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Data-driven strategies increase audience engagement and boost content monetization and advertising revenues

Anand Murugesan
24 Jun 2022

Customer experience and engagement have been among the most critical business priorities for many years and in “anytime, anywhere” economies they directly impact the growth and profitability of media and entertainment businesses.

Our research shows that emotions play a far greater role in creating true brand loyalty than current approaches recognize. Building meaningful, deep-rooted loyalty requires driving emotional engagement and embracing a dynamic program of customer experience and journey management to deliver personalized content across all channels while anticipating each customer’s behavior and recommending content based on their preferences.

So, why do a majority of companies have lower-than-average customer engagement scores and struggle to deliver a consistent experience across content, services, products, and the entire ecosystem?

Neither customer experience nor customer engagement can be improved without a solid foundation of data related to the consumer (transactional, behavioral, and others). The more you know about your customers, the better the experience you can provide to them. Getting a deep understanding of any audience, including the audiences of TV shows, events, and celebrities, through their behaviors, interests, and affinity patterns is critical for reducing subscriber churn and increasing brand loyalty.

It’s not a lack of data that’s the problem. Rather, huge volumes of data are not in one place and organizations struggle to connect it all to provide a single, real-time view of the customer.

Some organizations are getting it right. They’re building customer intimacy on a single source of unified, trusted data. And they’re striding ahead of the competition.

On the ad sales side of things, media houses and publishers need to realign how to predict and sell content based on customers’ interests, while the advertisers reassess the best way to optimize their ad spend. Customer data is going to be pivotal for audience engagement, content monetization, and advertising revenues

One thing is clear: while identifying a customer and related data is a key step, applying this data and deducing actions to enhance customer experience, personalize content, and segmenting the audiences for marketing based on this data is equally or more important.

Done right, personalization goes beyond any single technology to focus on contextually relevant experiences that boost content monetization and advertising revenues.

In the past few years, organizations have introduced various initiatives to overcome this challenge by launching 360-degree single views of customers, based on data lakes. While these initiatives have brought some amount of success, they have not solved the holy grail of customer engagement across channels and departments. The challenge is the ever-growing data around customers, with the proliferation of channels clubbed with regulatory changes on third-party tracking cookies, device IDs, etc. These evolutions are pushing organizations to look at a more sustainable solution that would keep customer-related data unified to enable personalized customer experience, with flexibility to evolve with changing industry dynamics.

An overarching challenge is data privacy and consumer trust

Ethical data management is the cornerstone on which customer trust and loyalty are built, and customers expect brands to embrace ethical AI as part of this. Data use is also governed by increased global data regulation, which requires mature privacy, quality, and lifecycle management, while honoring the preferences and permissions set by your customers.

Customer data is the most scattered and complicated to manage and activate. Here are six of the challenges that must be addressed to transform customer data into sharp and relevant insights.

  • How to match and unify individual customer data and insights, even with inconsistent identities
  • How to handle massive real-time data ingestion, transformation, and storage
  • How to create a unified customer profile with customer data and enterprise data
  • How to give real-time easy access to data for business personas
  • How to activate this data to drive and personalize advertising at the individual customer level – and this is the most vital requirement.

Make the move towards real-time, personalized customer experience

In today’s data-rich consumer landscape, the value of customer-data platforms (CDPs) is undeniable. Globally, businesses want to invest in these systems but don’t know where to start.

Designed to create actionable data by taking outputs (segments, audiences, etc.) that are pushed into the organization’s interaction platforms, a CDP is a set of data products built on top of enterprise AI and data platforms. It can give you the answers you’re looking for. Who are your customers? Where do they live? How old are they? How often do they transact with you, when, and why? In essence, a CDP ingests, organizes, cleans, enriches, and connects customer data into unified and trusted customer segments.

Advertisers will have access to focused audience and household targets and the ability to better reach their intended audience based on demographic and behavioral information collected from customer’s  first- and second-party digital platforms and linear TV and then enriching this with third-party data providers to gather more intelligence about audience to better segment for ad sales and content engagement. This is contextual data that can be leveraged across marketing channels.

The next challenge is how best to derive actions for your customers based on that contextual insight.

Engagement should ideally be in real-time because your potential customer will not wait minutes until you find the right message. The insight provided by your CDP enables you to tailor the next interaction or moment your brand shares with the customer, whether that’s initiated through a pull or a push from the brand. To optimize your customer data, it must be stitched together across devices or channels where the visitor currently interacts. When you know which device and channel your customer is using, you can create a more engaging experience.

The marketing side of the business will have the ability to connect to many downstream and upstream systems and provide demographic, behavioral, and geo-based based information for the ad sales and marketing team’s business-activation use cases.

The objective is to find the right balance between customer and business expectations from media publishers and advertisers all along the customer lifecycle, then deliver value at speed for everyone. How? By focusing on the moments that matter, nudging customers through a more engaging experience and a stronger value exchange in which they share more about themselves and what they value, and for the business to experiment, test, and learn. Finally, all this must happen with the consent of your customer and in compliance with data regulations.

Meet the author

Anand Murugesan

Program Manager, Media and Entertainment
Anand Murugesan currently works in Capgemini’s media and entertainment industry practice, responsible for identifying and implementing media valuechain solutions.