Marissa Tarleton, chief marketing officer of RetailMeNot, the digital savings web site, sees a lot of opportunity for brands to use data more effectively.

“Mobile has really changed the customer journey. The funnel has shifted and mobile devices are disrupting the funnel,” she said. She added there’s an opportunity for marketers, with the consumer now in control, to shift how they think about their marketing to be less traditional, more engaging and more in the moment to acquire them, engage them and build the moments that count.

She noted that it’s important for brands to study customers and their touch points. Some customers are more desktop-heavy, while others use more mobile. She showed one example of a man who favors large retailers as he’s searching. As a marketer, one would try to orient campaigns differently to reach him, she said.

There are four different stages in using data. First, there’s the discovery and anticipation of what the customer is looking for when they’re looking for it. Second is reaching customers in these micro-moments that are important and how you engage customers for loyalty purposes, third is scale and personalization, and fourth is expanding data beyond first party to third party to help you be more impactful.

Tarleton said it’s important to know when the customer is shopping, what they’re looking for and where they are. With the holidays coming up, many brands are looking at historical data around what days are most impactful. Mobile shopping is most significant during certain days and has a very significant correlation to in-store foot traffic. “If you know your customers are searching for your products on these days, and within 24 hours that will link to an in-store person coming in, you have the ability to be more impactful in your marketing than not knowing this information,” she said. With desktop’s peak shopping days, you can orient your advertising and messages to the days your customer is most interested in buying, she said.

Then you add in what they’re looking for. In November and December, there are different periods where people are browsing and buying, she said. In early November, for example, there’s early research and planning, and key categories spike around food, travel, entertainment and home and garden. Then there’s a deal period around toys and electronics. Then last-minute, it’s heavy gifting, while beauty, books and accessories play a big role. Post-holiday, people are buying for themselves. “The ability to identify what people are looking for and when they’re looking for it, allows us to be much more targeted with how people spend their money. It allows us to be much more effective to get the right message to the right customer on the right day,” she said.

“Competitive data around promotions is an area of opportunity,” she said. She added most people in the retail space have been doing promotions the same way for the last few years. There’s significant opportunity to share insight into promotions in a competitive way. “We have access to a lot of different engagement and conversion tools. We have built a series of tools to see what’s working,” she said. She said you can see how your brand performed versus the competition. “You can see how you did versus the industry. It’s not the highest promotion works. Sometimes it’s free shipping….sometimes it doesn’t matter what the discount is, as long as it’s mobile.”

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