digital marketing, Data Quality, offline data, data onboarding, online data

How to Integrate Offline and Online Data to Maximize Your Marketing ROI

By: Eyeota

How to integrate offline and online data

It’s more important than ever for brands to offer personalized and consistent customer experiences across digital and offline channels. Today’s customers expect brands to deliver high-quality communications with every interaction.

For many businesses, the challenge comes down to the ability to identify offline customers who have previously interacted with the brand in an online targeting environment. On the other hand, brands also need to be able to deliver targeted messaging to online customers after an in-person interaction such as an in-store purchase. To optimize marketing and sales efforts, brands must integrate their offline and online data so they can gain a full view of every customer relationship.

What is online data and where does it come from?

As more customer interactions have moved online thanks to digital technology advancements, marketers have gained unprecedented access to customer journey data. When new and returning customers interact with brands online, they generate data that can help marketers better understand customer behavior. 

Browser cookies can capture important information about how people navigate websites. Web analytics can help marketers visualize the paths customers take as they enter a website, browse its content and make purchase decisions. In addition, social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook enable marketers to determine what type of content best appeals to specific segments of a target audience.

Online data originates from various points across the customer journey, such as:

  • Online transactions.
  • Customer service chat logs.
  • Digital ad interactions.
  • Browser cookie data.

Together, these online sources can generate a comprehensive picture of how existing customers and prospects interact with brands in a digital environment. For example, brands can see how customers flow from a social media channel to the company’s website. This information can help marketers develop engaging content that speaks directly to customer needs and interests. However, even in today’s digital world, online data does not tell the whole story. 

 What is offline data and where does it come from?

It’s easy to imagine that your customer makes most of their purchase decisions online, however many interactions still occur in offline environments. Offline sales represent one of the most obvious touch points. Retail customers still visit stores, browse shelfs and make purchases based on immediately available information.

Nevertheless, even businesses that operate primarily online can generate offline data. This data often sits in silos, which makes it difficult to see the full picture of your customer and prospects. Second, digital companies may store customer information in a customer relationship management (CRM) system. In both cases, this data is not immediately available online or connected to any other data sources.

Other examples of disparate or disconnected offline data sources include:

  • Purchase data
  • Loyalty card information.
  • Survey data. 
  • Research data.

Offline data represents extremely valuable information that marketers can use to build more robust audience profiles for digital campaigns. This offline data, combined with online data, can reveal more detailed information about customer preferences. As industries face disruption and fierce competition, brands must be able to get a clear picture of how customers navigate the decision-making process online and in physical environments by bringing together their offline data sources. Offline data can fill in the blanks when determining how best to appeal to customers.

 What are the benefits of integrating offline and online data?

Customers don’t wholly exist in digital realms. Brands that only leverage online data are missing out on a significant portion of the buyer journey as well as the potential to reach new customers. The integration of offline and online data provides a more complete version of the story, enabling marketers to craft campaigns that appeal to new target audiences or territories and maximize opportunities for converting potential customers.

By creating robust audience profiles based on both online and offline data, brands can bolster their marketing efforts and achieve essential business objectives. These activities include:

Campaign optimization: Customer audience profiles represent a central pillar of modern marketing campaigns. Integrated offline and online data can support the creation of accurate audience profiles that enable marketers to optimize campaigns across video, display, social and mobile platforms.

Finding new customers: By using only your own online data, you are only able to address your existing customers. By combining online and offline data and matching these profiles to other available third-party online audiences you can find totally new customers to you in existing markets or new target regions.

Omnichannel optimization: Today’s customers expect and demand consistency across communication channels. With data integration, a truly omnichannel experience is no longer a pipedream. Marketers can track interactions and align messaging across devices.

Personalization: One-size-fits-all marketing campaigns are a thing of the past. Even across traditional media channels, modern customers want tailored experiences. Data integration supports cohesive messaging and experiences as customers interact with brands.

Monetization: Making offline data available as qualified audience profiles within leading global buying platforms represents a key strategy for monetizing offline data. Brands looking for new revenue opportunities can benefit from bringing their offline data into an online environment.

With a clear and comprehensive picture of their customers, brands can produce engaging marketing campaigns that drive business goals.  

What does the process of integrating your data look like?

Once you’ve uncovered your sources of offline data and defined your marketing goals, you can work with a data onboarding partner to integrate this information with robust online profiles. An effective onboarding partner will implement a mapping methodology to match offline attributes with privacy-compliant online profiles to create audience cohorts. This will help you to find completely new customers. 

This work enables brands to better understand their current and future customers. For example, brands can leverage data integration to identify customer segments that exhibit online and offline behaviors similar to their existing customer base. This methodology empowers brands to maximize their marketing efforts and appeal to potential customers who are most likely to convert.

Ultimately, the integration of offline and online data empowers brands to develop more personalized customer experiences. To learn more about how to maximize your marketing efforts, get in touch with the data onboarding experts at Eyeota today.