Total Customer Relationship: Better Targeting with Marketing Automation

Better Targeting with Marketing Automation

Marketers, why don’t you make your marketing offers more relevant?

I am a runner. For motivation, I track the majority of my runs on my iPhone. I use an arm band from a leading sports apparel company to carry my iPhone. I’m a great supporter of this brand. I love their style so I shop frequently. Sometimes, when I travel the US, I shop at their outlet stores. Primarily, however, I shop on their official web-store using my iPad or mobile phone. Because I have a passion for fashion, it is not easy for me to remember all the channels, shops and websites I have used to buy this brand’s products.

Why am I telling you all this? For the past few weeks, I’ve repeatedly received marketing offers from this brand, promoting apparel that doesn’t match my style or size. (Mostly they send offers featuring women’s apparel, rather than men’s.) As a repeat customer, this lack of promotional accuracy frustrates me. I have purchased many items from this brand. I’ve even shared their logo on twitter and Facebook. Despite my commitment to the brand, the brand still does not know which products I need or which styles I prefer.

While today’s customers expect a seamless, integrated and consistent experience, most businesses cannot meet that expectation. With inaccurate, inconsistent and disconnected customer information spread across channels and touch points, and no centralized place to manage product information across channels, not only are they challenged to deliver a consistent customer experience, they don’t have the information they need to make informed business decisions.

The good news is, you can optimize the performance of your marketing programs and boost response rates if you segment customers based on a rich customer profile and understand which products they prefer based on transactions and interests.

Informatica addresses this challenge with “Total Customer Relationship”, transforming data from siloed, fragmented and channel-centric, to integrated, connected and customer-centric.

This article explains how companies can achieve Total Customer Relationship, with a 360 view of your customers and a 360 view of your products can take marketing automation (like Marketo) to the next level of personalization.

Where is all the data?

As everybody can imagine, for such a holistic approach there is a need to have and to access a couple of data. Customer data, transactional data, product data, product reference data, marketing data. The impressive thing is that most of today’s enterprises have all the information about product and customer data available, but in separate data silos and therefore cannot use that kind of data in a productive manner.

The key question is how to connect all your data pieces in order to tease out the maximum value of the data you already own.

What is Total Customer Relationship?

In order to make your marketing offers more relevant you need to have great data about your customers and your products. You need to start with an understanding of the Total Customer Relationship across the business. If you don’t, you could start out on the wrong foot. It’s not a good idea to send a marketing offer when a customer is in the process of resolving an issue with customer service. It’s probably not a good idea to send an offer for a product that the customer already has or a completely irrelevant product. But companies do this all the time.

The problem is, they don’t start with a foundation of great customer data that provides a view into the total customer relationship across the business. This trusted customer profile includes:

  • accurate and complete information,
  • the members of a customer’s household or corporate hierarchy,
  • the products they’ve purchased across lines of business and channels,
  • their channel and location preferences,
  • their relationships with employees and channel partners,
  • their validated contact information, and
  • other important information that you gain from 3rd party sources

Total Customer Relationship enables marketing, sales, and customer service to bridge silos of customer information and gets direct access to clean, consistent and connected customer and prospect profiles within the applications they use every day. More valuable than a single customer view across channels and touch points, Total Customer Relationship connects the dots between customers, their households and influencer networks. It’s this combination of having access to the total customer relationship and making offers using great product information which can help our customers get a competitive edge.

What you need to put this into action?

Three things are needed to put this scenario into action: Informatica MDM: Master Data Management (MDM) empowers you to build and manage rich customer profiles and product catalogs on an ongoing basis. Informatica Data as a Service: Informatica Data as a Service (DaaS) is integrated directly into Marketo and helps our customers confidently connect with their customers and prospects using accurate and valid data.  Informatica Data Quality as a foundational piece of the puzzle to ensure clean, standardized, trusted data is fed into marketing apps. Business processe integrity is the result of leveraging Data Quality tools to enable governance and combine it with workflw capabilitites to get the right information to the people in the right way. And finally a Marketing Automation tool like Marketo: Marketing automation software is designed for marketing departments.

Process Data Flow along the Customer Journey

Customer is buying item 1. Customer data is linked to item 1 via MDM. MDM checks if customer has relatives or friends. In case of potential target persons the system checks gender and obtains possible upsell / cross sell items. MDM pushes information of source customer, item 1, item 2, and reference type to target person to the marketing automation tool. The Marketing automation tool generates promotion email and send this email to the target person.

How to market one product to two buyer personas?

Assuming we have a well maintained product catalog with referencing data and our company has a shop called ‘Tech&Stuff’. Jo Seven and Kitty Seven are two different target customers we try to sell to. In this example we sell a Television ‘Multivision Isio 32’ which has a cross sell reference to a digital sat receiver.

This is typical information of a MDM system, which products are having which meaningful references. The new topic is that this is not only used for output channels but also now for Real-Time-Marketing. In our example a cross selling recommendation to that digital sat receiver ‘TechniBox S1+’ is stored.

When the customer ‘Jo Seven’ has bought the television in our online shop system the shop order interface to Informatica MDM automatically pushes a data set mapping from ‘Jo Seven’ to the Television ‘Multivision Isio 32’.

The benefit of having customer data inside of MDM is not only that you have the control about possible campaign targets as well as a visualization of regions where your products are selling well or where you have to focus next commercial campaigns.

An automated process triggers now a database check whether the customer ‘Jo Seven’ has relatives or friends. In our example ‘Jo Seven’s” we know that is lives in one household with his wife ‘Kitty Seven’. Since the cross sell product is not gender specific it is relevant for both target persons, ‘Kitty Seven’ and ‘Jo Seven’.

The process pushes now two information blocks to the marketing automation tool. These blocks contain all relevant information in order that the marketing automation tool can create the email to the customers. An appropriate email template is stored in the marketing automation tool with the purpose ‘real-time’.
With different information blocks the marketing automation tool can generate two emails to promote the upsell product. The first email targets ‘Jo Seven’, the second email targets ‘Kitty Seven’.

Before emailing ‘Jo Seven’ and ‘Kitty Seven’, Informatica Email Verification is run to ensure that the email address that is on file is accurate and safe to send to. Once it is verified, the emails to Kitty and Jo can be sent.

Since in Informatica MDM all digital assets are stored on the product site also with gender specific images the marketing mail can render gender specific images in the promotion emails.

These are the example of the personalized cross-selling promotion email sent to ‘Kitty Seven’ and ‘Jo Seven’:

persona email targeting_Informatica

Upon reading this email, ‘Kitty Seven’ talks with her husband about the good idea to buy a digital satellite receiver to use the full capacity of their new flat television.

‘Kitty Seven’ and ‘Jo Seven’ go online and order their new digital satellite receiver. When entering their shipping address, the data is verified with Informatica Address Verification directly within the Marketo form. This ensures that their package will be delivered to the correct address the first time.

‘Kitty’ and ‘Jo’ also enter their phone number into the Marketo form and select that they would like to opt in to SMS communications regarding their purchase. The number is verified for accuracy with Informatica Phone Validation and identified as a mobile number. As soon as the new digital satellite receiver ships, the Informatica SMS Mobile Messaging service automatically sends out an SMS message to the mobile number for ‘Kitty Seven’ to alert her that her package is on its way along with a tracking number so that ‘Kitty’ knows when to expect her delivery.


With a combination of a powerful marketing automation application like Marketo and a Total Customer Relationship approach you can build more meaningful customer segments based on a rich customer profile and make more personalized cross-sell and up-sell offers to your existing customers, as well as their relatives or friends. This helps unleash your hidden marketing potential and delivers great customer experiences with great data.

I end, by thanking my great colleagues Thomas Brence and Achim Grosshans for their support on this use case!