The cookie used to be the gold standard of tracking for digital marketing efforts. Move forward to smartphones and, although cookies are still useful, a cookie can’t track across devices. This is where you need data and–more importantly–the capability to market to people, not platforms. Our host Peggy Anne Salz catches up with Stefan Blumenthal, Country Manager DACH, and Sandra Stenzel, Data Consultant, at Zeotap, to discuss the rise of people-based marketing and how marketers can approach this opportunity in a privacy-friendly way. Stefan and Sandra tell us about Zeotap–a data platform that makes large-scale, deterministic data assets easily accessible to the digital advertising market–and share how Unilever uses people-based marketing to enhance and elevate digital marketing campaigns.
You know, cookies – if you think cookies are a snack, then you’ve got to keep listening into Mobile Presence because they absolutely are not and for that matter, we’re going to learn today about some of the gaps in data driven marketing, we’re also going to be hearing what you need to do to actually understand is the person who clicked on my ad and later on does something about it, is that the same person? These are a lot of really key questions that mobile marketers are going to be grappling with for a long time to come.
So we have two experts here to take us to school, to give us a crash course in all of this. We have Stefan Blumenthal, he is Country Manager for DACH, that’s the German speaking part of Europe where I am, so it’s Germany, Austria Switzerland, and Sandra Stenzel, Data Consultant, both at Zeotap, Zeotap an interesting company, kind of in its own space. So I’m going to start off by first of all welcoming our guests. Stefan, Sandra, welcome to Mobile Presence.
Hey Peggy, thanks for having us.
Thank you very much, hi.
Yes, I’m glad to have you because Zeotap, I mean, first of all our audience won’t know too much about it – you’ve been around for a while but I think it’s that the market had to get to this point to really appreciate what you’re doing over there. So, in a nutshell, what does Zeotap do?
Yeah, let me describe it in one or two sentences. Zeotap provides a fully integrated identity and data solution to help brands better understand their customers. So, how does this work? Zeotap is able to match a brand’s offline CRM data with online identifiers to enrich it with more information per customer, for example, age, gender, interest or purchase intent, and at the same time advertisers can activate lookalikes of the most profitable clients or other relevant audiences based on the insights we provide in programmatic advertising or social media to at the end acquire new customers, prevent churn and finally increase the marketing return on investment.
And, the special thing is that we are doing everything out of one single source and we’re doing it globally and GDPR compliant and this is what makes Zeotap unique.
Oh yes, GDPR, we will be getting to that in the show because of course marketers all over the world know about that one. So, I want to understand, maybe Sandra you tell me – where in the tech stack is Zeotap because it sounds like something that belongs in there, not quite maybe had its space in there – we were very much about the growth stack and we thought that there were certain types of elements in there, for example, attribution, you have to have an attribution provider, that’s part of the stack. What part is Zeotap?
So, Zeotap is mainly focusing on people-based marketing and giving a people graph and connecting really all the identifiers and also behavioral patterns of a user and giving like, yeah, a 360° view of a user. This is where we are specializing at the moment.
And that really resonates with me, the whole idea of people-based marketing because that was what mobile was supposed to be anyway – it’s a fiercely personal device, this is not where you want to make mistakes. I can understand intuitively what people-based marketing would be but what would a mobile marketer understand from this, how would a mobile marketer approach this? Is this a concept that mobile marketers need to know more about?
Yeah, definitely. So, first of all people-based marketing means knowing more about your customer and really having like a 360° view of a customer and it all starts with identity resolution. So nowadays, the user data is siloed by channels and by devices and the process of identity resolution allows brands to have a 360° view of the customer by connecting these different customer identifiers. So, for example, you have offline CRM data like your email address or the telephone number and then you have the online identifiers like the mobile cookies, the desktop cookies or also the mobile ad IDs, and it’s very important to have all of these identifiers in one graph to really address every single user on each device.
And also there’s a disconnect that we’re addressing here, right, because that as I said earlier, it’s about really understanding is the person who, you know, I got through email marketing or whatever and the person who maybe did something via mobile or through an app or something similar, you know, is that the same person. Is that the challenge that you’re addressing?
Yeah, definitely, this is the biggest challenge at the moment so yes, every brand has one customer and they want to reach them on all the different devices so of course you need to know the different identifiers and this is the, yeah, the biggest, yeah, hassle at the moment I would say but it’s not only about the identifiers but also about the behavioral patterns of your users. So, for example, what kind of age do your user has, what is the income structure, is it a man or woman and what kind of apps is this person using? Is it maybe a sporty person or is it a person that has a baby at home and is using different baby phone apps so it’s not just about the identifiers, it’s also about the behavior of the user to have like a really 360° view with your customer in the center.
And I mean the benefit I would imagine is initially just, you know, the best possible relevant campaigns you can imagine but I’m sure there are other benefits. I mean, we talk about the identity graphs for example, you know, you’re not really building an identity graph per se per person but you are allowing I believe a deeper segmentation, so it’s still anonymised, we’ll get to GDPR later, it’s not creepy or anything but it’s very, very in-depth – is that what I’m understanding here because I’m just trying to understand why a mobile marketer would be focused now on identity, resolution and people-based marketing – what beyond just having happy customers am I getting out of this?
Okay, yes, I think the need is quite obvious – the more the brands know about the customers, the better they can market them and also the more efficient they can spend their marketing budget. So, I think it’s like a holy grail, I would say, of successful marketing strategies to use people-based marketing and to know more about your customers.
Speaking of customers, Stefan, I mean, we’ll be talking about one of your customers because you’ve got major brands – we talk about this as if it’s brand new but, you know, talking literally with the likes of Unilever, these are major companies that have their head around it but could you give me at any level sort of try to quantify the benefit? If we say okay, it’s great, I have a 360° view of my customer, I can market to them better, I’m probably not wasting as much budget as before – can you put any number on that? Is there a certain uplift to using a company like Zeotap or an approach like you offer?
Yes, there are different KPIs. I mean, imagine you are a big FMCG brand like Unilever, Procter & Gamble and you have a lot of customer data in your CRM system or like an insurance or a bank but you don’t have a mobile identifier or cookie of the client, so you cannot reach them in digital advertising or digital marketing at the moment and I think it’s super important to onboard your offline data and to make your offline data work in the online world and for example Zeotap –we have matching rate of, depending on the country, of 30-50% and we can enable brands to make their own first party data work and to cluster and segment the clients better to get more information per client and then activate, for example, lookalikes of the top performing clients, the clients with the most value and activate those lookalikes in digital advertising or digital marketing like social media and Facebook and Instagram or in programmatic advertising in different DSPs like The Trade Desk or Google to really market them precisely and to increase the marketing return on investment.
So we see in the uplift in return on investment times 3, or we see that the cost for example in – we call it “on target” CPM, so that it’s super important for a brand to really reach the right people so when you, for example, want to reach people like females between 18 and 24, then you really want to reach females between 18 and 24 and it’s super important to get good data to reach just the people you want to reach and not waste your marketing money and we can really help increasing the marketing ROI and decreasing the marketing costs because we help you to run your campaigns much more efficiently.
So it’s a factor of 3, that’s what I’m hearing?
A factor of 3 in return on investment and I think you can decrease your marketing spend, for example, your cost per lead or your cost per acquisition by 30-50% by working with your first party data, get to know your customers better and activate the right people that are interested in your – or should be interested in your products.
Well, I know I’m interested in hearing more but we do have to go to a break right now, Sandra and Stefan, so listeners, as you can see, we’re going to be talking more about how you can implement a people-based marketing strategy, what do you need to do, what do you need to avoid, lots of reasons to come back right after the break.
And we are back to Mobile Presence. I’m your host, Peggy Anne Salz and we have today two people from Zeotap, Stefan and Sandra at the top of the programme, we were just talking, just sort of getting the crash course in what is this all about, what is identity resolution, why do we need to care – now we’re going into people-based marketing, sounds very cool because it sounds like exactly where you want to go at a time in the industry where we’re looking beyond, you know, acquisition, beyond install – we’re going deep in the funnel, I want to go deep into understanding first of all how do I – well, how do I approach this? At one level, I understand it’s about unlocking the data that the marketer already has, right? So, how are you doing that sort of making that very valuable and then also enhancing the other data? I just want to understand that basic before we get through to some more advanced questions.
Yeah, people-based marketing, I think it’s very important because marketing strategies are moving from a conceptual marketing approach to a more customer-centric approach and therefore you have to know more about your customers and a lot of brands, they own a lot of data, they have a lot of first party data in their CRM systems and we help them to connect this offline data with digital identifiers. So we build a people graph around one Zeotap ID and for one Zeotap ID, we have a lot of different identifiers. So, we have an email address of a user, we have a telephone number, we have a mobile ad ID and a cookie, so we can connect, for example, a hashed email address with a mobile ad ID or a cookie to digitalize the CRM system of a brand.
The second step is to enrich those identifiers, those data points with more information about the user. So, we know for example the age, the gender, we know what kind of apps the user is using so we see the interests of the user, we see the purchase intents so that we have – like Sandra said before, 360° view of the user around one Zeotap ID and we can then push those data points back in a CRM system or in a data management platform or directly in a DSP or in social media so that the brand can activate relevant audiences right away and reach them in the different marketing platforms.
So, for a layman, it sounds a lot like connecting the dots literally – is that what’s going on here, Sandra?
Yes, that’s what’s going on so maybe you can also imagine like drawing a circle with a customer, with your customer in the middle and then on the right hand side you see all of the different identifiers, so for example, the mobile ad ID, the desktop cookie, the mobile cookie, and the left hand side, you see all the behavioral patterns like the age, you see the income structure and the apps that a user is using and then you really have this circle closed and everything is connected with each other so that you really know your customer.
So, speaking of customers, a great segue to get to a client case study. Now you’ve worked with the likes of Unilever, we can stay with Unilever, it’s a brand we all know, I mean, it is definitely global. What can you share about it? What did they come to you for in the first place and what are the results? Maybe just walk me through that.
Yes, so it starts with a CRM system of the brand, so Unilever uploaded hashed email addresses like, for example, like they segmented their clients first by products and they uploaded 10 million records of product group A and customer group B. So what we are doing then, we are matching those hashed email addresses with hashed email addresses we have in the system and to an email address, we have different identifiers.
For example, we have – let’s say we have a matching rate of 50%, so we can out of those 10 million records Unilever is uploading, we can match 5 million in our system and based on these 5 million users, we can give them back what kind of social demographic distribution the clients have, are they male, female, what kind of age groups, what kind of apps are they using, what kind of purchase intents do they have and then find patterns and find trigger points and overlaps with different data attributes we have in the system.
And what we can give them back is then at first lookalikes of their existing clients, so people in our platform that are the same age, using the same apps, have the same purchase intents, so that they can reach out to them via social media for example and increase the marketing ROIs so the performance is much better at the end because we provide them lookalikes of their existing clients, so clients who already bought a Unilever shampoo, for example, and we can tell them, for example, all the Dove clients are mainly female in a certain age and we can provide them more people that are female and in the certain age to activate more relevant audiences and so they can increase their on target CPM or can increase their on target reach and decrease their on target CPM.
And also it sounds to me like it’s also getting a lot more mileage out of an existing audience in a way because you can cross sell and upsell more effectively so rather than just keep on acquiring users, one, you’re acquiring them smart, in a smart way and secondly you’re probably also tapping the data and saying, “Hey, this is great”, like you said, Dove is this demographic, my other shampoo is this demographic, maybe the people who have Dove might want the shampoo or vice versa. So it sounds like two uses here – is that what I’m hearing correctly?
Yes, I think there are more use cases than just customer acquisition. For example, businesses, we have a subscription model with our clients like telcos, insurances or banks and they really want to prevent churn and we can provide more information to feed internal analytics and propensity models so that brands can activate people or reactivate people who have a high churn risk. So this is a pretty cool use case for people-based marketing. Customer acquisition, for example, I think lookalikes are the most important, the most important tool here but churn prevention is another use case or upselling and cross selling that you mentioned, for example, when I know that a client has, for example – it’s a client of my bank and I know now that this client, the same client is using a baby phone app or a wedding planner app, then he is another life situation and perhaps this client now is interested in a mortgage or interested in a life insurance product so I think having the different information to know the right trigger points for churn or up and cross selling opportunities is very important.
I think it’s also really important at this juncture to make it very clear that one of the reasons I have you on the show is, yes, I’m based in Europe but most of my listeners know that anyway but the real reason is also because you are based in Europe, specifically in Germany – this is country that takes personal privacy very seriously. So, GDPR compliant, that means something but what does it really mean? I mean, so that we’re not talking about just the business benefit, what’s the benefit here to the users because I believe, what, the data is completely anonomised and what other measures are you taking to understand that it’s completely privacy compliant?
So, yes, let me answer this. So data is very important at the moment and especially in Germany and as we are a German-based company, data privacy and the whole data controlling is very important for us. So, yes, it’s important to know that we are just working with pseudonymised data and we are just working with data partners that have consent from their users to share this data with us and to use this data for marketing purposes. So we really keep in mind that everything is controlled and that it’s secure and that we are not just playing around with data from our users.
I get it, so absolutely opt-in, absolutely consent and completely above board and we do have to go to a break right now, listeners, but when we come back, we’ll be talking a bit more about how can you start on this journey to be more successful and of course harness people-based marketing. So, lots of reasons to stay where you are until we come back after the break.
And we are back to Mobile Presence. I’m your host, Peggy Anne Salz, we are joined today by Stefan Blumenthal and Sandra Stenzel, both from Zeotap and we’ve been having what I think is a really good necessary sort of deep dive into people-based marketing, the differences between that and sort of data driven marketing as we know it. And I want to get my head around the one thing, that one key takeaway that people need to take back because they’re saying, “Yeah, this makes sense”, Unilever does it, there are obvious advantages, 360° marketing, who doesn’t want that, personal privacy, consent in that marketing, also a plus, but what can they do if they’re not, say, for example, the size of Unilever, what do they take back to the office right now to start doing this, to prepare for people-based marketing? So, I’ll start with you, Sandra, what is the one thing they need to do right now?
So, I think in a digitalized world, you also need to digitalize your CRM and adapt to these new circumstances and as you already said, so everyone who has a DMP or a CDP or is working with their own data, who has a CRM system and you want to know more about your data and do more with your data, yeah, just let us know, contact us and I think we can help you because it doesn’t matter how big you are and how far you are, it’s just important to take control of your identity resolution and deploy people-based marketing for a better return on investment.
Yes, I’ve heard that a lot actually also from small app publishers as well because everyone’s getting a different part of the user, they’re having different data, some have the online data world and they still have to digitize that, or they’re seeing some specific part of the user so it makes a lot of sense to digitize that data and get that ready for people-based marketing. Stefan, what’s your tip?
Yes, what we see in Europe is, or in the US as well, I think you have to be prepared for GDPR. So, it’s very important to have a consent of your own users and your customers to use personal data for targeted marketing and to share it with partners like Zeotap, for example, so that we can help you to get more information about a client to enrich your first party data and to really use it for digital marketing.
And I’m just trying to understand also where this fits, this gets back to the question earlier about the tech stack because when I think about 360° marketing, there’s a lot of companies that play a role there. I mean, when you talked about, for example, extracting the value of the email data, you know, there are some people that say, well, you need a CRM system, you need this - push notifications is part of this, there are all companies that do a bit of this so when I’m implementing Zeotap or something like you, what am I actually doing to my existing structure, what am I taking out and plugging in here? Am I saying, okay, I’ve got you so my old whatever it might have been, SAP or IBM CRM system is now overhauled, I don’t need them, I’ve got you – I’m just trying to understand I bring you in, how do I fit you in and what goes?
I think we are the bridge between the different systems. We are the bridge between your CRM or your marketing cloud and your DMP, for example. So we can help you to make your – to build the bridge between your known data and your unknown data and we can help you to enrich your data further with more second and third party data. So, we are basically the bridge between CRM and a data management platform or a CDP and we can help you to activate the data in the different marketing platforms.
Why is it, I’m just going to ask a devil’s advocate question, I love doing that anyway – so, we might have listeners who are saying, “Okay, that’s good, but I have an army of programmers – why wouldn’t I do this on my own or what would I have to do to do this on my own?” Is it something that’s like really super-expensive or difficult or do I just get a lot of smart people in a room and I could do this myself?
Yes, I mean, Zeotap invested five years and raised around $30 million to build advanced technology and source the best data in the market, so it’s all about the quality and not only the quality but also the reach of the data you have. We are working with more than 80 verified data partners globally, including telcos, various ecommerce platforms and other service providers to feed our people graph with deterministic high quality data, to provide the so-called identity links, that means the matches of hashed email addresses or telephone numbers with a device ID or cookie, and on top of that or at the same time provide the other data assets like social demographic data which is of high quality and verified deterministic data, app usage data and purchase intent data, and you need to have all the different raw data points in one system and to be able to work with the data.
And you have to source the data, so we invested five years in doing that and this is not an easy business, I would say.
Absolutely not, you’ve done your homework and I’d like to understand for our listeners, you know, they might say, “This is exciting, interesting, something I’ve got to have top of mind”, we’re looking to 2020, what are the stretch goals, maybe one of them is people-based marketing – how can our listeners stay in touch with you or learn more about Zeotap? What’s the best way?
I think you can just visit our website, there you can of course find more information about Zeotap and there you can also find a contact button, where to contact us or just feel free to contact Stefan or me, write us an email, write us on LinkedIn, we are very happy to meet all of you and to speak to all of you.
Indeed, and we’ll have those in the show notes and if anyone in my audience is making it over to DMEXCO which is taking place in Germany and Cologne, more specifically, more and more the go to event globally for mobile marketing, I’m sure people can catch up with you there. I also want to say that one of the reasons I have you on the show is because I am also in the Mobile Marketing Association on the Board and I was very excited by an article that you provided about people-based marketing in a post-cookie era, that’s another blog post, we’ll have those in the show notes, or you can check it out over at medium.com/mmagermany and great to have you on the show, hope to have you back again.
And listeners, as usual, if you want to be a guest or sponsor on the show, then just reach out to me, firstname.lastname@example.org where you can see my line-up of content marketing and app marketing services, and of course you can check out this and all earlier episodes of our show by going to webmasterradio.fm or you can find our shows on iTunes, Stitcher, Spreaker, Spotify and iheartRadio simply by searching Mobile Presence. So until next time – remember – friends, every minute is mobile, so make every minute count. We’ll see you soon.