Nick Worth

Selligent’s Chief Marketing Officer, Nick Worth, delivers a strong case about why companies should consolidate in-house customer databases, and focus on real engagement instead of click-based metrics.


Today’s customers are hyper-connected and perpetually online. Using multiple screens and engaging with brands across all channels, today’s empowered consumers have increasing control over the way they interact with their favorite brands.

And when it comes to keeping up with these digitally savvy customers, direct marketers have done an exceptional job over the past decade. Direct marketers have installed and fine-tuned CRM software platforms to drive customer dialogues across retail, web, and email channels. We see it every day here at Selligent with our omnichannel, audience engagement platform, and it’s been an amazing evolution.

But here’s the problem — direct marketing’s next-door neighbor, the advertising department, has some serious catching up to do in order to streamline its data capture and analysis. Any effort to align data sets from direct marketing to advertising is like comparing apples to oranges, and it’s beginning to hurt the bottom line.


Marketing and advertising chasm

A Gaping Chasm Between Marketing and Advertising

When direct marketers talk about “success metrics,” the underlying data sets are worlds apart from those in advertising. That’s because a wide variety of data goes up and down the “advertising supply chain.” And it originates from various external sources such as agencies, programmatic platforms, and publishers.

The difficulty with external sources is that each player in the chain uses a murky, often unique definition of audience data, and has created a host of metrics that work for volume-based, media spend. Unfortunately, those metrics aren’t compatible with the quality and loyalty-driven metrics employed by direct marketers.

These differences in data, incentives, and metrics create a gaping chasm between marketers and advertisers. It also fragments the conversation into one led by direct marketers and another one led by advertisers. Ideally, marketers and advertisers would work together to create a more unified approach by connecting to the same data ecosystem.



Own audience

The Solution: Own Your Audience

Change is not easy. But the solution to closing the gap between marketing and advertising is actually quite simple. Marketers should feel free to disregard most of the “audience insights” from third party vendors, and leverage in-house systems to track customer data.

The focus on first-party, data-driven, audience management is showing great results. Initially, brand advertisers need to convince the company to work directly with a Digital Marketing Platform (DMP), or similar audience technology, rather than allowing the agency to manage the relationship.

By working with a DMP directly, brands such as Procter & Gamble are ensuring that they have control over their own audience data. What’s more, they are enabling the entire business to align across marketing and advertising, including new metrics and new agency incentives.



Same team

Playing on the Same Team

If a company’s advertising department keeps an audience database in-house, give the marketing technology teams access to it. By aligning the advertising and marketing teams, the first- and third-party data sets will supercharge the value of data to the business.

Catapulting the team’s efforts to the next level, the company can now more effectively track the audience data all the way from advertising to the website to checkout. Now, the company can transition away from separate metrics to shared success metrics, and provide a way to create   streamlined customer conversations.

Looking ahead, advertisers can use audience targeting to replace impression-based advertising, as it is currently losing relevance over more quality-oriented approaches. Advertisers and marketers can start playing on the same field, and drive true customer engagement that shifts seamlessly between devices and touch points.

Interested in learning more? Read another story by Nick Worth, where he talks about bringing marketers and buyers together on iMedia Connection’s digital marketing website.

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