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On target! How to ensure your marketing gets results

March 26, 2021

What do your customers want? What do they expect your brand to deliver? And are you delivering it? These are all questions that CMOs and their marketing teams have become used to. After all, getting to ‘know your customer’ is nothing new.

Currently, however, direct to consumer marketing typically takes a fairly broad-brush approach – a mass mail shot here, or ad campaign there. They get results, but do they really generate the return on marketing investment (ROMI) hoped for?

Largely, the answer to this is no. That’s because they don’t drill down into the unique needs and expectations of individual customers. A consumer who only drinks a particular brand of coffee. A customer’s birthday, anniversary, new home. Marketers still have a way to go to improve how they leverage their greatest asset – data.

Data, data everywhere

There is so much data available. On customers. On product lifecycles. Across multiple interaction channels. It’s everywhere. But it’s data that is fragmented, duplicated, and inconsistent across functional silos, brands, and partners. Then there’s the added challenge of how to manage consent in line with GDPR compliance in Europe and other legislative regimes. Where do CMOs start?

Lots of companies are collecting data via pop-ups on customers’ screens, tagging and cookies. But many of them are not asking for their customers’ consent to use the data to provide a better, more personalized experience, so it’s wasted effort. Looking ahead to 2022 when Google plans to ban cookies, we see a valuable avenue to collecting customer data being closed.

So, marketers must transform how they capture customer data and turn it into a true business asset. By using it to gain a deep understanding of customer characteristics, behaviors and needs, they can target their customers with personalized, timely offers and services. This will ensure they become relevant.

At Capgemini, we believe the way to achieve this lies in segmentation and profiling. This helps companies put the customer at the heart of all marketing and sales decisions by generating a deep customer understanding that is based on data-driven insights and direct customer feedback.

Building customer profiles

Segmentation and profiling use primary data (collected directly from the customer) enriched with second-party data (captured via data alliances), and third-party data (captured by other companies with no direct relationship to the consumer). Building a profile based on this data is enabled by artificial intelligence (AI), which helps to identify behavior patterns, and segments customers into clusters with specific profiles. In turn, this enables more relevant targeting (hobbies, interests, lifestyle, etc).

Some sectors are already ahead of the game. Media organizations and retailers, for example, make use of primary and second-party data in their direct-to-consumer marketing. Retailers are also tapping into data captured by their loyalty card schemes to target customers with relevant offers, and we are seeing some great uses of data in certain instances. Take French retailer Monoprix, for example. The company used purchasing history to surprise its customers with discounts on a particular product they knew their targeted customers already bought. So, in a sense, this was a gift to the customers, rather than them being offered a discount on something they didn’t really want.

Other sectors, however, such as consumer packaged goods (CPG), don’t always have direct access to their customers because they reach the end consumer via retailers. Nonetheless, in some instances, we are beginning to see companies developing their own direct-to-consumer channels.

Capture, analyze, and activate

No matter how mature a company’s approach to data collection, the desired outcome is the same – to measurably improve their sales and customer outcomes through targeted customer interaction. Segmentation and profiling bring this to life.

At Capgemini, we work with our clients to help them build data strategies across three pillars of segmentation and profiling activity: capture, analyze, and activate.

We built a data management platform for a leading CPG company wanting to increase the value of its data for the marketing organization. This revolutionized the way in which its data was curated, analyzed, and used. This solution brings together the world’s largest data sets, advanced in-house machine learning tools, deep category understanding, powerful analytics, and compelling insights. The result? A data-driven approach to previously complex decision-making, helping to fine tune campaign content and media outputs. The analysis also provides a deeper understanding of the company’s competitors, emerging products, upcoming trends, and consumers.

For a global automotive manufacturer, we used statistical models and AI to predict customers’ purchase propensity, model affinity and price elasticity. In addition, self-learning models recalibrate weekly based on direct customer feedback. We have helped to boost sales conversion by a factor of five through data-driven actions.

Segmentation and profiling can clearly produce benefits fast and we can see so many ways in which to use data to improve marketing outcomes. However, a word of caution is in order. It is important to be sure that your customer is happy to receive the offers and information you target them with. After their consent has been given, be sure their data and contacts are managed appropriately. Don’t overdo it. Too much can risk your relationship with the customer. Be smart with their data. Make it work for your customer as well as for you.

Download our  ‘put your customer first with connected marketing‘ whitepaper to learn more.

Get in touch to learn more about segmentation and profiling in Capgemini’s Connected Marketing offer.


Stephane Sun | Senior Director

Florian Seltene | Senior Manager