SocialWhirled shows that digital marketing really can be customer-centric

Digital marketers face a lot of challenges to engage with prospects to generate leads (B2B) or present offers (B2C). Some operate in what I think is a gray area, accumulating personal information without consumer permission.

So-called Big Data is another boundless source of information subject to use, or misuse. For most brands, the digital marketing policy seems to be: If we don’t get sued and the response rate increases, it’s all good!

That’s why I was intrigued to learn that a startup SocialWhirled integrates opt-in data collection into its campaign management process. Marketers can launch an ad campaign across multiple web sites and social destinations, and capture interest and attribute data directly from consumers. Personal data from social profiles such as Google+ and Facebook can be captured, but must be 100% opt-in, according to founder/CEO Andy Lombard.

Once users have engaged and shared their interests and/or profile information, future campaigns can be dynamically adjusted. For example, a promotion generally targeted to outdoor fitness buffs could be refined to present different images and messaging for those interested in hiking vs. cycling vs. camping.

This has obvious interest in B2C circles where many if not most prospects will be anonymous. But Lombard says even some B2B tech companies want to learn more about their prospects beyond their tech interests. What, tech buyers are people, too?!

This general idea has been around for a long-term, but has been limited mainly to existing customers where you have purchase history and preference data. Some more advanced “digital experience” vendors are enabling real-time personalization on web site visits, based on visitor behavior.

Now with SocialWhirled-powered campaigns, response rates should be higher, an obvious and important tactical benefit. But strategic marketers will also benefit from a kind of real-time consumer research as segments are developed during campaign execution.

Now marketers can deliver content that is more useful and relevant, and do so in a transparent and fully opt-in way. What do you know, digital marketing really can be customer-centric!

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