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Since the popularization of data, messages and priorities have continued to evolve. First, it was all about collecting data. Using past information about individual customers to answer hypotheses and in some instances to predict future needs and purchases. Next, technologies and intelligence (enter Data Scientists) became readily accessible to the benefit of many.

Data service providers and user-friendly platforms would accept your data, process it, and return it to you cleaned and ready for action. However, as shopping and purchase behaviors have become more complex, increased destinations coupled with increased devices and methods of purchases, a new solution is needed. Enter, data onboarding.

Data onboarding or offline matching is the process of transmitting offline data to an online environment where it is made available for marketing needs. Offline data can be matched at the individual level enabling marketers to produce and delivery highly targeted messaging, or at the household level for more general yet relevant messaging.

The ability to combine offline intelligence with online connectivity has unveiled an abundance of opportunities for marketers.

1. You have more to learn: No matter how much you know about your customers, there’s always more to learn. Data onboarding is the fastest and most effective way to gather more information about your customers. In addition to basic information such as gender, date of birth, demographics, and geographics, you can learn more about their personalities, online browsing habits, search habits, and their favorite places to shop both on and offline.

2. Your data is dynamic: CRM databases are only up to date for a brief period of time. Once a customer gets married, moves, or even changes their preference of ice cream brands, what was once current information becomes dated and effectively incorrect. Onboarding takes your offline data online allowing you to access the most up to date information for accurate targeting, profiling, and segmentation every time.

3. Increase your data value: Onboarding your data to where it can routinely undergo hygiene processing, be continuously enriched with key characteristics, and made available for online customer targeting increases its value both online and off. Lists and segments existing within a data management platform are readily available for monetization and lists pulled and extracted are guaranteed to contain the most up to date information available.

4. Expand your reach: Today’s customer is an omni-channel shopper. From tweens to Baby Boomers, consumers are shopping in store, in apps, on phones, and online. A rich customer profile complete with the most up to date information is required to reach your existing and potential customers wherever and however they choose to shop. Onboarding your data ensures that you have the most effective means of targeting your ideal audience.

5. Enhance the customer experience: Onboarding will make searching, segmenting, cleaning, enhancing, and monetizing your data simpler than ever before, but it will also enhance customer experience . Not only are messages more fine-tuned and appropriate to their intended recipients, they are delivered via the most appropriate channel for maximum convenience.

6. Directly attribute success: Successful campaigns make clients happy, but being able to directly attribute success to the use of your data makes clients loyal. Data onboarding provides a closed-loop solution that can track each individual customer through the sales funnel across all channels and devices over time.

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