3 Approaches to Omnichannel Every Marketer Should Know

Many brands struggle to acquire new customers, but do you know why?—It’s because they’re taking a disjointed, cross channel approach to acquisition.

3 Approaches to Omnichannel Every Marketer Should Know

Many brands struggle to acquire and retain new customers. But do you know why? It’s because they’re taking a disjointed, cross channel approach to acquisition. In other words, they’re relying on siloed or incomplete data to obtain siloed or incomplete insights that make it impossible to optimize their engagement and acquisition in a meaningful way. If you’re looking to avoid issues related to engagement and acquisition, you need to incorporate one of the following three approaches to omnichannel.

Done properly, these three approaches to omnichannel will make it possible for you to find the right customers in the right channel and at the right time—the moment of consideration. And if you can do that, you’ll help your brand bolster engagement, acquisition, and retention.

#1 – Pure omnichannel acquisition

It costs more than money to acquire customers—it costs time, energy, and talent. 

The cumulative cost of acquisition is especially high (sometimes as much as 10X higher) when it’s compared to the total cost of customer retention. 

This disparity is why smart, successful companies that are built to endure for decades make customer retention their primary focus and customer acquisition their secondary focus. The leaders of these businesses know it’s better to keep existing customers loyal while capturing a few new customers here and there, than it is to offset a high churn rate by capturing new customers by the boatload. 

This virtuous customer cycle is the goal of every company.

The Virtuous Customer Cycle

Using omnichannel to reduce customer acquisition costs

Even though retention should usurp acquisition in the way of importance, customer acquisition will always be a primary objective for any marketing executive. Therefore, keeping the cost of acquisition as low as possible is critical.

To that end, marketers and the brands they work for must know how to use omnichannel as a tool for lowering customer acquisition costs. Omnichannel makes it possible to maximize prospect data across channels to take advantage of every touchpoint along the customer journey.

Keys to successful omnichannel acquisition process


You need a good data

Any information you have on prospects (be it known or unknown data) should be enriched and used to engage in AI-modeling. To be successful in terms of obtaining actionable insights about individual customers requires a strong ability to identify individual prospects and their behavior through deterministic attribution.

You need good data strategies

To thrive with omnichannel acquisition, you not only need high-quality data, but you need intelligent strategies for using that data. Effective strategies can be built using a number of approaches including geo-fencing, lookalike modeling, and the building of intender audiences.

You need to activate in the right channels

Everything starts with your company’s website—if this isn’t buttoned up, your omnichannel acquisition process will never, ever take flight. That means you can’t have any breaks in your on-site conversion path, and—if you do— you must be able to re-engage prospects during their onsite visit to complete their conversion.

After your site, you must focus on activating and engaging through email. Email is personal, it performs, and it will deliver the best acquisition ROI for your brand. Yes, it might be lacking in reach (unless you have access to permissioned, third-party audience), but what it doesn’t offer in breadth it more than makes up for in efficiency.

Finally, you need a substantial social and programmatic presence.

#2 – Use email to improve direct mail acquisition

For marketers and brands that make use of direct mail for customer acquisition, email is a channel that can’t be ignored. Why?—Because no channel supports and amplifies the impact of direct mail like email.   

On its own, direct mail comes with costly limitations in that it’s both expensive to implement and slow to drive results.

The weakness of direct mail marketing on its own

The power of email PLUS direct mail

Email-based customer acquisition enables marketers to achieve…

The power of direct mail working with email for as an omnichannel strategy

Building a unified email and direct mail strategy

Used to complement each other, email and direct mail possess a multiplier effect that makes it easier for marketers to do big things when it comes to acquisition. But what does a unified strategy actually look like? In most circumstances, the strategy will feature a few components:

  • Email lists
  • Direct mailing list
  • Analytics derived from incremental reporting
  • Intelligent testing models to understand live channel performance

To build this strategy, you must create one, unified mailing list that incorporates both a prospects physical address as well as their email address. Without this unified list, there’s no way of guaranteeing prospects receive the right messaging in both channels. You must also ensure there’s continuity of offers across both direct mail and email—any variation in promotion, design aesthetic, or copy can undermine the likelihood of a conversion.

#3 – Re-engage and cross sell

Acquisition cost doesn’t need to be a sunk cost. You can reduce the cost of acquisition over time by maximizing the lifetime value of each customer acquired.  So, how do you maximize that lifetime value?—By re-engaging and cross selling customers. 

Inactive versus active customers

To succeed with re-engagement and cross selling, it’s important to make the distinction between an active and inactive customer. In other words, you need to create a clear criteria for each classification of customer. Doing so will make it easier to develop and deploy different strategies that cater to each audience. With active customers, those strategies will center around light engagement across carefully selected channels. With inactive customers, those strategies will incorporate heavier engagement that’s targeted at specific types of individuals (e.g. one-time shoppers) using particular channels. 

What does it take to create a winning re-engagement strategy?

First and foremost, you need rock-solid customer data. 

Great data is how you can identify:

  • Offline behavior
  • Customer transaction history
  • One-time customers from repeat customers
  • Customers with high lifetime value versus those with low lifetime value

Once you’ve collected and collated your data, you’ll need to enrich it with additional signals—geographic signals, behavioral signals, etc.

No matter which of the 3 approaches to omnichannel you take…

Here’s what you and your brand will need need to succeed.

You need centralized customer data management

Centralized data management will allow you to leverage the existing information you have on customers to find new shoppers with efficiency.

You need an easy, painless implementation process

If you don’t have a customer data management solution already, you need to acquire one. Make sure it comes with an easy, painless implementation process. Something you can get up and running quickly so you can isolate and scale high-performing combos.

You need access to new data inputs

By constantly refreshing your existing customer data with new inputs and signals, you’ll be more successful in finding, engaging, and acquiring new customers.

You need AI

Artificial intelligence is the only effective way for your brand to model and enrich its existing customers data.

You need real-time reach

It’s not enough to simply “reach out” to prospective buyers on your terms. You need to be able to use real-time signals to connect with new customers on their terms. In moments and through the channels that they want to utilize for engagement.

You need deterministic measurement

The only way to accurately and effectively track your progress improving acquisition through omnichannel strategies is with deterministic measurement.

You need to understand the customer journey

Understanding the path people take—the channels people engage with your brand and the sequence in which they travel through those channels. In many cases, getting a clear picture of this journey for individual customers will require an exceptional CDP.

Looking to learn more about omnichannel?

To learn more about any of the approaches to omnichannel discussed in this blog, or how your brand can better deploy omnichannel strategies to acquire and retain new customers, talk to Zeta.

What Is Semantic Analysis?

This blog explains what semantic analysis is, what it means in the context of machine learning and data science, and why it’s important.


This blog is going to answer the question what is semantic analysis and why it’s important to marketers…but we didn’t have to tell you that, did we? 

You knew it already.

How did you know it? 

Because of the contextual clues:

  1. The title (it literally says “what is semantic analysis”)
  2. The publication (you know Zeta blog publishes content targeted at marketers)

You used these two contextual clues to understand the implied meaning behind the title What Is Semantic Analysis? and accurately predict what this blog is going to discuss. 

What you just did right there?—That’s semantic analysis (SA). 

Humans do semantic analysis incredibly well.

In fact, we’re so good at it’s generally an unconscious exercise, like breathing…we just do it without thinking about it. 

We analyze…

  • Context surrounding words, phrases, objects, scenarios, etc.
  • Pull out the relevant information
  • Compare that information against prior experience (or a taxonomy in the case of machines)

…and then use the output of that analysis to predict an outcome with incredible accuracy.

Machines couldn’t do what we do

For the bulk of recorded history, semantic analysis was the exclusive competence of man—tools, technologies, and machines couldn’t do what we do. They couldn’t process context to understand what material is relevant to predicting an outcome and why. 

But the evolution of Artificial Intelligence, machine learning, and natural language processing has changed all that. Advancing algorithms, increasingly powerful computers, and data-based practice have made machine-driven semantic analysis a real thing with a number of real world applications.

Machine-driven semantic analysis can…

  • Discover the meaning of colloquial speech in online posts
  • Find an answer to a question without having to ask a human
  • Extract relevant and useful information from large bodies of unstructured data

And so much more!

Before semantic analysis, there was textual analysis

And it wasn’t good.

In the early days of MarTech, people wrote programs to scrape huge amounts of data for recurring words and phrases (remember word clouds?).

Why? Because there was a belief that word frequency was tied to importance—the more important the word, the more frequently it will appear. Yet this belief made many erroneous assumptions, chief among them being that “context doesn’t matter.”

But as anyone who’s ever been on a date, gone to a comedy show, or had the most basic of human interactions can tell you, “context matters a helluva lot.” Without the surrounding context, the frequency of a word is pretty meaningless. 

Want to see what we mean?

A textual analysis for the word “whip” might capture a result like this…


…which is great because we were thinking of the word “whip” in the context of a “bullwhip.”

However, a textual analysis for the word “whip” might just as easily capture a result like this…

cool whip

Or this…


Or this…


Annnnnd that would be a problem, wouldn’t it?

Then there was tagging…

Tagging attempted to use human understanding of content to create keyword-based guidelines machines could follow to identify important content (content relevant to an individual searcher’s underlying need). But like textual analysis, tagging came with a laundry list of limitations—redundant tags, misspelled tags, inconsistently applied tags, over-tagging, etc. Ultimately, tagging proved to be no better than an educated guess of end-user intention. 

(To be clear, this isn’t to say marketers should stop tagging their content—tags are an important component of semantic understanding. Rather, it is to say you must use tags in accordance with an authoritative, data-driven taxonomy or a defined set of rules.)

Sentiment analysis makes a brief splash

As social media and user-generated content started taking over the internet in the early 2000s, marketers began developing an insatiable appetite for meaning in data—not just knowing whether individual consumers were talking about a given brand, but how those consumers felt towards the brand, its products, and its services.  

To feed marketers demand for sentiment, social analytics platforms began offering “hot or cold” analyses of topics and brands. 

But what is sentiment analysis? In truth, it’s nothing more than an application of explicit understanding (e.g. if the word “sucks” appears in a Tweet alongside “Nike”, and the social analytics platform knows to identify the word “sucks” as an indicator of negativity, then the platform can infer that what’s being said by the consumer about the Nike brand is negative). 

“What is semantic analysis? It’s not about teaching the machines, it’s about getting them to learn.”

From a data processing point of view, semantics are “tokens” that provide context to language—clues to the meaning of words and those words’ relationships with other words. From these “tokens” the expectation is for the machine to look beyond the individual words used to identify the true meaning of what’s being said as a whole. 

Successful semantic analysis requires a machine to look at MASSIVE data sets, and in analyzing those sets form accurate assumptions that account for context. Put another way, it’s about asking a machine to make meaningful cognitive leaps using data-based measures (frequency, location, etc.). 

(For example, having a computer make the connection that a “Dalmatian” is a “spotted breed of dog” from semantic information provided through large data sets.)



Why is Semantic Analysis so important to deliver relevant content?

Why do we care if a computer knows that a Dalmatian is a spotted breed of dog? Because if it knows a Dalmatian is a spotted breed of dog, it will know that someone searching for “spotted dog,” is really looking for content related to Dalmatians. 

In order to make sure content is relevant to the user, two components are required: 

  1. An understanding of the user 
  2. An understanding of the content

The problem with establishing relationships between pieces of content is that most “scraping” or “data-capture” technology doesn’t understand the contextual language within a document very well. There may be simplistic levels of machine learning involved, but those levels rely heavily on provided tags and a cursory understanding of the individual words on the page…leaving the door wide open for improvement. 

“If we can understand the content and the user behavior at a deep, semantic level, we can deliver more relevant content and thereby create a more resonant user experience.”

What happens when you search for the term “jaguar”?

If you search for the term “jaguar,” you will return results for:

A predator...


A luxury car…


A football team…

jacksonville jas


And a number of other results that would likely surprise you. 


Therefore, the goal of semantic analysis is to pair the term “jaguar” to your true intention in order to deliver the content you’re looking for. To achieve this goal, a machine will:

  1. Find contextual clues in your online behavior, past or present (have you been researching “new cars”? Did you recently search for “zoos nearby”?).
  2. Look at all the content at its disposal where “jaguar” (or related words) occur to determine what content will best match the intentions behind your search.

The number of connections a machine can make (and how well that machine can understand the relationships between those connections) will determine the relevance of the results delivered to the searcher (in this case, you). 

Relevance is both the goal and the unit of measure when it comes to semantic analysis—understanding both the content and the individual’s intention (or need) is the key to delivering a more valuable and resonant user experience.

With that, we hope you now know how to answer the question What Is Semantic Analysis?, and that you have a better understanding of the role it plays in delivering an exceptional user experience. If you want to learn more about delivering a superior user experience, check out our whitepaper on the importance of website personalization.


Brand Innovators Livecast Series: Women in Marketing

Women in marketing

The Women in Marketing Livecast series keeps our community engaged, educated, and inspired. In this session, Sheryl Adkins-Green, Chief Marketing Officer at Mary Kay dives into a range of important topics from latest trends, technologies, challenges and opportunities. Click below to view the session moderated by Zeta Global’s Group VP of Global Strategy, Cynthia Janelli.



Mary Key Quote Graphic

March Release Radar

Welcome to Zeta’s Product Release Radar, designed to keep you in the loop on powerful new updates and features we’ve released in our award-winning Zeta Marketing Platform! Subscribe below to stay updated on the latest and greatest innovations from Zeta. 

Zeta product updates

We have exciting Zeta product updates regarding the Data Cloud, our all-new Opportunity Explorer, and our Audience Discovery tools like Automated Lookalikes.

We also added support for more advanced segmentation, new data connectors, dashboards, and seamless programmatic connectivity to help you create true Omnichannel Experiences.

The entire Products Team is super-excited to see how these innovations will help you elevate your customer experience!


Introducing Opportunity Explorer

Zeta’s all-new Opportunity Explorer is now live within the Zeta Marketing Platform!

The Opportunity Explorer unlocks our Data Cloud’s demographic, behavioral, and intent signals from over 2.4 billion consumers globally. Within this new discovery interface, you can learn who is currently interested in your products, which competitors they’re shopping, which channels they’re engaging, and other actionable consumer insights at scale.

These insights can be activated in real-time through the Zeta platform to find and acquire new high-value customer lookalikes, improve your media efficiency, increase customer value, and improve conversions.

To learn more about how to leverage the Opportunity Explorer, check out the video below, and reach out to your account manager to get started!



Programmatic Display Now Live in the Omnichannel Experience Builder

The new availability of the Display channel in the ZMP’s Experience Builder creates a first-of-its-kind, Omnichannel Experience Management interface, integrating and optimizing all touchpoints across all channels in a single console.

Audiences within an Experience can now be seamlessly syndicated to programmatic channels in the DSP for remarketing campaigns and nurtured by other channels in the same sequence touchpoints with continuously streaming performance analysis on every touchpoint.


ZMP Programmatic Display

Collaborative Email Editing

New collaborative email editing lets teammates develop emails and content simultaneously, view real-time changes, and collaborate on campaigns within the Visual Editor.

Collaborative Email Editing


Experience Builder Activation History

Along with the ability to view how customers move through an Experience, this new enhancement, ‘Activation History’, enables a centralized timeline view of how Experiences have performed over time.

The timeline dates show a history of when Experiences were live and inactive. Users can easily select a time period using the date range at the top of the screen to view the previous performance of published versions of an Experience.

Experience Analysis Mode – Activation History



Groundbreaking Flexibility for Segments

Building on Zeta’s best-in-class data flexibility, the ZMP can now support connections with innovative databases, Google BigQuery and Snowflake, natively within the platform. Enabling customers to build advanced SQL-based segments that update in real-time as campaigns launch. The new data connectors simplify the way marketers stream and use data in a continuous circuit, with more integrations to follow.

Groundbreaking Flexibility for SegmentsLookalike Audiences

Lookalikes have always been a powerful segmentation strategy (i.e. find me customers or prospects that look like my best customers). We’ve dramatically simplified this process, adding new automated creation of Lookalikes within Audience segmentation. Now, you can leverage the power of the Data Cloud and build Lookalikes from over 2.4B people in our proprietary data set.

Users will see a ‘Generate Lookalike’ option next to any ‘Matched List’ in the Zeta Marketing Platform. You can also upload a list of seed users and to generate a new Lookalike Audience. Easily adjust the size of your Lookalike Audience based on three levels of precision: higher precision (closer match but smaller Audience), medium, and lower precision (larger Audiences with a more lenient filter). 

Lookalike Audiences

New Data Cloud Audience Options 

We have expanded on new Audience options in the Zeta Marketing Platform, with new ways to access the Data Cloud. Users can now securely extend and enrich their customer data with Zeta’s proprietary intent signals by simply uploading a list to match.

Once matched, the customer list is enhanced by Zeta’s Data Cloud intent signals, providing an enhanced level of customer and prospect knowledge for use in acquisition and growth marketing strategies. You will now see options to create a ‘Zeta Audience’ or ‘Matched List’ through this new, intuitive interface.


Data Cloud Audience Options (Image 2)

Segment Membership

 A new set of filters has been added to the Zeta Marketing Platform, enhancing your ability to combine multiple attributes from various segments. You will now see additional filter options to qualify users based on segment membership in other segments or lists.

These new filters build upon existing segmentation flexibility and help simplify campaign creation by making segments reusable across multiple campaigns.


New Summary Dashboard

The new Summary Dashboard showcases a new level of transparency and insights for our users in a visual, customizable, sophisticated view. New functionality includes: 

  1. The ability for users to see an at-a-glance summary of recent campaign performance by high-level KPIs, top offers, top creatives, and top subject lines.
  2. Ability to select from a list of KPIs and configure based on specific marketing goals and objectives.

Customizable tile design enabling new simplified visualizations.

New Summary Dashboard

Custom Report Enhancements

Zeta’s Custom Reporting facilitates integrations with external BI tools & other web-based tools within the Zeta Marketing Platform. This latest update enables easier access to reports, extended flexibility, and simplified organization of multiple reports. Key highlights include:

  • Viewability, File Sharing & Direct Downloads  – View and analyze PDF reports natively. Upload and share local files (PDF, Excel & Powerpoint) directly within the platform, and download shared files to your local machine from within the platform
  • Report Categorization – Assign one or more tags to a report enabling similar reports to be grouped together for easy retrieval
  • Search, Filter, and Sort – To view any recent reports that are tagged as “weekly-updates,” filter by a specific tag name and sort by recent date
  • Report Preview – Save time by screening a report prior to creation

If you have any questions about these or any other Zeta product updates, we’d love to hear from you! Click below to reach out to us.


Questions about Zeta product updates? Get in touch!


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Zeta Global Recognized in Enterprise Marketing Software and Cross-Channel Campaign Management Reports by Independent Research Firm

The Enterprise Marketing Software Suites evaluation noted that “Zeta is a rarity in terms of overall capabilities” and that its combination of data and technology is “giving it the important ability to cross the entire customer lifecycle from acquisition to customer marketing.”

Zeta Global Recognized in Enterprise Marketing Software and Cross-Channel Campaign Management Reports by Independent Research Firm

NEW YORK, NEW YORK — October 15, 2019 — Zeta Global, a data-powered marketing technology company that helps brands acquire, grow and retain customer relationships, today announced that it has been recognized in “The Forrester Wave™: Enterprise Marketing Software Suites, Q3 2019” and in “The Forrester Wave™: Cross-Channel Campaign Management (EMSS Modules), Q3 2019.”Zeta was one of only seven enterprise software companies that Forrester invited to participate in both of the Q3 2019 Forrester Wave™ evaluations. In both reports, Forrester thoroughly evaluated each company against 40 criteria to assess their current offering, strategy and market presence. Zeta emerged in both reports as a Contender.

The Enterprise Marketing Software Suites evaluation noted that “Zeta is a rarity in terms of overall capabilities” and that its combination of data and technology is “giving it the important ability to cross the entire customer lifecycle from acquisition to customer marketing.” Zeta received the highest score possible in the criteria of data services, demand-side platform and social media advertising.

The Cross-Channel Campaign Management evaluation made reference to Zeta customers who “raved about Zeta as a strategic partner, and awarded the vendor near-perfect marks in terms of customer satisfaction,” ranking Zeta with the highest possible scores in the criteria cross-channel identity resolution, measurement and optimization, user experience, native and third-party integration and supporting products and services.

“We are honored to be recognized by Forrester in two highly competitive categories. In our view, these recognitions demonstrate that Zeta’s vision of bringing differentiated proprietary data and an innovative platform to market is valuable to the industry” said Zeta Global Co-Founder, Chairman, and CEO, David A. Steinberg. “Our team at Zeta is laser-focused on delivering superior business outcomes for our clients while evolving to meet the demands of ever-changing marketing technology. We believe that Forrester’s evaluation affirms Zeta’s position as a leading player, and validates the accolades given to us by our clients, partners and industry peers.”

The Forrester recognition is another milestone for Zeta in a year of significant advancements for the Zeta Marketing Platform, which launched in 2018. In 2019, Zeta acquired and integrated Sizmek’s DSP/DMP and AI-firm Tenmos, and formed strategic partnerships with location-based data leader PlaceIQ and IgnitionOne’s customer-management service. All acquisitions and partnerships have strengthened the innovative Zeta Marketing Platform and further distributed it to a broader set of clients.

The Zeta Marketing Platform currently serves more than 1,000 clients across four continents, who have access to 750 million+ deterministic profiles, 500+ AI-derived intender audiences and leading-edge applications, such as intent scoring.

About Zeta Global

Zeta Global is a data-powered marketing technology company that combines the scale of proprietary data with the science of artificial intelligence to help Fortune 1000 and middle market brands acquire, grow and retain customer relationships. Founded in 2007 by David A. Steinberg and John Sculley, the company’s highly-rated Zeta Marking Platform has been recognized in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for digital marketing hubs for multichannel campaign management. Zeta competes with marketing cloud offerings from Oracle, SAP, Salesforce and Adobe as well as programmatic platforms including The Trade Desk. Operating on four continents with 1,400+ employees, the company is headquartered in New York, with offices in San Francisco, Boston, Nashville, London, and Hyderabad, India.

Consumers Want to Get ‘Personal’… Is AI Filling the Need?

As marketers, we’ve all heard about personalization, and personalized emails … and getting personal with consumers, but are we responding appropriately to propel our brands into the hearts and minds of consumers? Are we truly embracing person-based marketing, or are we faking it until we can make it? Perhaps we should be taking a closer look at how artificial intelligence (AI) can help us get there. Doing so, we may even learn how to significantly increase our revenue per subscriber.

We recently partnered with The Relevancy Group to find out how AI is being utilized for personalization and how confident marketers are in learning the capabilities of these machines. Our survey report of over 400 marketers entitled, “Powering Person-Based Marketing via Artificial Intelligence,” provides great insight into the minds of marketers who are having success and their strategies for creating a goal-oriented implementation and roadmap to ensure AI personalization efforts. Here’s a sneak preview of some of our key findings:

Email Marketers Using AI Personalization Outperform Human-Curated Personalization

  • AI email marketers outperform their human-curated peers in every email metric.
  • Marketers using AI are driving higher revenue per subscriber.

Consumers Demand and Expect Individual Personalized Experiences

  • Consumers are demanding relevance and a unified customer experience across all channels.
  • Lack of relevance is the key reason why consumers ignore or opt-out of email.
  • Customer experience heavily drives brand selection.

How are marketers using Machine Learning (ML)? This type of AI that uses data to train an algorithm so that it can learn how to accomplish a specific task on its own, is very highly rated. When AI is applied to massive amounts of structured and unstructured data to provide a person-based individual experience, marketers shared these experiences:

Confidence in AI Program Capabilities Continues to Grow   

  • Less than five percent of marketers surveyed said they were not confident in AI improving their customer experience.

So, if AI is proving to be such a powerful weapon in the fight to obtain person-based marketing, what is preventing every marketer from using it?

  • Management of copious amounts of in-house customer data.
  • Ease and time needed to deploy.
  • Integration with existing CRM data.

To get all the specific stats about how marketers are blazing a path forward with AI using personalization, please join our webinar on June 13th.  Our own David Schey, SVP of customer experience, will share insights from our customers’ success stories and help answer questions about how you can achieve success in your program.

Building Audience Engagement for Publishers — An Interview with Daniel Ha

Daniel Ha is president of the Disqus Division, leading the growth of the audience development platform that’s popularly used by millions of content and brand publishers. He specializes in consumer-facing product strategy and go-to-market.

Q. What are the most significant challenges online publishers are faced with today?

Online publishers operate in an ever-shifting landscape and, often, the hardest part is simply keeping up. What continues to rapidly change is how people discover, consume, and engage with content. When publishers cannot navigate these changes fast enough, they fall behind in a way that is hard to recover.

Independent (and often smaller) publishers thrive best when the playing field is level. An example of this is how anyone can publish on the web using open, interoperable standards — and then anyone can find this content using a web browser.

In more recent years, people have been discovering and consuming content primarily through apps/platforms like Facebook and Instagram. These closed, proprietary platforms have the advantage of delivering super personalized (and really enjoyable) experiences. The result is these platforms end up controlling a lot of how a person finds and reads a publisher’s content.

Ultimately, this makes it harder for publishers to build a long-term relationship with their audiences.

Q. How did the Disqus solution address those challenges?

Disqus is a tool for publishers that helps them focus on building their own audience engagement. We believe that the Disqus platform, and other online software like it, are critical for the long-term health of the web and how publishers exist on it.

Q. You have mentioned that publishers and media companies have increasingly relied on “frenemies” to grow and monetize audiences. What do you mean by that? Why is it the wrong approach?

The frenemies I’ve described are Facebook and Google. These are incredible resources and partners for publishers. However, their dominance in the industry means that almost every publisher is over-indexed on the tools and policies from both Google and Facebook. Thus, even a small adjustment made on Facebook could have devastating impact on a small publisher that cannot (or does not know how to) adapt fast enough.

Q. How is the powerful combination of the Disqus solution and Zeta’s Data Cloud helping clients create deeper engagement with users?

Disqus is a large install base across the Internet. Its global reach allows Disqus to gather a lot of signal data that is meant to help publishers better understand and engage with their current or intended audiences.

Zeta’s new Data Cloud has tapped into this and made it something even greater. By combining these signals with Zeta’s powerful marketing tools, our new Data Cloud will extend that level of insight to marketers who are looking for better — or more cost effective — tools to find their consumers.

Q. With the impending GDPR deadline later this month, can you explain how Zeta/Disqus is preparing for the new regulations and why marketers should feel safe using Zeta/Disqus?

GDPR’s new comprehensive data law that comes into effect on May 25th was proposed to strengthen the protection of personal data, especially in light of new technologies on the Internet. At Disqus (and across Zeta), we are committed to complying with the GDPR and helping our customers navigate this potentially tricky new world.

I believe that this comes in a couple of phases. The first phase we’re making is thorough upgrades to how we’re collecting, storing, and making use of user data. We want all customers and users of Disqus/Zeta to feel safe in how we’re handling their data.

The second phase will apply everything we’ve learned about dealing with GDPR compliancy and help other publishers figure it out as well.

Q. What one thing should online publishers be considering in 2018 to increase brand awareness and increase ROI?

Many people, both publishers and consumers, are increasingly aware of their over-reliance on Facebook. The news headlines are shining a spotlight on issues around data privacy and fake news. Online publishers should consider thoughtful alternatives to services like these that they are already accustomed to using. Today, using Facebook and other platforms, acquiring a steady drip of potential customers or readers, can be fairly inexpensive to get started. But this can get pricey quickly. The best way to increase ROI is, of course, to get new users to come back again. Publishers are again turning to ways to establish a direct relationship with their readers, namely through collecting email addresses so that they can be marketed to directly again.

How to Follow a Customer-Centric Acquisition Marketing Approach — An Interview with Eric Presbrey

Eric Presbrey, president of Zeta’s ZX division, is charged with helping leading brands build digital audiences and create new customers. The Zeta ZX division works across all digital platforms, devices, formats, audiences and channels integrating Zeta’s platform with its Data Cloud containing 650M+ consumer profiles to build targeted audiences. Today, Eric is sharing how ZX can help marketers acquire the right customers for their individual brands.

Q: What are the most significant challenges marketers are facing today?

Marketers are in a never-ending quest to engage new customers and encourage them to spend more with their brand. This challenge persists no matter the economic, social or cultural state of the consumer. However, the way marketers address this challenge is a moving target.

The current state we live in is a “see me, know me, and serve me” culture. This means marketers can no longer treat the individual consumer as a group and expect them to engage with their wallets.

To address the demands of the individual consumer and the current “me-first” mentality, brands need to redefine the way they approach acquiring new customers. They need to understand and deliver meaningful and unique customer experiences at scale. This requires connecting consumer data and orchestrating an always-on, personalized media strategy rather than limiting their approach to channel-based marketing.

At Zeta, we interpret billions of individual consumer signals and convert those signals into actionable digital engagement communications at scale. Our real-time ability to see customers behaviors and engage them across the digital eco-stem allows us to see, know and serve our clients’ customers.

Q: How is Zeta changing the face of acquisition?

Traditionally, acquisition has been viewed as a separate stage from the marketing continuum, but in reality, it is connected to the customer lifecycle at the earliest stage of the customer journey. At Zeta, we are connecting many of the same Customer Relationship Marketing (CRM) principles to the beginning of the customer journey at the individual person level. We refer to this front end of the customer journey as Customer Acquisition Marketing (CAM).

We view acquisition as a crucial component in addressing the key challenge of marketers — finding new customers and get them to spend more with that brand. Our real-time ability to view customers behaviors and engage them across the digital ecosystem allows us to see, know and serve our clients’ customers. Our experience delivering identity-based digital communications takes the principles of CRM and applies them to the acquisition process. We leverage our panoptic view of the consumer to develop highly-targeted digital connections using artificial intelligence to generate personalized content. We create meaningful results for clients by targeting customers within the right context and optimizing programs around the recipients’ most likely time to engage with an individual brand.

Q: In your role at Zeta, how do you view acquisition and which marketers stand to gain the most?

Typically, acquisition budgets are allocated by channel and not consumer. For those companies that understand the value of individual consumer engagement over channel marketing, there can be tremendous gains. Marketing to an individual based on profile tendencies, typical time of engagement, offer and content type, and message continuity across multiple digital channels will deliver much higher ROI.

Zeta’s people-based marketing approach targets audiences across multiple coordinated channels designed to deliver increased engagement results for our clients.

Within our permission-based DataCloud, we track thousands of deterministic data points, behavioral signals, consumer preferences and consumer intent data. We process that information in real-time creating an active customer record. This active record enables us to connect with a prospective customer when we know they are in market for specific services or products such as new car insurance, a mortgage or a cell phone. This powerful insight can then be leveraged across email, programmatic display, social or addressable TV.

Marketers who align around the individual and leverage the data to activate smart, coordinated, cross channel acquisition programs will win the early stage of the customer journey.

Q: You have a favorite saying: “We know your customers, you just don’t have them yet.” What does this mean? What is Zeta delivering to marketers that other vendors are not able to achieve?

At Zeta we have developed and refined the world’s largest addressable, 100% permissioned, people-based data cloud. We have the ability to connect with every prospective customer for any brand that is interested in growing their customer base with qualified new customers.

We have your customers; we see what they do, what they are interested in and what they may be likely to do in the future. We know when, how and why they are likely to engage, and we serve them with highly personalized content, ads and video that will interest them. This solution helps us develop sophisticated new customer marketing programs for clients that focus on delivering new customers who are ready to engage with their brands.

Q: What one thing should marketers be considering in 2018 to build their brand and increase ROI?

I’m going to sound like a broken record here, but…marketers must align their programs around — and market to — customers, not channels. Too often, marketers are guessing at attribution. A channel-based program supported either independently or by multiple ad and marketing providers, produces fragmented results because the data correlation is a guess.

Aligning acquisition programs around the customer and audiences rather than a channel, results in more accurate measurement and success of the program. Obtaining accurate attribution data, marketers can make better financial decisions around targeting, program strategy and media mix optimization…and connect more effectively with each prospective customer.

Are Misaligned Priorities and Organizational Silos Blocking Your Customer-Focused Marketing Strategies?

If you answered “Yes” to our title question, you are not alone. In a recent online survey of over 300 B2C marketing and IT professionals we conducted with Forrester Consulting, “misaligned priorities” and “organizational silos” topped the list of reasons why true customer-focused strategies could not be achieved.

Key findings from the “Utilize a Change Agent to Become Customer Focused” research survey of VPs, managers, and directors uncovered several key areas that marketers and IT professionals need to focus on to make their organizations more customer focused. Organizational readiness, alignment of internal priorities and technology advancement led the list of concerns for achieving a customer-obsessed organization.

Readiness Must be Tested & Customer-Focused Structures Need to be Implemented

All levels of leadership at B2C organizations, from managers to the C-level executives agree they must test their readiness and implement/expand their customer-focused marketing structures.

Alignment doesn’t exist for the majority of the B2C organizations we surveyed. No one level is to blame. Organizations struggle at all levels to meet their marketing objectives. One third of the organizations surveyed said they don’t have internal agreement on who their target is. In addition, nearly 40% said they lacked understanding from upper management about priorities, needs and goals.

Technology — A Mixed Blessing

Alignment alone isn’t the only reason why companies are struggling. Many are also saying that technology is moving way too fast to keep up. Thirty-four percent of respondents felt technology is moving faster than they can keep pace. Marketers and IT professionals need to ensure that new, advanced technology solutions will integrate with data and legacy systems. Over one third of respondents said they have legacy systems that are not integrated to share data.

What Do Marketers Need to Get Closer to Customers?

Achieving complete alignment and true customer obsession requires overcoming significant organizational, process, and technology challenges at all levels and across teams and departments. VPs, managers and directors we surveyed agreed that siloed organizational structures were a key barrier to marketing in a more customer-focused manner.

How can marketers overcome this struggle? Today’s marketers need to centralize not only the data, but the people, processes and platforms, to close the gap between insight and activation. Only then will marketers be able to link this data together at the individual customer level, in real-time, across all channels to proactively address the Connected Customers expectations for an experience that is unique to them — a Journey of One.

Here’s a brief summary of the survey results

To learn more, please contact your account representative or email us at: info@zetaglobal.com.