GroupArticle overview

Create brand relevance with responsible data

Today's consumers have high expectations. They expect a personalised service, but at the same time, want or are allowed to share less and less data. How do you deal with this as a brand?

The rules and guidelines on privacy have made working with customer data a challenge. Moreover, the so-called cookieless era is upon us. This makes measuring behavior and tracking consumers online more difficult. The word data is in danger, partly due to these developments, of getting a negative connotation among the general public.

According to research, 87% of consumers would refuse to do business with a company if they are concerned about the security of their data. At the same time, almost two-thirds (63%) of consumers still expect personalization as a "service standard."

Data is clearly a must in providing customised service to your target audience. But how do you ensure that you use your data in an ethically responsible way?

After two lost seasons, Festival Best Kept Secret (BKS) wanted to expand its brand and attract a larger, more diverse audience. Together with BKS, we mapped out how it can use data in order to gain better insight into its existing and potential target groups and personalize its approach to them. With little visibility and an unclear proposition during the pandemic, BKS had the perfect opportunity to reinvent itself and maintain connections with its target audience. Because how do you stay in touch with your target audience when you haven't been able to organize live events for almost two years due to the pandemic?

Year-round platform

Best Kept Secret is a midsize, three-day festival in the Netherlands with more than just a passion for music. It likes to explore the boundaries of food, art, and culture while bringing people together.

BKS approached us to create an online experience that translated its new festival concept. We advised integrating data as a core component of the strategy to create brand relevance. We digitally implemented the "Culture through the lens of music, music through the lens of culture" concept, resulting in a year-round platform where BKS stays relevant all year long with music and culture, culminating in the festival as the highlight.

With every new client, we first look at the existing tools they already use. We frequently discover that three or even more data systems are being used that are not compatible with each other at all. Other times, the data is fragmented between different departments. At BKS, for instance, data from ticketing, marketing, and advertising was kept in distinct silos, which made it impossible to obtain a 360-degree view of the customer.

We break these silos by bringing all the data together in one central place. This ensures that all systems that have data about a certain customer are actually connected to each other. For example, if someone buys a ticket for your festival, you don't want to bother that visitor with ads about ticket sales anymore. However, you may want to inform them about the lineup, timetable, or an interview with one of their favorite artists. This way, you can communicate more specifically and more relevantly.

#Insight 1 - Data is key, even for small organizations

Having a central view of data is not only important for large companies, but also for small organisations. It can help you to achieve faster impact, communicate more effectively with your target audience, and optimise your internal processes. Together with our clients, we search to find a suitable solution that fits within their budget, including affordable options for small and medium-sized organizations that offer the same benefits as larger customer data platforms (CDPs).

For example, with Best Kept Secret, we identified four target groups and centralized all their data into a CDP. This way, we gradually move away from a one-size-fits-all approach and BKS learns more and more about its target group with the new platform. At the same time, the organization provides tailored interesting content and festival information to the audience.

#Insight 2 - You can never start centralising data too early

Data is a long-term strategy
It is important to prioritise data from the outset when designing a new website. This way, we can bring together the entire infrastructure and all data optimally in one place. Building a data profile takes time. By identifying who you want to reach early on, data helps you get to know the target audience better. How does someone behave across all channels? What are individual interests? What is the purchasing behavior? And how does someone behave across all channels? Once you know this, you can serve everyone better in the long run.

Start small to make an impact quickly

Start small instead of working out everything in detail right away. By starting with quick wins, you will see results fast and can continue to optimise and expand based on the learnings. Best Kept Secret already had a certain maturity within the organisation. That’s helpful, as using and deploying a CDP optimally takes time.

Cookieless era

In a cookieless era, collecting first-hand data is becoming increasingly important. First-party data is the information about customers and visitors to your site that you collect and combine yourself. This ranges from name and address information to data on online behaviour collected based on cookies.

A customer data platform helps your business make your first-party data actionable, so the right message reaches the right person at the right time. But this also takes time. You must first get to know the target audience to use data effectively.

GDPR-compliant? (‘AVG’ proof)
A customer data platform ensures that you attract first-party data. We only want to use data that people have entered themselves. Gathering data is a sensitive ethical issue. Cultural institutions in particular struggle with GDPR (in Dutch: ‘AVG’) and privacy law. Other, more commercial organisations are further along. It is important to consider the industry and end user carefully. We take into account GDPR and privacy law in the tool selection and in terms of where the data is stored.

Insight #3: Brand ethics: How to stay true to your brand while automating content or communication?

When automating marketing and internal processes, keep your brand and your audience in mind at all times. How do we stay true to our vision and values as a brand? How, when, and where does the audience want to be addressed? And how do we ensure that tunnel vision does not arise? Best Kept Secret aims to explore the boundaries of music as a year-round platform, connecting different target groups through content, rather than just selling festival tickets. Determine ethical frameworks in advance, so that everyone in your organization uses data responsibly and your brand does not suffer damage.

Insight #4: How to use data to reach and convert new audiences more effectively

Soft-conversion can help you introduce visitors to your brand in a targeted way during the consideration phase. For Best Kept Secret, we create an onboarding funnel in which we gradually introduce new members to the fresh proposition of Best Kept Secret. By doing so, we gain valuable insights into their interests and preferences, and can arouse their interest in the festival. This smart and data-driven advertising enables us to serve personalized ads or content to returning visitors based on their specific interests, instead of generic versions.

Results with data

So, what are the key points of a data strategy?

  • Everyone in the organization has a complete customer view and can respond better to it.
  • You create brand relevance by approaching your audience online in a more personal and relevant way.
  • You can save resources and increase engagement;
  • You have direct insight into what works and what doesn't. "Learn by doing": analyze, optimize, and adjust where necessary.

The future of automation

Once clients are convinced of the power of data, you can use your platform and communication more effectively. Of course, there are still some challenges. Data must be used in a targeted way. Together with the client, we look at what we can achieve.

Additionally, it is crucial to bear in mind your goals, values, and brand to use data responsibly. It is also essential to continually test what works, or 'learn by doing'. And of course, we look at how we can anticipate the latest developments. It may be a quest, but overall, we are on the right track.

Want to know more? Contact us.