Customer Experience

A Better Customer Experience Starts with Your Website

Boost Customer Engagement by Optimizing your Site Content

Although the modern customer journey spans multiple channels, a brand’s website is arguably the most important. After all, websites are often the first touchpoint: customers will start there to learn about the brand, consider their product or service, perhaps browse the brand’s other offerings. 

Studies consistently highlight the importance of the customer experience: 77% of customers choose to purchase a product or service from a brand based on positive experiences, while 64% of customers report that they avoid a brand based on a single bad experience. 

For brands looking to provide a better customer experience, your website is the most important place to start. 

Get to know your customers: For marketers, the website represents a trove of first-party data. Marketers that leverage Customer Intelligence get real-time insights into each customer’s on-site behavior, including products of interest, level of engagement, and likelihood to convert. 

Boost customer engagement: As customers explore a brand’s website, marketers need to maximize the opportunity to engage with them. A customer on your website is likely either in the early stages of brand awareness and product research, or is ready to convert. With Customer Intelligence, marketers can identify where each customer is in their customer journey, and deliver personalized interactions that ease the customer through the path to conversion. 

Enhance the experience: The inability to find answers to simple questions, learn basic details about a brand, and struggling to navigate a website that isn’t user-friendly are just some website frustrations that are all too common. Marketers need to ensure that their website is optimized for ease of use, and leverage technology like Customer Intelligence that can deliver real-time interactions that offer information or encourage an action like signing up for a newsletter or booking an appointment. These interactions cultivate a dialogue between brand and customer and increase brand affinity. 

Omnichannel remarketing: Sometimes, a customer isn’t ready to convert on your website. When this happens, marketers can leverage their first-party data into that customer’s product interests and deliver personalized remarketing messages beyond the brand website. For example, if a customer abandons their cart, marketers can target that customer with a display or social media ad with an offer for the products they abandoned. With advanced identity resolution capabilities, Customer Intelligence gives marketers the ability to recognize and reach the same customer across channels and devices, creating a seamless omnichannel customer journey. 

The modern customer has high expectations. A valuable customer relationship can be won or lost with a single interaction. Marketers that invest in optimizing and enhancing their website with Customer Intelligence see higher customer engagement, increased conversions, and higher lifetime value. By leveraging valuable first-party data and real-time insights into each customer, brands can exceed expectations to deliver a personalized customer experience that builds brand loyalty and advocacy. 

10 Trends That Will Impact MarTech and The World in 2020

For data-driven marketers, the 2010s were a decade filled with both promise and new advancements for both the marketer and the consumer.

The digital revolution brought enormous changes to the digital marketing industry, but in many instances, the long-term effects of those changes only began to be felt in 2019, as the decade drew to a close 

On one hand, this most recent year brought numerous examples of industry growth and technological maturation. Marketing channels such as social e-commerce, voice, podcasting, and private messaging apps all continued to rise in popularity and effectiveness. Marketers found innovative new ways to leverage big data, Artificial Intelligence, machine learning, and natural language processing technologies to create efficiencies, deliver personalized experiences for consumers, and boost sales. And many of the technologies that will enable the digital marketing of the future—learning how to leverage data and AI to predict consumer intent  and provide better experiences across new channels such as connected TV and IoT, to AR headsets and 5G-ready phones—will finally began to see more broad-based adoption.  

On the other hand, data-driven marketers also spent much of the year learning how to adopt new technologies to enhance consumer experiences; and the consumers themselves have become more difficult and more expensive to reach across disparate platforms, creating data silos for marketers. All signs seem to indicate that these trends will escalate in the 2020s, unless marketers take an approach of leveraging omnichannel solutions. Over the long term, they’ll open the door to a future that will be all but unrecognizable to the marketers of today. In the decade to come, however, data-driven marketers can expect to see the following:  

Zeta Global Predictions for the 2020s


Smart becomes ubiquitous. From smartphones to smart homes to smart cars, consumers will increasingly find themselves surrounded by connected devices. These devices will give marketers a new channel to engage consumers and create experiences, while also delivering an avalanche of new data on consumer habits and preferences.

Consumers in control. Consumers will finally be empowered to create marketing experiences for themselves that are more useful than annoying. Some of these increasingly informed consumers will begin to engage with marketing and advertisements for the purpose of “algorithm hacking,” getting more of what they want to see, as a means of taking back even more control of how, when and where advertisements are served to them.

Data gives marketers an edge. The proliferation of consumer data, and incredible scale and quality, will only continue to grow in 2020 as consumers fill their homes and lives with new devices. As marketers become more adept at leveraging this data, they’ll be able to act on predicting the consumers’ intent – shifting their attention away from ground-level marketing tactics and focusing more on the outcomes and audiences that matter.

All eyes on political marketing. The marketing industry is still reeling from the fallout of the data challenges surrounding the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Savvy marketers will be paying close attention to election marketing in 2020, and the methods used during the 2020campaign will have an enormous effect on how all other marketing is performed and regulated.

From data-driven companies to model-driven companies. In 2020, marketers will have to do more than simply look at Google Analytics and say “well, that did okay; I guess we’ll keep doing it.” As data becomes richer and the use of AI becomes more sophisticated, marketers will empowered and able to analyze their data in a way that helps them innovate and experiment with new ideas.

5G changes everything. The rollout of 5G network technology will change the world, and the marketing industry is no exception. Combined with the increasing pervasiveness of IoT devices, 5G networks will lead to an explosion in consumer data, providing marketers with more data on patterns of consumer behavior than ever before. This, along with the 5G network’s broadband speeds, will enable marketers to deliver richer, more personalized consumer experiences.

Augmented Reality/immersive content will become more important than ever. With 5G technology on its way and consumer adoption of AR technology accelerating, marketers can expect AR and immersive experiences to become more important in 2020 than ever before. Brands who jump on this trend early will have a tremendous edge over the competition, creating experiences that will be like nothing consumers have seen before.

Connected TV takes over. With cord-cutting trends showing no sign of abating, CTV will continue to gain traction as a key consumer engagement point. Marketers will need to leverage increasingly sophisticated tactics to stay relevant—bringing personalization to the small screen. Consumers will no longer be forced to sit through commercials that have nothing to do with their lives or needs. Instead, they’ll be empowered to opt in to advertising that’s actually relevant for them, making TV advertising much more welcome and appreciated than ever before.

AI shakes up market research. Artificial Intelligence will revolutionize marketing and market research in particular. Work related to data analysis and campaign performance will become heavily automated, with tasks like statistical analysis, brand awareness tracking, data cleaning, and even survey design all poised to be taken over by AI. By the end of the 2020s. AI will make most pure analysis and research support roles all but obsolete, although humans will continue to lead the charge in more strategic and qualitative roles.

Questions around “the death of the cookie.” Major browsers announced big changes to the way they handle consumer data this year, leading to renewed questions surrounding “the death of the cookie.” This, in turn, has rekindled the industry’s interest in first-party data and other approaches to tracking consumer behavior. Expect this to be a major topic of conversation in 2020. 


data modeling

You Can’t Beat Amazon, But You Can Learn From Them

Many of today’s leading brands are forced to be fri-nemies with Amazon. It’s too valuable of a retail channel for CPGs and other brands to avoid or fight against. But some of the productive mechanisms powering the retail behemoth aren’t unique to them. Brands can harness and apply similarly powerful AI and data modeling outside of Amazon. Zeta’s outcome-driven AI and intender audience modeling empower brands to boost business outcomes while keeping operations inside their four walls.

See Pavan Korada, SVP of Data Science and Analytics and David Schey, SVP of Customer Experience Solution, explain how your brand can improve business outcomes with Zeta!

Please fill out the form below to view the webinar:


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What Marketers Must Learn from the Direct-to-Consumer Disruption

The World is Changing and Taking Customer Expectations Along with It

By: Cynthia Janelli, Lead Customer Experience Consultant & Julie Beggs, Director Strategy & Analytics

Let’s face it, marketers see trends come and go all the time. The boom in Direct-to-Consumer (DTC) brands could be one of the next trends to fade away. But the leaders in this space are doing great things. And legacy brand marketers should take note. 

The 2019 Forrester Consumer Forum took a deep dive into the DTC disruption. Melissa Parrish, Vice President and Group Director at Forrester, recommended marketers break down the success of DTC to pinpoint the components that are resonating most with consumers.

Parrish kicked off the forum by highlighting that all business strategies start with the customer. The challenge for brand marketers is keeping pace with evolving customer needs, desires and expectations. 

Direct-to-Consumer Brands Built on Traditional Consumer Expectations

Our favorite quote from this year’s Forum was from Ryan Skinner, Senior Analyst at Forrester: 

“It’s a glorious time to be a lazy shopper.” 

Of course, consumers haven’t really grown lazy. They’re just embracing this new world of always-on consumer experiences with purchasing power at their fingertips. These new experiences, especially via DTC, are challenging brands to redefine how they provide value to consumers. 

Forrester gave three reasons why customers are so happy to engage with DTC brands:

  1. Convenience 
  2. Trust
  3. Quality

Legacy brands will tell you that these qualities aren’t anything new. The change is in how consumers are evaluating brands. They now hold the key in telling brands if their offerings feel valuable.  

Legacy brands need to think differently about how they provide value and adjust to how customers want to engage. Here’s how Forrester highlights this shift:  

Convenient brands anticipate consumer needs. Convenience used to be represented by a local store stocking a desired product. Consumers can now purchase nearly anything they could ever want at any time from anywhere. Today, convenience means personalized experiences built on the unique terms of individual consumers.

Trusted brands are transparent and empathetic. Trust was once defined by company size, commercials, legacy and often times limited alternatives. Trust is now symbolized by creative entrepreneurs who found brands because of frustrations with existing brands. The new definition incorporates transparency, empathy and a mission to disrupt for the sake of better consumer experiences.  

High-quality brands deliver superior customer service to their “community.” Quality used to mean products and functions that outlasted other brands. Today’s high-quality brands must deliver superior customer service and cultivate connections and community with individual customers. 

Customers will likely always go to brands that provide them with convenience, quality and trust. The lift for marketers is staying ahead of the continually changing definitions for these terms. Brands must now move beyond their traditional transactional value and establish authentic relationships with individual consumers

Marketers Must Create Authentic Relationships with Individual Consumers 

What can you do as a marketer to ensure your organization delivers this new kind of “value” for consumers?  

In this brave new world, Skinner says marketers must:  

  • Get value to customers more directly  
  • Learn how customers relate to value  
  • Deliver more value 

To deliver this redefined value, marketers must start by listening to individual consumers at scale. This listening will uncover signals for spotting when an individual is ready to experiment with your brand. Marketing platforms can then message these individuals with the right content once they reach this threshold of intent. 

Zeta’s platform captures these individual consumer signals, allowing marketers to anticipate consumer needs and engage accordingly. We empower clients to make individual connections at scale. Our data cloud, AI and dynamic messaging work together to engage real people in real time who are ready to connect with your brand. 

To learn how your brand can benefit from elevated customer experiences with Zeta’s Data Cloud platform, visit Zeta Global or contact us now.

Micro Moments that Drive CX

What Marketers Can Learn from Micro Moments to Influence the Customer Experience

By: Jason Hornik – Vice President of Strategy, Zeta Global


Download the Micro Moments Webinar below to see how to capitalize of customer micro moments:

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Both minor and significant consumer interactions can greatly influence customer experiences and purchase decisions. As a marketer, do you have the ability to identify these interactions to ensure you are mapping out beneficial customer journeys for your customers and organization? My recent panel presentation at eTail West examined how Micro Moments can influence personalized customer experiences and ultimately result in increased sales and customer lifetime value.


Anticipate and Impact the Customer Experience in Real Time

What are Micro Moments? Micro Moments are points in time when people indicate their intent, shape their preferences, and make decisions – and these moments occur throughout the entire customer journey. While there are several industry definitions, at Zeta Global we look at “Micro Moments” as key inflection points in a person’s daily life that we can listen to, and act upon, across multiple touchpoints. We also observe these Micro Moments (or signals) over time as a series of events that provide insights into the changes in customer need states.

Here are a couple of examples of Micro Moments:
  • Path to Purchase Events – Consumers searching for products, visiting web sites, doing product research, viewing products, reading product reviews and social posts, trying on products in store
  • Life Events – Going to college, getting married, having a child, moving to a new home
  • Temporary Need States – Going to a wedding, going on a job interview, going on a date, taking a trip
  • Daily Activities – Going to the park, going surfing, going shopping, posting on social sites

By analyzing these need states at an individual level, and at scale through artificial intelligence, we create personalized interactions that anticipate and impact the customer experience in real time.


Micro Moments are points in time when people indicate their intent, shape their preferences, and make decisions – and these moments occur throughout the entire customer journey


How Micro Moments Can Influence the Larger Customer Experience Picture

Analyzing intent-based behaviors, transactional data, customer variables, and geo-tracking data to create a single, in-depth view of the customer is how marketers can influence the customer experience. At Zeta, we analyze over 1 billion Micro Moments daily (the smaller interactions) across the open web and dynamically incorporate those signals into the real-time messaging and customer experiences for 175 million individuals (the bigger CX picture).

Based on signals from Zeta’s data cloud and actionable customer data, we help clients personalize interactions with their most valuable customers, and potentially with any customer, at an individual level in real time. However, centralizing customer data is critical to enabling and scaling relevant personalization that anticipates and delivers upon customer needs. For example, we are personalizing and measuring the impact of marketing messages, site visits, call center interactions, and in-store experiences.


Interacting with Consumers on Their Terms

Marketers need to focus on delivering relevant content that takes intent and preferences into account so that they interact with customers on their terms and humanize experiences. More personalized and relevant content creates longer attention spans, particularly for digital channels. The following are approaches that can be incorporated to balance the best information with digestible information:
  • Deliver and reinforce relevant content across multiple channels and formats
  • Provide customers with choices and information they can expand upon to learn more
  • Create easy navigation with precise details and summary points
  • Develop content and information that is consistent with the tone of the brand


At Zeta, we analyze over 1 billion Micro Moments daily across the open web and dynamically incorporate those signals into the real-time messaging and customer experiences for 175 million individuals


Discovering Small, Impactful “Moments” that Alter the Customer Journey  

Along the customer discovery path, you might identify surprises that reveal opportunities. Moving to a new home is one Micro Moment that has surprised us, based on its sheer level of impact across so many decisions and purchases. Approximately 30 million people move in the U.S. every year, and it is an emotional and stressful experience. By capturing and understanding the daily signals that precede a move, rather than reacting after a move, we can better define customer needs and positively affect customer experiences. Let’s walk through how a marketer could influence a consumer in a pre-move state.


The Consumer Move Case Study, Signals to Listen for…

It begins with intender signals that tell us when someone is about to move vs. when they just moved. What signals can you identify for pre-move data? Are your customers commenting or asking questions on social media about home mortgage rates? Are they researching specific geographic regions/areas for schools, grocery stores, and gyms? Have they been selling household items online to declutter the home? All of those signals – and more – can tell you if someone is “intending” to move. These are great points to take advantage of with your data and act upon.

New movers are just one audience category marketers can identify to build loyalty and increase sales. How many of you think about “new movers” as a category to target? Probably not many (unless you are selling home-based or financial services) but think of all the other opportunities new movers present. A new home often means new everything…grocery stores, dry cleaners, vets, doctors, and schools. If you have a national brand that fits this category, you may be surprised at what your return on investment could be by identifying this customer segment pre-move!

Marketers who can identify when consumers are in a state of intention and identify with confidence and activate them are reimagining the customer experience. These need states provide valuable insights such as paths to purchase, brand preferences, timing, and location. Savvy marketers who focus on Micro Moments and create test and learn plans to understand these inflection points will be able to electrify their marketing efforts.

To learn more about how Zeta can help you and your brand identify Micro Moments, watch our webinar: Micro Moments That Matter: Learn what your customers really needs. 


direct-to-consumer brands

Direct-to-Consumer Brands – What are They Doing Right?

Direct-to-Consumer Brands have an individual customer relationship, and most are online and digital-first.

By: Chase Altenbern, Sales Director, Zeta Global

Today we are living in a “Direct Brand Economy” where consumers are engaging directly with the brands they know and trust. Is your brand one of these trailblazers, or are you faced with navigating this market disruption? I recently attended the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) Annual Leadership Meeting to learn more about this new “direct brand” landscape consumers are embracing.

At the IAB annual meeting, the IAB released its new list of 250 Top Direct Brands to Watch. From total funding and revenue to social velocity, these are the companies to watch who are leading the direct brand charge.

What are the Characteristics of the Top 250 DTC Brands?

  • 78 of the 250 brands have a subscription model
  • 5% of Fortune 500 CEOs are women, while 25% of IAB 250 Direct Brands are founded by women
  • Millennials have a growing affinity for disruptive brands (eMarketer thinks so too!)
  • 2-day delivery is prompting all retailers to acquire/partner with these DTC brands to compete


25% of IAB 250 Direct Brands are founded by women


Direct-to-Consumer (DTC) Brands Have an Intense Customer Focus

DTC brands center themselves around the individual consumer relationship, and most are online and digital first. These companies are also highly data-driven—they know who their customer is and where to find them and leverage their relationship to drive loyalty and growth.

These brands are “Maniacally Focused” on the consumer experience. They are very quick and responsive with customer service and always put the customer first. They are social and have a significant social media presence and correspondence with customers via text or DM is a routine practice.

DTC brands tend to use content as a differentiator as well. They advertise not just about the products or services, but on the lifestyle and emotional connection a consumer feels with the brand and their products. Because of their intimate relationship with consumers, DTC brands tend to have extremely loyal customers.

Part of how DTC brands build their story is through a corporate mission. This mission is often central to their story and purpose. They feel they are changing the world for the better and creating needed answers to long-unsolved problems. And along with their success, they give back. Most DTC brands have some aspect of a charitable cause in their mission, helping consumers feel they are giving back to the community while they spend.


Most DTC brands have some aspect of a charitable cause in their mission, helping consumers feel they are giving back to the community while they spend.


DTC vs. Blue Chip Brands

DTC brands are quickly gaining on blue-chip brands from Fortune 500 companies due to their extremely loyal and growing customer bases. Disruptive examples currently in the market include:
  • Hanging up your trips to the grocery store and endless meal planning in exchange for home meal kit delivery
    • Blue Apron, Plated, Hello Fresh, Home Chef
  • A shift from tired, old mattress brands to digital delivery disrupters
    • Casper, Helix, Parachute
  • Popping into the local liquor store to enjoying your favorite spirits delivered directly to your home
    • Winc, Flaviar, Bright Cellars, Drizly
  • Searching endless aisles of beauty products in store vs. online subscriptions delivered to your door
    • Quip, Harry’s, Hubble, Kopari

How Can Marketers Embrace the DTC Impact That is Occurring?

  • Know your customers. Deploying massive reach is no longer enough. You need to understand your customers and build a personal relationship that makes them a brand loyalist for years to come.
    • Zeta’s Private Data Cloud can match against a customer file, offering a glimpse into our trove of proprietary data linked to PII, to give insight into what your consumer does after they purchase or leave your site and show you what they are passionate about.
  • Focus on Acquisition. DTC brands are experts in acquisition and know how to leverage various mediums — and the best way to communicate within each.
    • Zeta’s Audience Activation leverages this multichannel approach to acquire new customers via display, social, and email.
  • Sell your brand. Tell your story to customers to strengthen your relationship and keep them passionate about the brand. Keep them coming back for more.
    • Zeta’s Platform links these narratives through seamless sequencing to market to your customers as they develop their experience with your brand.

For more on how Zeta’s platform can help you implement some of these ideas above, please visit:
retail digital marketing

What’s Hot in 2019 Retail Marketing?

Learn why data should be at the core of your marketing strategy. National Retail Federation Expert and Forrester Vice President and Principal Analyst, Brendan Witcher, Breaks it Down for Marketers.

By: Michael Lewis, Group Vice President, CRM U.S. at Zeta

I had the pleasure of hearing all about the latest retail digital marketing trends from one of the industry’s top analysts, Brendan Witcher, of Forrester Research. Brendan and I sat down at this year’s National Retail Federation event to discuss what’s in and what’s out for retail marketing in 2019.

I asked Brendan about everything from the hottest trends he saw on the show floor to where he sees the industry headed in terms of personalization, artificial intelligence, data strategies, and customer experiences. Here’s some of what he had to say, beginning with his take on AI and what marketers should be thinking about for their AI strategies:

ML: Artificial Intelligence (AI) doesn’t seem to be going away anytime soon. What is the receptivity/investment/expectations for it with retail?

BW: AI was hot and buzzy with retailers a few years ago, and they are still interested, but they are starting to question when they buy AI what they are really saying. The better questions to ask are: What do I want when I apply this to in my business? How do I find incremental gains through AI? Where will it provide me with a benefit… Operationally? Understanding the customer? Efficiency in customer engagement or efficiency for my marketing campaigns?

We can’t scale anymore to keep up with the speed of customer. AI helps get us there. How do we use it in ways to help organizations stay in lock step with the customer?  Retailers should be looking for partners who provide AI solutions that build a better business or understanding of the customer.

Think about the outcome…think about how you will use it…what can you not do today? Look for a business challenge, and you will probably find an AI solution that will help. Most people don’t understand AI and the value it can bring to so many areas in the organization.


Watch our video clips below to hear more on the other topics we discussed at the event:
  • The customer journey management topic was introduced about 3-4 years ago, but are any marketers/brands getting to the individual level of that journey for each customer?

  • Are retailers mastering personalization in a space where merchandising priorities come into play?

  • Are there any new data sources or tactics being used in acquisition?

  • I’ve heard some panelists at NRF say they need to append more data to get closer to their customers, to personalize experiences for customers and that they need to make their media spend more efficient. That’s good news for those, like Zeta, who have been saying to analyze the data you have so that you can get to know your customers now that the stacks have been built. What are you seeing/hearing in this area?

How to Activate High-Value Customers Leveraging Natural Language Processing and Machine Learning

By: Winnie Shen | Director of Data Operations, Zeta Global

Moving Beyond First-Party Data

Every marketer understands the value of first-party data. It’s a given that we all understand how important our data is that we house in our own databases. The challenge comes when we need to grow beyond our existing data, enrich those audiences and expand sales. That means gaining a truly 360-degree view of our customers. Many marketers today operate between a “probabilistic” and “deterministic” landscape, lacking a complete view of who their customers actually are. Our goal at Zeta is to utilize your existing customer data while leveraging our deterministic behavioral signals to identify and activate high value customers and reactivate dormant users, creating new growth opportunities for our clients.

How to Activate High-Value Customers Leveraging Natural Language Processing and Machine Learning

Natural language processing (NLP) is the key to helping us understand the content consumers are engaging with. When we leverage it properly with artificial intelligence technology to look at behavioral signals across the open Web, we can identify clusters of individuals, most relevant to our client brands. Here’s an example of how we’ve done just that for one of our apparel clients.


Using NLP to Activate, Reactivate and Build Brand Awareness

Our client is a national clothing retailer with multiple subsidiaries. For this program, we were working with the following client segments: basics for all; full-figured apparel; fashion forward for younger consumers; and women’s apparel.

This client’s challenges were not unlike many other retailers or, for that matter, any B2B or B2C clients we have today:
  • To activate and find new users (across all brands)
  • To reactivate dormant users (for two brands)
  • To build brand awareness

Our approach to helping our client with these challenges included utilizing their first-party data and segmenting customers based upon the partner’s use cases. We divided our client’s customers into active vs dormant users to segment out those consumers we needed to re-engage.  Within the active segment, we further differentiated between high and low-spenders so that we could identify unique behavioral signals to the high-spender group and find similar new customers across our network who we could engage on behalf of our client.

How to Activate High-Value Customers Leveraging Natural Language Processing and Machine Learning

Using our Data Cloud methodology, we developed deep insights around our client’s customers and provided actionable solutions catered to the specific challenges our retailer was facing.

Zeta’s Data Cloud is powerful due to 3 key pillars:
  • Identity: The heart of our database is identity and the permission-based users we have the rights to market to. We resolve identities definitively back to email which is a persistent identifier and more effective than cookies which have a short shelf life and can exist across multiple devices.
  • Behavioral signals: We “listen” to behavioral signals across the open Web and understand those signals to derive intent and build audiences around those signals
  • Connectivity: We connect the dots by mapping signals to real individuals and activating audiences across digital channels

At Zeta, we monitor over 2.5 million unique monthly visitors which translates into 18 billion content consumption signals on a monthly basis. We use that information and leverage NLP to translate those signals into audience clusters.


What’s in a Customer Signal?

Let’s spend just a minute talking about the importance of signals and what exactly they are. Signals depend upon content, subject matter, frequency, and recency. We use NLP to help us understand the content itself. For example, we may review topics from a blogging web site that reports on how to create chic maternity looks without using maternity clothing. Some of the keywords we might include might be things like accessorizing, cute clothes, affordable apparel. Once we identify the keywords and concepts from lifestyle blogs, we translate them into audience taxonomies.

Each cluster is derived from multiple keywords at different confidence levels.  For example, silk blouses is related to women’s clothing at a higher confidence level than say dry clean which is a more general term and relates to women’s clothing at a lower confidence level.  We then score consumers based on their content consumption, frequency, and recency of that consumption against these audiences.

There are two things to note about our audience taxonomies.  First, they are custom and growing where we’re continuously building new audiences based on our client needs.  Secondly, they are fluid where consumers move in and out of audiences in a real-time basis.  As an anecdotal story to bring these points to life, we created a Black Friday taxonomy based on customer demand.  Once developed, we saw a 12% day-over-day growth of consumers moving into the audience the week leading up to Black Friday, illustrating the value of real-time signals across our network.

We use environmental, transactional and most importantly, behavioral data to help truly understand the unique individual.  Each data point alone provides us some context around a customer, but it is the combination of these signals that provide us insights around individuals that we can activate in real time.


In the case of our apparel client, we analyzed 27.4 million customers across four of their brands. We found that 37% of those customers were not digitally connected, meaning our client didn’t have a way to communicate with these consumers through digital channels. We were able to match 14% of the digitally disconnected users to our permission-based universe where we have the rights to market to those customers.

We then matched their database against our network and found 47% of the client’s customers were active in our network. We performed a deep dive of the active vs. inactive and high vs. low spender segments to develop insights that were less intuitive than others. For example, we saw that moving and phone and internet services indexed higher for the basics for all brand which meant these customers were likely new movers. If consumers recently moved, they may have purged a lot of their apparel and are looking for a wardrobe refresh. The second interesting find was around frequent travelers. We saw customers interested in cruises and vacations indexed higher as well.  When thinking about vacations, consumers often look for new apparel to bring on their trips, especially when traveling from cold to warm weather locations and vice versa.

For each brand we found some interesting insights:
  • Full figured women were very active in their lifestyle and aligned perfectly with the athleisure wear explicitly designed for them by our client.
  • Our fashion-forward women’s wear group were frequent shoppers, new moms with most likely changing body types.
  • The women’s apparel group were HOH shoppers who were price conscious, looking for a good deal and high quality.


Acquisition, Reactivation and ‘Real-Time’ Customer Experience Journeys

At Zeta, we have behavioral signals for customers in market for specific products and services and can overlay the behavioral information with demographics of users active within our network.  We can identify consumers who are looking for women’s apparel deals, are interested in fashion-forward merchandise, or are social media influencers. All of this rich data provides us acquisition opportunities for our clients.

But, what about reactivation? The second client challenge was around reactivation. We looked at dormant customers as defined by the client – 5.8 million customers. Of those inactive users, 30% were active within our network in the last 30 days, meaning the consumers were still active across the open web, but just not with our client. We then took that segment of users and performed the same behavioral analysis to gain insights that would enable us to reactivate those former customers.

We bring to life all the rich insights we developed through the customer experience journey, based on the specific client use case: acquisition and reactivation. We monitor behavioral signals on a real-time basis, identify audiences to activate against based on our insights and engage them through an omni-channel approach with 1:1 messaging. Finally, we set up a continuous feedback loop so that we can optimize and refine our solution for our clients.

If you are looking to grow beyond your first-party data like this client, let’s talk! Are you interested in how you can identify audience clusters to activate on a real-time basis and monitor behavioral signals using NLP? Visit us at to learn more.

Data in Motion: A Retailer’s Key to Fueling Customer Engines

Is your retail organization creating a journey map for both your brand and customer? If not, you may find yourself lost, looking for a new route. Listening and responding to client and prospect signals is the best way to correct course and reach your desired destination with consumers.

Data in Motion vs. Stuck in Standstill Traffic

Many retailers can find their customers when they visit locations on their brand maps such as blog entries and newsletters, but what insight can be gained outside of the brand’s messaging?

omnichannel retail data collection

How can a consumer’s latest Internet search or comment on their favorite website or article inform you how and when to target with the best offer? Understanding and leveraging Data in Motion is the key.

Signal Data Makes the Path Clearer

Let’s look at the difference between leveraging customer signal data and using static brand interactions in a simple case study about a consumer named Lauren and her interaction with the Petco brand.

Insight Gained from Lauren’s Connected Identity Graph:

Petco is able to identify and leverage Lauren’s purchasing patterns across the various signal data collected using the following:

  • Postal (demographic, credit, income, home ownership, transactions)
  • Email Address
  • Mobile (location, app usage)
  • IP Address (household devices, channel, preference)
  • Web Behavior (recent interests, recent intent, send time)
  • Transaction (recent purchases, spending patterns)

Insight from Lauren’s Signal Data Across Channels:

omnichannel retail signals
  • Postal: Lauren recently applied for a home mortgage.
  • Mobile: She visited two stores last week.
  • IP Address: Three devices were added to Lauren’s household in three months.
  • Web Behavior: She browsed dog grooming content on four sites; she visited outdoor activity websites.
  • Transaction: Her last purchase with Petco was five months ago (dog food); she increased spending on premium products.

Combining the identity graph with signal data gives Petco a true picture of what Lauren needs…and more! Now, Petco can target Lauren, and other consumers like her, with high end, personalized messaging and offers:
  • Lauren’s interest in premium dog food may be heightened since she recently increased her spending on premium products.
  • Dog Grooming may be top of mind based on her recent search activities.
  • Utilizing cluster signal data, Petco can now identify many other consumers out there just like Lauren.

omnichannel retail customer understanding

What does all of this mean for retailers?
  • Improved creative assets that can speak directly to consumers’ needs.
  • Greater awareness and brand affinity with consumers because they now see you as someone who understands their specific needs.
  • Better messaging and ROI based on real-time needs and behavioral triggers.
  • Measured and optimized performance as a result of potential levers.

To learn more about how the Zeta Data Cloud can help you unlock your omnichannel retail signal data, watch my complete keynote case study at eTail East:


You can also click here to find the complete deck presentation at eTail East. Connect with me on Linkedin or follow along here for the latest industry insights.

How to Choose the Best CRM Solution for Your Enterprise

When it comes to customer relationship management, not all technology is created equal—especially when operating on an enterprise scale. The solution you ultimately choose will provide the foundation for understanding your customers and meeting their growing expectations. That, in turn, will determine the ROI of your marketing and success of your brand for years to come.

Choose wisely.

Diamonds in the Digital Rough

The marketing technology landscape is expanding at a terrific pace. Thousands of solutions provided by no fewer than 6,242 different vendors are available to today’s CMO—27% YoY that’s likely to continue.

Included in the flood of evolving technology are at least 200 customer relationship management solutions, including established providers and disruptive new startups. How does a marketing leader at a large business with an enormous audience chose the right one?

Key Considerations for Choosing an Enterprise CRM

Enterprises have some unique challenges in meeting the ever-changing expectations of today’s connected consumer. It’s one thing to recognize the value of personalized, relevant experiences—but delivering them to hundreds of thousands ,or even millions, of individuals around the world is a daunting task for the most capable CMO.

enterprise CRM quote

Choosing an enterprise CRM that enables you to serve 1:1 experiences on a massive scale can mean the difference between earning loyalty and being forgotten. When comparing your options, take special care to consider the following factors:

Data Treatment

The key to understanding your customers as individuals, anticipating their needs, and engaging them in real-time lies in data.

Big data has been at CMOs’ top-of-mind for years now; finding ways to organize, interpret and act on the mountains of consumer information now available remains a high priority.

Almost every CRM has some amount of data analytics capabilities. But that can range from rudimentary web analytics to sophisticated deterministic data science.

Ideally, an enterprise CRM will provide access to a large pool of proprietary data that can be used to supplement and enhance your own first-party customer data. Enterprises often struggle with large silos of disparate data—a good CRM option also will be able to flexibly adapt and unify those scattered resources into a single view of your customers.

Today’s consumers are active on a broad selection of channels and devices at any given time. An effective enterprise CRM must be able to accumulate real-time signals from any input and translate them into thoughtful omnichannel responses.

Finally, a great enterprise CRM needs to be extremely secure when it comes to data and align to quickly-evolving social and regulatory privacy standards. Given the sheer volume of data a large organization handles and the sensitivity of the information within, enterprises can’t afford to take chances. Recent history is full of high-profile breaches that compromised corporate and customer data and tarnished brands—don’t let your marketing technology platform be your biggest vulnerability!

Automation Capabilities

Automation is what enables an enterprise to take a powerful, relevant, personalized customer experience and scale it up to thousands or even millions of individuals around the world.

Most CRMs have some automation capability, many of them lack the capacity to constantly process and manage a compelling relationship with every customer. Seek out a provider that has the sophisticated AI technology needed to capture and interpret a flood of real-time customer signals and decide when, why and how to respond.


Most enterprises have an enormous tech environment that includes legacy systems, scattered databases, and third-party vendors. Even large organizations with robust IT teams find integrating new tools and platforms into their stack to be incredibly difficult.

An ideal CRM tool for enterprises is one that can flexibly adapt to your existing technology and data infrastructure. A quick onboarding process and the ability to unify customer data all in one place is a huge advantage in the perpetual battle for consumer attention and loyalty.

What the Experts Say

Shopping for the best CRM for your enterprise is an arduous process, but choosing the right one can quite literally determine the success of your company for the indefinite future. Fortunately, there’s no shortage of resources and expertise to pull from when selecting a solution that will bring the most value to your customers.

One such authority is the prestigious MarTech Breakthrough Awards, which recognizes leaders and innovators in the diverse and ever-changing world of marketing and advertising technology. This year, Zeta Global’s technology platform ZetaHub was awarded ‘Best CRM Solution for Enterprise’—standing out in a pool of over 2,000 nominees.

marktech breakthrough best CRM for enterprise

“The days of linear marketing are long gone, and multichannel marketing is now a necessity, but we find that many enterprise organizations are struggling with the challenge of managing this more complex customer journey,” said James Johnson, Managing Director at MarTech Breakthrough. “Zeta Global’s ZetaHub shines when it comes to enabling multichannel dialogue, empowering global brands to engage with customers and prospects across email, mobile, social, direct, and web. Congratulations to Zeta Global on its 2018 MarTech Breakthrough Award!”

Read the complete press release from MarTech Breakthrough here.

Click here to see Zeta’s announcement of the award.

Every day we work closely with our enterprise clients in Retail, Travel, Finance, Insurance, Media and beyond to better understand their customers and develop lasting 1:1 relationships. It’s not hyperbole: to see for yourself how our solution makes people-based marketing at scale possible, request a demo today.


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