One-size-fits-all vanilla campaigns simply won’t cut it for companies that want to play the long game. In an era where personalized experiences are now the expectation, how are smart marketers using data to customize campaigns and hit their targets?

They leverage the numbers to uncover what makes each consumer unique, then use these insights to craft smarter messaging, creative, and marketing strategies that resonate with consumers.

During a Fall CMO Club Summit breakout session with Erica Gessin, VP Marketing Technology & Digital Marketing, Constellation BrandsPaul Alfieri, SVP Marketing, Turn; and Max Knight, Global Marketing Science Services, Turn; CMOs laid out the framework for successfully personalizing marketing initiatives.

1. Get to Know Your Customers Like They are Your Best Friends

It’s no longer news that marketing teams must dig much deeper than surface-level demographics. While trying to get a 360-degree view of your customers it’s important to not just think about segments, but individuals. Identify one person and what their day might be like. Understand their likes, thoughts and interests. Use data to really know their customer journey. Here are some of the questions CMOs seek to answer during this process:

  • What types of devices do they use? Do they research on one and shop on another (and can we track that)?
  • How are they currently experiencing our brand’s messaging? Is it too much, or too little – what would the consumer say if you asked?
  • Can we see a comprehensive view of how and when we reach them? What were their actions after encountering these touch points?

2. Reset your Point-of-View on KPIs

It’s easy to become infatuated with media metrics, but our panelists reminded marketers to redirect their focus to business outcomes.

Why? Because when we focus only on KPIs, it creates a limiting view of the larger consumer journey. Conversely, if you zoom out and look at the entire experience, it becomes easier to see where the pain points and solutions are and craft strategies around those. It’s important to identify how your metrics contribute to solutions that drive sales and brand affinity.

Don’t let your KPI create an incentive for sub-par user experiences–the measure shouldn’t work at odds with the goal.

3. Find Those Partners Who Are Ready to Go to Work for You

CMOs agreed that data strategies can be complex and challenging. That’s why it’s imperative to build relationships with partners who offer strategic guidance, data-driven solutions that make the most difference and full transparency. A great partner should be able to marry data science and media.

Gessin recommended optimizing marketing spend through lean techniques and purchasing controls–namely by finding opportunities to reduce nonworking spend, like agency consolidation:

“We have taken a number of steps to own contracts directly with tech vendors and minimize pass-through costs or mark-ups. We’ve contracted directly for our data management platform, demand side platform, and ad server, consolidating from the multiple DSPs that were being used before. This allows us complete transparency into our licensing and data costs, as well as our bid rates. There’s no more room for margins or markups on the technology, data or bid prices.”

These tactics give marketers the control to quickly cut through the clutter and spend fewer marketing dollars on execution and data analysis and more on providing solutions for individual consumers. It’s all about aligning a smart strategy with goals for engaging with audiences all along the complex customer journey.