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.


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