product reviews online, including easily findable reviews or product demos through video, and always-on reviews through a channel that most consumers are on - social media. In fact, a recent consumer study by Reprise on e-commerce behavior in APAC showed that social media is the top point of research for a majority of APAC shoppers, good reviews stand as the top motivator for purchase decisions, and the inability to touch and feel products before purchasing was the third-largest turn-off for shoppers. 

This leads me to my next point.

The rise of the creator economy

Influencers and content creators are monetizing in various new ways. Apart from influencer marketing campaigns and social media monetization, newer ways include subscriptions for exclusive content, creating their own brand and merchandise, expert classes, NFTs and more. 

This is centered around how influencers and content creators can galvanize their followers in making purchase decisions, and influencers who can do this successfully will also be able to naturally translate that into getting their followers to purchase from brands that they align with. 

With social commerce providing influencers with an additional commerce channel, and one that their followers are already on, deeper data around an influencer’s followers will become increasingly available. This can be utilized directly for influencer selection along with campaign strategies. 

Additionally, we’ll start to see greater data synergy between digital marketing and influencer marketing, with either providing the other for insights around strategies on targeting, activation and means. 

What’s next? 

Data will only become more available for marketers as the digital economy continues to grow and data silos across various business functions get increasingly connected. By stitching data across the organization, marketing inadvertently benefits from greater insights to inform more effective strategies and campaigns. 

But there’s also a whole other benefit that marketing can bring to the organization as a whole. Leveraging on marketing insights can also help a business optimize supply chains, operations, and resources. This creates a large harvest loop across the organization, where different functions can tap into this loop to drive more effective and efficient results. 

Otohiko Kozutsumi, Chief Commercial Officer and co-founder, AnyMind Group