REVOLVE Clothing is just one example of a retailer capitalizing on consumer data to provide targeted experiences. Digital is “a critical and rapidly growing part” of CVS Caremark’s business, according to its SVP and chief digital officer, Brian Tilzer.
Using data, CVS is looking to “test and learn and iterate” on successes to create an integrated experience between CVS’s mobile apps, which now account for 37% of digital prescription refills, and in-store marketing. CVS is in an interesting predicament because its first focus is its 7,500 pharmacies. In-store retail is only an extension of its pharmacy services, and represents more of a “convenience” factor.
To bridge the gap between brick-and-mortar and digital prescriptions, CVS’s Drug Interactions app lets consumers scan barcodes in-store to see what side effects, if any, their drug purchases could have. Mobile, then, is a huge area of focus for the brand in terms of targeted placements. And privacy necessarily follows: CVS has hired a chief privacy officer and remains “very focused and deliberate about living up to opt-in standards.”
“We don’t know yet all of the communications [strategies] that will be meaningful to our customers,” Tilzer added, but “the critical enabler will be investing in Web services, digital analytics as well as the human capacity to support” data initiatives.
Matt Spiegel, SVP and GM, Americas, at programmatic media-buying platform MediaMath, offered up digital ad tech’s view on data in bettering the omnichannel retail experience. He brought up the point that data, in and of itself, does not accomplish anything.
“One of the things I say to marketers when they ask me what data-management platform [DMP] they should choose is, ‘What are your marketing objectives and goals?’" Spiegel said. "This is still about marketing and about leveraging technology as that great enabler” to leverage data.
Retailers are increasingly looking for ways to connect first-party customer data with online strategies. For instance, MediaMath has worked with a retailer with a “sizable shopper loyalty program" to onboard offline and online data through partners like Datalogix to create more sophisticated segmentation around customer profiles to put toward future prospecting.
Another pain point for retailers is understanding the path to conversion. “Beyond the Facebook Ad Exchange [FBX], email and search impressions, it’s, ‘How do you actually activate that data and make decisions based on attributed conversions and not just last-click?’” Spiegel said. Partner platforms like Convertro and Visual IQ “help you understand the fractional value of your conversion.”
Citing the need to move beyond standalone retargeting, which doesn’t drive long-term results, he said retailers “need better visibility into media buys, pricing, frequency, etc. … If you aren’t building a story and a history on your customers, how and what they buy, and you’re not using that in outbound marketing, you will be at a disadvantage.”