According to surveys, 87% of consumers would refuse to trade with a company if they were concerned about the security of their data. At the same time, nearly two-thirds (63%) of consumers still expect personalization as a “service standard.”
Data is clearly a must to tailor your target audience. But how do you ensure that you use data in an ethically sound manner?
After two lost seasons, Festival Best Kept Secret (BKS) wanted to bring the brand to a larger and diverse audience. In collaboration with our agency, BKS has mapped how it can make data work for itself. The goal: to get to know existing and new target groups better and approach them in a more personal way. For BKS, this period of low visibility and a vague proposal was the time to reinvent itself. Because how do you stay in touch with your target audience if, due to the pandemic, you were unable to host live events for almost two years?
Best Kept Secret is a medium-sized three-day festival in the Netherlands with more than just a passion for music. It connects people and likes to explore the boundaries of food, art and culture.
BKS asked us to translate the new festival concept into an online experience. We recommended making data an integral part of the strategy to create brand relevance. We implemented the concept ‘Culture through the lens of music, music through the lens of culturethrough digital. The result is a year-round platform where BKS is relevant in music and culture all year round with the festival as the highlight.
For each client, we first look at the tools they already use. We often see that there are three or even more computer systems in use that do not connect at all. Other times, data is fragmented between different departments. Also at BKS, ticket, marketing and advertising data lived in separate silos, which made it impossible to get a 360-degree overview of the customer. We break through these silos by gathering all the data in one central place. This ensures that all systems that has data about a specific customeractually related. Suppose someone buys a ticket for your festival, then you will no longer bother the visitor with advertisements about ticket sales. You may want to inform him or her about the lineup, the schedule or an interview with one of his favorite artists. That way, you can communicate more purposefully and relevantly.
#Insight 1 – Data is the key. Also for smaller organizations
Data insight is not only important for large companies or multinational companies. Especially for smaller organizations, a central data image is crucial for growth. It helps you break through faster, address target audiences in a more relevant and personal way, and optimize internal processes. Based on wishes and needs, we look together for the right solution, within the budget. For example, in addition to the larger customer data platforms (CDPs), there are also affordable opportunities for small and medium-sized organizations – with the same result.
Together with BKS, we map four target groups and centralize all data directly in a CDP. In this way, we are slowly but surely moving away from a one size fits all approach and BKS is learning more and more about its target group with the new platform. At the same time, the organization provides the audience with interesting content and festival info.
#Insight 2 – It’s never too early to start centralizing data
Data is a long-term strategy
It is important to put data at the center of designing a new website from scratch. In this way, we can optimally gather the entire infrastructure and all data in one place. Building a data profile takes time. By mapping out who you want to reach in time, data helps you get to know your target audience better. How does someone behave across all channels? What are individual interests? What is the buying behavior? And how does anyone behave across all channels? Once you know this, you can better serve everyone in the long run.
Start small to quickly make an impact
Start small instead of counting everything down to the smallest detail. By first starting with quick gains, you will quickly see results and you can continue to optimize and expand based on the learnings. Best Kept Secret already had some maturity in the organization. This is useful because optimal use and deployment of a CDP takes time.
In an era without cookies, it is becoming increasingly important to collect first-hand data. So-called first-party data is the data about customers and visitors to your site that you collect and combine yourself. This varies from name and address data to data on online behavior collected on the basis of cookies.
A customer data platform helps your company make your first-party data actionable, because that way, the right message arrives at the right time. But this also takes time. You must first get to know the target audience in order to use data effectively.
A customer data platform ensures that you attract first-party data to you. We only want to use data that people have entered themselves. After all, data collection is a sensitive ethical issue. Cultural institutions in particular are playing with AVG and the Privacy Act. Other, more commercial organizations are more advanced in this regard. It is important that you look closely at the industry and the end user. We take into account the GDPR and the Privacy Act, in the choice of tools and when it comes to the question of where the data is stored.
Insight # 3: Brand Ethics: How do you stay close to yourself as a brand while automating content or communication?
When automating marketing and internal processes, it is crucial to keep your brand and your target audience in mind at all times. How do we as a brand stay close to our vision and values? How, when and where does the target group want to be approached? And how do we ensure that tunnel vision does not occur? Best Kept Secret has the vision of exploring the boundaries of music throughout the year as a year-round platform. The goal is therefore not only to sell festival tickets, but also to connect different target groups through content. Establish an ethical framework in advance so that everyone in your organization uses data responsibly and your brand is not harmed.
Insight # 4: How to use data to reach and convert new audiences more efficiently
Soft conversion can help give your visitors a targeted introduction to your brand in the consideration phase. For Best Kept Secret, we make an onboarding funnel, where we gradually introduce new members to the brand new proposal for Best Kept Secret. That way we get to know them better and we can arouse their interest in the festival. In addition to soft conversion, we ensure smarter and more targeted advertising based on data. This way, you can attract returning visitors with some interest show specific ads or content instead of a generic variant.
Results with data
The main points of a data strategy are briefly summarized below:
- Everyone in the organization has a complete customer view and can therefore respond better to it.
- You create brand relevance by addressing your target audience online in a more personal and relevant way
- You can save resources and increase your commitment;
- You have instant insight into what works and what does not. “Learn by doing”: analyzes, optimizes and adjusts where necessary.
The future of automation
Once customers are convinced of the power of data, you can make better use of your platform and communication. Of course, there are still some challenges. Data must be used purposefully. Together with the customer, we look at what we can achieve. In addition, you should always keep your goals, values and your brand in mind to use data responsibly. It is also important that we constantly test what works or ‘learn by doing’. And, of course, we are looking at how we can anticipate the latest developments. It may be a quest, but all in all, we are on the right track.