Retail Marketing: 5 Ways to Activate Customer Data for the Holiday Season

With Black Friday approximately six weeks away, now is an ideal time to figure out how to activate customer data for the holiday season. If you properly activate customer data for the holiday season, you’ll not only increase your Q4 sales—you’ll also increase customer lifetime value heading into the new year. 

So with that said, here’s Zeta’s gift to retail marketers for the holidays—five amazing, data-centric tips  that will help you capture consumer attention in the best possible way during the most important time of the year.

Tip #1 – Make the most of content-related data

Prospects and customers are consuming your content, but what is the data saying about that consumption? 

  • Can you see what types of content people are engaging with? 

  • What devices they’re using to consume that content? 

  • How about frequency—how often are people interacting with the content your brand produces? 

  • Are people consuming content that’s related to a particular problem that can be solved by your products and services?

These are the questions you should be asking of your data. 

When you have the answers, activate them by developing a holiday-specific promotional campaign that emphasizes the right products, services, and offers to spark an uptick in holiday-season sales.  

Using information captured from digital content like blogs is a great way to activate customer data for the holiday season.

Tip #2 – Identify your “power buyers” 

Do you know your “power buyers” from your “bonus buyers”? If you don’t you should.  

Activate your customer data this holiday season to isolate your most valuable customers, from those with wandering wallets, just passing through. Create marketing campaigns that cater to these “power buyers” so you capture as much of their holiday shopping cart as possible.

Remember that shoppers will be working with much tighter budgets this holiday season (you can read all about it in the Retail Marketing Guide available on the Holiday Hub). That means fewer dollars up for grabs for your brand. Don’t waste your resources marketing to broad consumer audiences to win wandering wallets. This is a holiday season for efficiency, Zero-in on the individuals most likely to deliver the biggest bang for your marketing buck— your “power buyers”—and hit them with enticing, customized offers.     

Tip #3 – Find the needles in the social haystack

Social media can provide marketers with a number of data-based insights. But this holiday season, there’s one insight to pay attention to and activate upon more than any other: 

What are people talking about as it’s related to your industry?

Mine comments and threads across the main social platforms to see what’s on everyone’s mind as it relates to the products and services you and your competitors offer. Use consistent talking points and other social signals as a foundation for a seasonal marketing campaign that’s truly relevant to what’s on prospective buyers’ minds. 

Paying attention to social media signals is a great way to create relevant messaging.

Tip #4 – Capture the digitally disconnected

Even in an era where more retail has moved online than ever before thanks to COVID-19, millions of holiday shoppers will do their retail buying in traditional brick-and-mortar storefronts.

For retail marketers like you, it’s possible to activate existing customer data to predict:

  1. Who these brick-and-mortar buyers will be.

  2. What kind of offers and promotions they’ll respond to.

  3. When they’re most likely to go out and do their holiday shopping.

Blend those predictions with a true, omnichannel marketing campaign for the holidays to better capture this key consumer segment. 

Tip #5 – Activate customer data for the holiday season to rekindle smouldering fires 

For brands that offer quality products and services, a lapsed customer is rarely lost forever—it’s just a matter of reigniting their interest with the right spark. To that end, activate data on former customers who haven’t engaged with your brand in an extended period of time (6+ months). 

Are there any patterns or similarities you can see across the pool of past clients? 

Is there any reason you can identify as a cause for their dwindling engagement? 

If you can identify any patterns or root causes, create marketing campaigns designed to counteract the reason these old shoppers went away. For example, if you can identify that many of your these former customers stopped buying when your brand ceased carrying a certain product, create an email marketing campaign that reengages this audience by:

  1. Introducing them to the similar replacement product that you do carry.

  2. Explains the net benefits of the replacement product versus the original product you no longer carry.

Need help to activate customer data for the holiday season?

Marketers who activate customer data for the holiday season will obtain deeper insights into the wants, needs, and behaviors of prospective customers than those who don’t. That extra insight will lead to more effective campaigns that drive increased holiday sales, which are more important this year than any other year since the Great Recession. To see how Zeta can help your brand understand customer signals, identify your most valuable consumers, and connect with them through personalized marketing in the right moment, please contact us.
Zeta Global Peak Marketing

Listening and Interpreting Customers’ Real Time Signals During Peak

Part one of three.

What I Want Right Now May Change…so Marketers Pay Attention!

By: Michael Lewis


I used to think that I could keep up with my teenagers’ constant changes. I now know better, that it’s next to impossible, and I’ve learned to adapt to this ever-changing world of plans being made, broken and altered at any given moment. I actually should thank my teens for introducing me to this new world that changes “in the moment” as it has helped me quickly adapt in my marketing career. That’s right marketers, we have our teens to thank for helping us understand this brave new “real time” world consumers live in. Now, how do we convince consumers that we truly understand what, where, when, and how they need what they need?

We start and end by listening to and understanding our customers. And by listening, I mean more than just monitoring customer service feedback or email opt-in/out requests. I’m talking about really listening, like the one time when your teen actually sits down and asks you a question and really cares about your response. I’m talking about the kind of listening that identifies where you’ve been shopping, when you were shopping and why, or why not, you decided to purchase with my brand. Today’s highly-demanding consumer expects this type of relationship from brands and as marketers, we need to be delivering it.


Are You Receiving Me? 

Connected consumers release a constant flow of real time signals to us on a daily basis. This happens through the type of web content they browse, lifestyle changes they make and/or where they choose to make a purchase. When those signals combine with what we know about their identities, like financial status or where they live, the signals turn into insights that drive intention, educating us on how to strengthen these consumer relationships, drive conversions, and be there at their zero moment of truth.

Most marketers have access to their demographic information, and they may acquire other data sources as well, but the Holy Grail is determining – through data – what a consumer might do next. Predictive algorithms can only move the needle so far. The real power of signals is not where your customer has been, but where they are going to be. Understanding signals can help determine where they will be next.


Are You Truly Listening?!

Brands have two primary challenges in listening to customer signals:

  1. Finding and gathering – getting access to live data streams, followed by the logistics and infrastructure to capture, sort, clean and securely store the signals

  2. Filtering the information from the noise – determining which signals in a flood of Big Data is useful and actionable

Most marketers can’t locate and assemble the correct information they need, often due to technical constraints. Capturing and organizing unstructured data like blogs, comments, and/or social media posts are a significant challenge for anyone trying to organize and interpret customer data. Many don’t have the infrastructure in place to even begin to identify this type of data. Deciphering between what is relevant in your customer insights, and what is noise, is vital.    

To overcome these challenges, businesses need access to reliable, up-to-date, broad-reaching signal sources that tie to individual identities. Sophisticated data management systems, typically supported by machine learning and semantic analysis, can help determine which data is important and relevant to an individual consumer’s needs.


Interpreting Signals in Real Time

It’s one thing to have signals but understanding what they mean and acting on them on a broad scale – in real time – is an entirely different challenge. It’s all about context:

  • Who is sending the signals?

  • What are their demographics?

  • Where are they sending signals from?

  • How recently did they send the signal?

  • What has their behavior been lately?

First-party customer data can provide some of this information. But, working with a third-party partner that has a large consumer data cloud can augment that context.

Zeta Global Peak Marketing Strategy

On an individual scale, a marketer might look at a single customer’s profile and signals and craft a relevant, personalized marketing curriculum for them. But that’s not scalable, or fast. Today’s brands need to respond reflexively to thousands – sometimes millions – of customers on any given day. That’s why interpreting signals on a broad scale is best done using empathetic AI.

To serve customized experiences in response to real time signals, marketers need a sophisticated CRM platform that is capable of tracking each consumer’s signal, analyzing and processing it for relevant or irrelevant indicators and deploying omnichannel campaigns.

Listening to and acting on real time consumer signals isn’t easy, especially if you’re trying to do it all on your own – kind of like raising teens! Today’s consumers expect more relevance than ever (especially during Peak season), and they are getting it from few retailers.

To learn more about how Zeta Global can help you make listening to signals on any scope and scale effortless, please visit: /zeta-private-data-cloud/

Stay tuned to our blog for remaining 2-parts of our Peak holiday blog series!
email deliverability best practices

Email Deliverability 101: Best Practices

by: Jennifer Nespola

Ideal Inbox Placement for your Email Marketing Campaigns

In this whitepaper, we highlight email deliverability best practices to ensure the maximum email deliveries for your brand’s email marketing efforts.

Achieving successful email deliverability is an arduous endeavor and is rarely ever straightforward. Deliverability touches nearly all aspects of an email program: content, reputation, customer engagement, scheduling, list hygiene, privacy and the ability to deliver mail successfully. We try to cover all these facets and more in the whitepaper.

Contact us to learn more about email deliverability best pracrtices.

Download the whitepaper below.

[contact-form-7 404 "Not Found"]


Thanks for your interest in Zeta. To see a demo please complete the form.

Thank you!

Your request has been sent. We will be in touch with you shortly.

Back To Homepage