How to Refine Campaigns With Real-Time Tracking and Analytics

Not long ago, marketers could only see their advertising data analytics after the campaign had ended, leading to a lot of wasted media spend. Today, real-time tracking gives advertisers a huge advantage. Not only can they see a campaign’s performance as it happens, but they can also draw conclusions and make immediate updates.

Perhaps one of the most significant benefits of real-time tracking is its ability to improve a company’s overall marketing ROI and cost efficiency. When you can shift and change tactics, budgets, and channels in response to patterns or problems, you have far more control and freedom over where your advertising money goes. Plus, you get better at learning when to shift budget away from or toward audiences based on the data you’re seeing.

But increased ROI isn’t the only reason to appreciate real-time tracking. Other benefits of real-time analytics include:

  • Quickly identifying when customers change their behaviors.
  • Testing and trying strategies or platforms right away without facing major risk or backlash.

To give you an example of how real-time tracking can work, consider Digilant’s very own case study using foot traffic analysis to optimize tactics used to drive visitors to different stores. The Digilant team implemented various marketing strategies including audio ads, banner ads, and a foot traffic study to aid a fast-casual restaurant looking to bring in more patrons.

The team was able to track in-store visits throughout the length of the campaign, which resulted in a large uptick in foot traffic. With real-time tracking, the restaurant was even able to determine the day and time it was busiest and optimize its marketing efforts to meet consumers’ needs more effectively.

Common Misconceptions About Marketing Analytics

Given all these positive outcomes, why aren’t all marketers embracing real-time tracking? Many still believe the myth that analytics is a time drain. Certainly, real-time tracking produces a lot of data. However, real-time tracking grows easier with the right tools, partners, and advisors. After some time, it becomes a habit, not a burden.

Another misconception about real-time tracking is that the data will only validate the marketing department’s expectations. This is highly unlikely because most companies don’t have all the answers prior to implementing advertising data analytics tools. Therefore, real-time tracking allows them to uncover untapped information that can lead to new campaigns, new channel testing, and new audience opportunities.

A final real-time misconception is that it’s too confusing to understand. To be sure, analytics isn’t a walk in the park. It takes proper investment and time to reap the benefits. Fortunately, having a solid analytics platform and user-friendly dashboards makes obtaining, validating, organizing, and implementing data far simpler.

Bringing Real-Time Tracking Into Your Marketing Department

If you’ve been searching for a way to refine your advertising and marketing initiatives, real-time advertising data analytics and tracking can be a true game changer. Below are four ways to make real-time tracking work in your favor.

1.Choose the right technology.

Finding the right technology is a necessity. Not all advertising data analytics platforms are created equal. You need to pick one that will support your specific business needs.

As you’re evaluating analytics tools, you’ll discover that many don’t give you the ability to update and track customer profiles and related data in real time. Additionally, some platforms make you wait too long to receive any pertinent insights or information. So be sure you’re getting accurate real-time tracking rather than near-real-time tracking. There’s a serious difference!

2. Strive to use your data to understand your audience.

Once you get your real-time tracking tool in place, you’ll begin to receive lots of data. It’s up to you to figure out how to put all that data to use. A prime suggestion is to use real-time data to complement your static data. Static data includes items like home addresses, preferences, and demographics. Real-time data lets you dive a little deeper and better understand customer habits and trends.

The more input you have regarding your customer base, the more tailored and customized you can make your ad campaign. For example, you might be launching a new product. With real-time advertising data analytics, you can see which audiences your campaign is resonating with. Then, you can invest more dollars toward similar audiences, which will move the needle of your advertising spend data in a welcome direction.

3. Leverage real-time tracking to adjust to buying patterns.

Nothing feels worse than finding out that a campaign flopped. Real-time analytics allows you to follow customers and react to changes they’re making in their buying behaviors. Rather than invest in touchpoints that aren’t impactful, you can get the most out of your marketing budget.

If you’re not sure how to make adjustments when you’re first relying on real-time tracking, talk with a trusted partner or advisor. It takes experience to know when and how to make changes that will make a difference in how leads are moving through your sales funnel. Be patient. Predictive analysis isn’t perfect, but it can help you make the most of opportunities.

4. Create personalized customer experiences based on incoming data.

Personalization is of growing importance to B2C and B2B customers. As a result, it’s a necessity for all brands. Real-time data systems deliver insights that you can use to improve your company’s customer personalization experience.

As you gather, organize, and implement real-time data from your campaigns, ask yourself how you can expand your personalization techniques. How can the data help you make content more timely, authentic, personal, and unique to individual users? Brainstorm solutions and try them out. Conducting A/B split tests in real time can net you instant feedback to inform your next moves.

Marketing in the 2020s has taken a turn for the better thanks to real-time tracking. Knowing your marketing and advertising campaigns helps you avoid blowing your budget or running down dead-end rabbit trails. You’ll gain more confidence and enjoy improved ROI, too.

Want to learn about Digilant’s real-time tracker for your business? Get in touch with our team today.

Considering the Power of Host-Read Podcast Ads

Consumers are increasingly utilizing digital audio, with about two-thirds of the U.S. population listening to digital audio at least once per week.  Consumers are tuning in to online platforms to stream music, listen to their favorite podcast, stay up to date on breaking news, and much more. These audiences can listen in almost any environment, whether they are at the gym, studying, at home, or even driving to work.

The rise in digital audio has opened a unique opportunity for advertisers. Consumers can be reached across various podcasts, music streaming platforms, and digital radio platforms. Now more than ever, consumers crave a more personalized experience, which is exactly what advertisers can offer with programmatic audio strategies. But is programmatic the only direction advertisers can follow? For podcasts in particular, placing pre-produced ads has been a tried-and-true strategy in the digital world. While host-read ads date back to traditional radio, they offer an added benefit of personalization to resonate with listeners, making this format valuable in your brand’s podcast advertising strategy. 

The Power of Podcast Ads

With over 2 million podcasts available, consumers have an endless supply of content to listen to. In the U.S, 57% of consumers listen to audio podcasts and this number has been on the rise over the last decade. But why are more and more people tuning in? There are a plethora of reasons, including learning about a new topic, expanding on their interests, finding inspiration/motivation, seeking entertainment, or simply to relax. These audiences are curious and passionate about the topics they are interested in, and they are often wanting to learn more. 

Advertisers have taken notice of rising podcast usage, for U.S. Podcast ad spending is expected to hit $1.74 billion in 2022, with 82% of marketers planning to continue investing the same amount or increase their investment in podcasts or other audio content. . Here are two of the most commonly used ad formats:

Pre-Produced vs Host Read Ads

Pre-Produced Ads

These ads are similar to traditional radio ads, however they are placed programmatically within the duration of a podcast rather than scheduled in advance. Pre-producedads are either host-read in advance using a script or are sponsor-produced. Advertisers opt for these ads in order to:

  • Lower production costs 
  • Further their reach 
  • Have more control over brand messaging. 

Host Read Ads

These ads are live-read by the host during the recording of a podcast. The ads then become a permanent component of the podcast episode and do not require a set script, but are rather spoken in the verbiage of the host. Host-read ads are effective in a number of ways, for they:

  • Appear more authentic to the listener
  • Don’t disrupt the flow of the podcast 
  • Lead to a higher brand recall than pre-produced. 

So which format is more effective? The simple answer is that both can be beneficial for your brand with the proper research and placement. However, because host-read ads are more expensive than pre-produced, landing a podcast with a host that resonates with your audience will give you the biggest return on your investment. 

The role of the host

In the case of host-read podcast advertisements, the host acts as a type of influencer that consumers listen to and trust. When consumers hear that their favorite podcast host is using a certain product or service, consumers have a higher recall of the ad and may be more inclined to purchase. Here are the benefits of using a host:

Benefits of Host Read Ads

1. Hosts are established in the influencer space. 

The host needs to have a familiarity with the audience space in order for the ad to be effective. The host is engrained in a genre or niche group of people that share similar interests and are curious to learn more about a topic. 

2. Ads become more personalized

Similar to influencers, podcast hosts are sharing their knowledge on a particular subject. Most podcast episodes can be described as conversational and form an intimate setting with the listener. Once the host speaks the ad, it can remain in the same tone as the episode itself. Although the advertiser provides the direction of the ad, the host gets to control the message and essentially be the spokesperson for your brand that is trusted by the listeners. 

3. Host-read ads drive consideration. 

Host-read ads have been found to have a higher emotional connection with listeners than a pre-produced ad. That being said, using a longer form, host-read ad to tell a story about the product/service would be beneficial to drive consideration of the brand. This allows advertisers to go upwards of 60 seconds for an ad instead of the standard 30 seconds. 

Getting started with host-read ads

It’s important to recognize the drawbacks when it comes to purchasing host-read ad space. Because there is limited inventory available, host-read ads often require a premium buy. Another drawback is a smaller reach in comparison to placing pre-produced ads. Lastly, you will have less control over your message as the host ultimately controls what is being said. Knowing these considerations, here are the steps in creating your host-read podcast advertising strategy:

1. Do a deep-dive on your audience

Because ad space is limited, it is crucial to understand exactly where your audience is and what they need. What do they value? What are they curious about? This will allow you to identify adequate targeting strategies to gain awareness and drive consideration for your brand. 

2. Find the right digital partner

When looking to purchase host-read ad space, you should pair with a capable partner that has access to several podcast networks . This allows you to choose different hosts across networks instead of having to do 1-off buys. With more access comes a higher chance of landing your preferred podcast and host.

3. Use timely messaging

Considering the shelf life of a host-read ad, it’s important to incorporate blended buys in your podcast advertising strategy. If you are producing a host-read ad for a promotion or discount, the ad will become dated if the consumer listens at a later date. By purchasing both types of ads, you are able to quickly switch out pre-produced, programmatic ads within certain podcasts while using host-read ads for a larger campaign push (i.e. holidays, sporting events, etc.). The timeliness of your host-read ad will allow the message to better resonate with consumers. 

Are you interested in learning more about adding Digilant’s digital audio solutions to your media mix to finish strong in 2022? Let’s talk. 

How Relevance and Customer Loyalty Create a Bulwark for Your Brand

The Pareto principle predicts that 20% of your current customer base will supply 80% of your future revenue. Maintaining close ties with your customer base is integral to your marketing strategy because it increases sales, reduces customer attrition, and creates better marketing experiences.

Prioritizing customer relationships is even more important in uncertain economic conditions. When brands face market turbulence, many look to budget cuts to prepare for upcoming challenges. In many cases, marketing and advertising are first on the chopping block. These drastic measures put those departments in a position to produce the same (or better) results and build a solid customer base, even in the face of shrinking budgets.

Companies that don’t prioritize building customer loyalty will inevitably lose those customers over time, forcing them to pay more to obtain new ones. Although it still takes investment, the lifetime ROI of an existing loyal customer is worth more than a one-off sale.

As companies look to build customer loyalty initiatives into their marketing efforts, they should consider seven main benefits of customer loyalty programs:

  • Reduced attrition: Acquiring a new customer costs six to seven times morethan retaining an existing customer.
  • Increased sales: Loyal customers buy more often and spend morethan new customers.
  • Positive word of mouth: Repeat customers are more likely to refer friends and family, which increases the number of customers for little to no additional cost.
  • More effective ad spend with better relationships:Brand familiarity makes it more likely that your ads will be well-received as genuine, helpful, and positive instead of annoying or unnecessary.
  • Strong brand identity: Keep a consistent tone in customer interactions to generate brand authenticity and a loyal following.
  • A better understanding of your sales funnel: You can create better customer experiences by investing in building your zero-party data and first-party data.
  • Turning negatives into positives: It only takes one bad experience for a customer to leave negative reviews online that affect your business. Building rapport with customers humanizes your brand and reduces the likelihood and impact of negative reviews.

Where Brands Go Wrong

All of this is easier said than done. Establishing a group of loyal customers does not happen overnight. It requires an investment in technology, time, money, adequate staffing, and other resources. A customer’s relationship with your brand will evolve as they interact more with it. These interactions must be tracked and measured to create strong, long-lasting relationships.

However, you can’t expect to throw together a customer loyalty strategy without proper consideration. Consumers are savvy and can tell the difference between brands with a genuine tone and businesses that are just hoping to make a quick buck.

Authenticity matters. Whatever you say about your brand from a marketing standpoint needs to mirror how consumers feel when they interact with it on social media, during the purchasing process, when speaking to a customer service agent, and when going to a physical store.

Ads that leverage zero-party data are excellent tools for building this parallel and creating a seamless omnichannel strategy. But what is zero-party data? And how can you successfully leverage it in your mission for customer loyalty?

What Is Zero-Party Data?

Zero-party data is data that customers proactively and intentionally share with a brand, eliminating any concerns about GDPR or CCPA compliance. Examples include:

  • Data shared within their account’s preferences.
  • Purchase intentions.
  • Personal context.
  • How they prefer to be recognized by a brand.

For example, when you confirm your age to enter an alcohol brand’s website, this voluntary data indicates whether you are a legally viable customer.

In today’s privacy-centric world, zero-party data is a great solution to support customer loyalty interactions. Customers allow brands to transparently and authentically access this information in exchange for a curated, personalized customer experience.

How to Get the Most Out of Data-Driven Customer Relationship Strategies

Using zero-party data enables you to fuel targeted and timely ads without coming across as invasive to your customers. Here are four ways to use zero-party data to improve customer relationships and boost loyalty:

1.Create personalized experiences.

Every touchpoint can create a personalized experience, from seeing a digital ad to attending an event or calling tech support. This data should be tracked, organized, and implemented promptly to create better customer experiences and ROI.

If a customer visited your website multiple times before filling out a quote request, you would want to send a personalized email about their quote and offer to answer any questions. Without this information, you might end up feeding them top-funnel experiences instead of working to drive them through the customer journey.

2. Ethically capture information.

Some brands stop learning about the customer after they finish their purchase. Communicating is better than staying silent and falling off the map completely, but it’s the personal, useful messages that keep customers engaged and coming back for more. Continue capturing customer data to ensure each touchpoint is relevant and timely.

When you continue thinking about customers after the point of purchase, you can more easily coax them back. Send a follow-up survey, ask for feedback, solicit suggestions, and keep learning about your customers to stay one step ahead of their needs to encourage multiple purchases and upsells.

3. Show appreciation.

Modern consumers are wary of how their data is obtained and stored, and they have countless options to spend their hard-earned money. Because of these pain points, brands must show appreciation to their loyal customers. Fortunately, reward and loyalty programs go a long way.

If your brand doesn’t have the means to create one, a referral program or simply sending a genuine “thank you” offering a discount on their next purchase is an excellent first step. This authentic action can even help your brand generate ROI in the long run.

4. Continue optimizing your strategy.

Your data collection paints a great picture of how your efforts are helping the brand’s bottom line. You need to justify the dollars spent on retaining customers, so consider tracking customer lifetime value, satisfaction scores, repeat purchases, yearly revenue, and purchases associated with promotions.

This information will showcase the program’s value while tracking the numbers to continue the learning and growing process for future customers.

Ready to Take the Next Step?

Marketers are facing pressure to perform better even with fewer resources. Balancing these pressures with growing consumer privacy concerns is a challenge. Add in the necessity to build customer loyalty, and marketers are faced with an uphill battle. Fortunately, data-driven omnichannel strategies can ensure your brand reaches the right people at the right time to keep them engaged. Consistent and relevant messaging can significantly improve how customers progress through your sales funnel.

If you’re interested in learning more about leveraging zero-party data or building customer loyalty-driven marketing campaigns, we’re eager to discuss our data-driven solutions. Contact us today to learn more.

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