By Hussam ElHage
Have you ever thought what element(s) within Emails and SMS’s that hold(s) the real value?
Hint: it is not the ad copy.
It is something called PII data, which most of us in agencies do not really deal with; as agencies almost exclusively deal with 3rd party cookie data.
PII or Personally Identifiable Information is quite simply the first and last name, email, phone number and other pieces of data that identify us as a unique person.
In other words, it is 1st party qualitative data that is truly the most underrated asset organizations have.
It comes at basically no cost to use (unlike the 3rd party data that we have to purchase during media buying activities), but it creates opportunities for the truest form of personalization.
Nonetheless, it does not require media buying to access and links to transactional data (allowing for full attribution).
The closest that agencies would have gotten to Email or SMS use, is when utilizing a 3rd party vendor that would select the contact list (through “targeting”) and send the communication on our behalf through either a CPM, CPL or other buying model.
I recall, during my agency days, using such a vendor and being pleased with the shallow results of open rates, clicks, conversions, etc. It was only during my time in client side that I realized that those results probably did not yield any sales or quality transactions.
Why do 3rd party lists not work with 1st party communication (Email and SMS)? Quite simply because those customers did not willfully give permission to that brand to communicate to them. They did not purchase a product, did not sign up to that brand’s newsletter and/or did not show interest in that product at all; so why are they receiving communication about it? Hint: they are not interested to know more about your products if they did not willfully give you their details.
I see, that as more restrictions and limitations plague 3rd party cookies, the shift to the 1st party data is slowly happening.
I believe that both clients and advertisers need to take control of this wealth of data in order to preserve and maintain it.
Utilizing PII data will unlock a potential that has been dormant so far and bring brands closer to their customers through automation and personalization.
Hussam ElHage is the Digital Marketing Manager at Arabian Automobile.Opinions expressed in this piece belongs to the author.