Closing the Analytics Action Gap
Editor’s Note: This is part of an ongoing blog series with digital marketing leaders, including many of the 500+ marketing vendors that are integrated into the Tealium tag management platform. This week, we invited Andrew Edwards, digital analyst and digital marketing executive, to share his insights on AudienceStream, the newest addition to our DataCloud suite and how he sees it affecting the world of analytics.
Reporting on user activity is good. Taking action based on collected data is much, much better. Tealium’s new AudienceStream™ gives marketers a way to do just that.
Tealium’s tag management system (TMS) has already placed it square in the wheelhouse of data-collection. TMS technologies have become staples of the analytics industry by removing deployment roadblocks that long prevented accuracy and attribution. One valuable product of a technology that manages data collection is that it can aggregate data from many sources and then connect that data to many other sources for execution on what was collected.
With its new AudienceStream, Tealium leverages its data-collection centrality in a new and powerful way that moves beyond reporting—and directly into action.
The rub against reporting in analytics—even great reporting—is that it can be a dead-end. A great reporting engine without an action-axle moves nowhere fast. It revs high with dashboards but there’s nothing connecting all that power to the marketing wheels. Nothing that connects reporting to “doing something about it”.
Taking action on data—targeting, re-targeting, upselling, offering customer content in context—these are not new. But AudienceStream solves for a missing element. It links the collected data from many sources (legacy of Tealium’s TMS) and allows the marketer to quickly set rules, thresholds and triggers that communicate via new APIs to marketing-action software already in the market. Once the data is collected (you can have TMS and AudienceStream but you don’t need TMS to run AudienceStream), and once you set the rules, it goes to a hands-free mode that automatically messages or deploys content to your micro-targeted audience without the time or effort of human intervention. I hesitate to use the phrase “real-time” because it’s often misunderstood. But what AudienceStream facilitates is pretty darn quick. And by that I mean quick enough to make a difference.
AudienceStream is skinned with an easy-to-use interface that allows you to set the events and conditions, then cluster those events and conditions into custom audience-segments they call “badges”, which is an attractive nomenclature paired with a memorable icon-choice module for swift visual recognition of segments.
Once you’ve created your rules and events and badged users who fulfill the criteria, you set the action layer; and micro-targeted, highly effective messaging is enabled using third-party distribution devices already in place.
Here’s an example: a certain type of user shows a pattern of loading up a shopping cart but abandoning it at the register. Well, analytics could have told you about that, and you could have set up a campaign to retarget these people with perhaps a discount or other offer. But AudienceStream allows you to pre-load your CDN or email marketing provider with content that is triggered on the completion of certain conditions in each and every case where the “badge” criteria are met.
Without ever looking at a report, your AudienceStream connection delivers a trigger via API to your CDN or email provider—and the re-marketing task is fulfilled. Over and over. Without your needing to see reports.
Digital analytics tools have been creating reports for years. Humans generally don’t like reports very much and tend to not do anything much with the information. Is it possible analytics applications have been talking to the wrong audience? Why would you want the analytics to talk to you, when it could communicate, via AudienceStream, with a fully loaded and aimed surrogate that’s ready on a moment’s notice to provide fulfillment for your targeted campaign?
It’s evolutionary: gone is the need for gazing at bar charts and then wondering what to do. Chances are you already know what you want to do, but instrumenting the moving parts into a cohesive data-driven marketing engine was too arcane and difficult to be worth your time. AudienceStream looks at the collected data for you and then, based on rules you set, delivers action-instructions to fulfillment vehicles.
AudienceStream closes the digital analytics action gap.