People and Technology

Read Time: 4 Minutes

There’s nothing more frustrating than splurging in the sales, only to receive an email 2 days later with 20% off. The only exception might be if the discount is only for dresses and skirts – despite never having bought these in the past. 

With the huge amount of data that marketers have at their fingertips, it would be fair to expect that we would have begun to hone our personalisation efforts. While retargeting is a great tactic, serving ads for a holiday to someone who is going away in a few days isn’t the most efficient strategy for that one person. 

DQ&A’s James Sleaford highlights that the path to people has to consider all of the little nuances that make up an individual consumer, but that a customer experience which delights from start to finish requires an organisational approach: which comes out in the technology you use and the people you work with. 

A Roadmap for Change

Digital transformation of this type needs careful planning, so one of the things that DQ&A often recommend to businesses who are in the process of setting up a more rounded approach to advertising is to set up a technology roadmap, which goes from audit all the way to your ongoing development cycle. 

  • Discover: Get a full picture of all of the technology that is at your disposal, and the goals of your organisation. Consider how much of specific tactics you want to do – for example how much retargeting do you want to do?
  • Design: With this in mind, design a technology “stack” that is best suited to your capabilities, ambition, and the resources at your disposal.
  • Deploy: Implement your plan of action
  • Develop: Create a roadmap that sets out how you plan to build more advanced technology solutions to power your marketing efforts.

Once you know where you are, it’s much easier to see where you’re going and what you need to get there. 

Technology for Every Stage

Regardless of where you are on your technology roadmap, there are products that can help you at every stage of the journey. If you’re just starting on your technology journey, there’s a lot of great work that can be done on an individual perspective with free versions of Google Ads and Google Analytics. You can build your audiences and run retargeting, but it is very channel-specific, and it doesn’t take into account the various nuances of your customers.

The next step that businesses often take is to adopt the Google Marketing Platform, unlocking 3rd-party audiences, display activity, and allowing you to look at things from a post-impression point of view. It also allows you to introduce frequency capping, to prevent bombarding your customer with lots of different messaging across lots of different platforms.

The businesses that have supercharged their technology by using their adtech as a base and building Cloud technology on top of this. This allows you to integrate your 1st-party data, try out some customer modelling to predict what customers might want, and machine learning into your campaigns. As the most advanced stage, this will superpower your ability to deliver truly great customer experiences. However, remember that you can do good work with any of the tools mentioned here – you don’t need cloud technology if you aren’t ready for it yet. 

It’s Still a People Business

Regardless of how much technology we’re using, advertising is still a people business at its core. As you’re going down the road of digital transformation, 

First, remember that the skills that are now required to envision, manage and implement advertising are evolving, and some of the roles that will be crucial to running advertising will be completely new. Make sure you plan for this accordingly with effective training to make sure your team are prepared and equipped. Also ensure that your culture encourages collaboration, and gets the whole team to share the vision. 

It’s also worth bearing in mind that the people you work with aren’t just within your company. Consider how you can work with your agency and technology partners to best bring your goals to life. Finally, ensure you get sponsorship from senior stakeholders in order to avoid short-termism and qualify investment. 

The biggest piece of advice James offers is to highlight that advertising is just the tip of the iceberg: the path to people also involves their on-site experience, in-store experience, the logistics and shipping, and ease of returns. Don’t focus on a single one of these at the expense of the others.