Data Strategies to Weather a Recession

In association with Eyeota

In this exclusive article, Rob Armstrong, senior vice president product management, Eyeota, outlines how marketers can power through the current economic turbulence via effective data management and activation.

Today’s financial experts can quibble about the current global economy and recession reality ad infinitum, but if you really want to know how the tide is turning, talk to a marketer. Most brand and agency folks today will tell you that they’re already feeling the marketplace uncertainty and constrictions within their budgets. As such, more and more marketing resource allocation questions are turning to this familiar territory: How do we do more with less?

Rob Armstrong, SVP product, Eyeota

For marketers, now is the time to turn attention to deeper data investments that can drive benefits across the full organisation now and well into the future. Here are key areas to consider if you want to strengthen your organisation’s resilience in the downturn and position your brand for competitive leap-frogging on the other side.


Enrich customer knowledge

In recent years, marketers have greatly increased focus on building their first-party data assets, partly as a buffer against the ongoing loss of long-established industry identifiers, but also as a way of enhancing the directness of their customer connections. These are both noble and necessary pursuits. But at the same time, first-party data insights aren’t enough on their own to enable brands to achieve their goals, much less weather a storm.

Today’s brands need to be taking steps to enrich their first-party data with third-party insights that bring new dimensions to their customer profiles. By working with an established, compliant third-party data partner, brands can infuse their existing CRM data with additional consumer values like age, gender, location, transaction history, buying habits, household income, and other information that can give brands new ways of connecting for retention and loyalty efforts. Further, they can augment their existing first-party identity with associated linkages, which will maximise the value of each record by extending its portability into additional channels.


Transition to data lakes and in-house repositories

The industry is in the middle of a sea change when it comes to data infrastructure. In light of the eventual deprecation of third-party cookies, today’s data management platforms (DMPs), built to collect and segment anonymous cookie-based audiences across the programmatic ecosystem, are going the way of the dodo. As a result, many marketers are realising that, if they’re going to make a data system shift, they should be prioritising interoperability and a future-focused infrastructure. This is a worthy investment, particularly in a recession. By bringing their data into data lakes and other in-house repositories, companies are able to fully unite the power of their data sets and leverage it across the entire organisation for improved understanding and efficiency. And most importantly, they maintain the utmost control over their first-party assets.


Double down on modelling and lookalikes

Speaking of first-party data, now is the time to be doing everything possible to stretch the value of these assets to new applications. Beyond enriching first-party data with new third-party dimensions, brands should be leveraging their first-party understanding of customers to model and build lookalike audiences that can be used for ever-important prospecting efforts. After all, customer retention and loyalty can only take a brand so far. By onboarding and extending the audience insights contained within a brand’s first-party assets, companies can be growing their prospect and customer pools even during challenging economic times.


Explore data co-ops

Finally, let’s talk about a rising tactic for gaining new and valuable data-driven insights in a budget-conscious way: data co-ops. By joining a data co-op, brands are able to connect their first-party data to a collaborative environment that grants them access to compliant second-party data and assets. These new data points can be leveraged to extend the reach and depth of a brand’s own data in a sustainable way. This is a trend we’re going to see accelerate within the current economic downturn, and for good reason. It lets brands do more with less.

When it comes to conversations around maximising the value of every marketing dollar, data needs to be front and center. No doubt, investing in stronger data and insights is always a good idea, regardless of the economic environment. But particularly in a downturn, being able to up-level a brand’s audience understanding is key to minimising waste, extending the rest of a brand’s marketing budget further and overall gaining an edge at a time when competitors might be slashing investments on their end.