How Campaign Timing Depends on Data Driven Marketing Timing

Because event-triggered campaigns have such a quick turnaround and high effectiveness, they can be very useful marketing tools when using data driven marketing. But their effectiveness comes with a cost.

In data driven marketing, everything starts with the data. For an event-triggered campaign to be effective, it needs to be based on fresh data. Your window of opportunity might last only one or two days after a particular customer event occurs. If data about that type of event is only loaded to your database weekly, you’re powerless to take advantage of the information.

The freshness of your data is commonly called data latency. In simplest terms, this means the time it takes to be able to act on that data. The data in your marketing database has varying degrees of latency, depending on its source.

For example, you might only purchase third-party data on your customers monthly or semiannually. On the other hand, you may load transaction data weekly or even daily. Unfortunately, it’s a pretty general rule that your infrastructure costs go up with the frequency of your updates.

As a general rule, you don’t want to be updating your marketing database on a real-time basis. For one thing, your reports will never come out with same results twice. For another, doing so would put an unwelcome burden on your transaction systems.

Two strategies can help you to get around the cost implications of frequent database updates:

  • Focus only on the small number of transactions that display the event trigger you’re interested in. Rather than trying to convince your IT department to invest in daily, rather than weekly, updates from your transaction systems, you could ask for a daily feed containing only the relatively small number of transactions that you’re actually interested in.

  • Execute the campaign from the transaction system itself. Most real-time, or near real-time, campaigns are executed through electronic media. E-mail confirmations or follow-up offers are typically triggered by an online purchase. You can execute these communications based on information available from your Internet service provider. There is no need to download the online data and integrate it into your customer database before this communication is sent.

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