At ad:tech New Delhi this year, Vizury will showcase our latest user engagement platform and what is arguably the world’s first Performance Marketing Hub. In a way, this represents a logical and very determined move towards realizing the ambitious vision we set out to achieve six years back – of offering a high performance Digital CRM stack for marketers that is the perfect blend of data, marketing and technology.
The idea of a user centric, channel agnostic marketing stack has been around for a while now. Perhaps it’s also fair to say that the two-year roadmaps for many firms in the space, large and small, may converge to such a stack. But the notion of using performance marketing principles as the backbone to such a stack, and that too by Vizury, which has strong performance street cred, makes the product proposition very unique.
Last year, we started talking to marketers across APAC/LATAM, our focus geographies, to understand what their expectations were from a Digital CRM Platform. Firstly, there was a strong acknowledgement that we did indeed already have a high performance display ad-tech platform across both mobile and desktop. The platform’s constituent components – data ingestion, bidding engine, adserver, analytics/algorithms – were all individually best in class and collectively were helping hundreds of marketers getting excellent returns on their marketing investments.
After talking to nearly 50 marketers across Japan, China, Korea, India, Brazil, UAE, Taiwan and at all levels of the marketing hierarchy, we got very clear and consistent (and often brutally honest!) inputs on what they wanted from a comprehensive marketing stack:
- Treating every user as an individual was at the core of every customer’s engagement strategy.
- Enabling results was the main expectation from their marketing technology investments. And they wanted technology to be invisible and efficient
And so, we committed ourselves to these expectations and converted them into the two pillars around which we built out the Performance Marketing Hub: Personalization and Predictive Analytics.
Personalization has always been at the heart of Vizury’s offerings. In fact, it is a fundamental requirement of remarketing. We always knew how impactful it could be. Personalized ads outperform static, non-personalized ones by ten times.
While personalization on the marketing front was well understood and solved to some extent, the key feedback marketers gave was that they wanted a unified view of every user that brings together all touch points including channels like call center, Point of Sale etc.
We added special data ingestion capabilities to support this requirement. Two examples:
- Offline data on boarding like call-center interactions and returns/ complaints data.
- Mobile app data on boarding through SDK which helped connect user behavior across mobile and desktop
On all this aggregated data, we overlaid an intuitive, easy to use segmentation engine that rapidly updates marketers on if and which channels they can find users of the segment.
Predictive analytics is one more area where Vizury has done considerable work. But it was also the area where marketers gave us their harshest feedback. Quite simply, they wanted much more complexity taken away from targeting. One marketer gave us a wonderful insight. The best programmatic buying algorithm is still only as good as the inputs the marketer feeds in. If the specified bid range is off, there isn’t much an algorithm can do to salvage the situation. But the bid range on the user set can be estimated by looking at recent bid/win patterns. This is a great example of how analytics can, in the background, help marketers reduce the time it takes to optimize and drive better performance faster.
With the Performance Marketing Hub, we’ve also made, admittedly still early, forays into email, SMS and other traditional marketing channels. But there is an interesting trend here. With the likely exception of email, almost all other channels have not seen big investments in intelligence and algorithms. Its no surprise, therefore, that when it comes to using these channels, many marketers are quick to ask Vizury to overlay their entire customer data with strong analytics.
So this is where we are today, with a Performance Marketing Hub that
- Brings together silo-ed and diverse customer touch point data including mobile and offline data
- Offers powerful analytics and segmentation
- Enables cross-channel engagement with consistent messages
The Performance Marketing Hub, already in action with clients, is getting traction that surprised even us. Our hope, as we work closely with our customers to continue building it, is that we stay true to their feedback aptly summed up by what Leonardo da Vinci, someone who knew a thing or two about combining art and science, said, “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication”.