What Is CRM Retargeting and Why Does it Matter?

Reading time: 7 minutes

Third-party cookies are expected to go extinct, leaving both advertisers and publishers with a lot to contend with concerning their audience retargeting strategies. The goal will always be to deliver the most relevant and personalized experiences to users everywhere, which means that especially advertisers will need to rethink where and how they collect important user data[7] — while remaining compliant with global digital privacy laws.

For example, first-party data has always been the most valuable kind of data regarding user information. Now, they’ll need to leverage it more than before if they want to enable more powerful customer relationship retargeting (CRM) and motivate both their existing and potential customers to engage with the ads they serve.

In this article, we’re going to tell you all about CRM retargeting and how to get the most of it. 

Read on to learn more.

What Is First-Party Data?

To get a better understanding of what CRM retargeting is, you’ll need to first understand what first-party[5] data[1] is and how it works. 

Put simply, first-party data is the direct information that a brand or business collects from its customer base. This is obviously much different from third-party data[2] considering that third-party data comes from other websites and platforms that have previously collected first-party data and use it in their bid requests during programmatic ad auctions.

When it comes to sourcing first-party data, there are two ways to go about it. This would include the following:

  • Using offline data that comes from events such as in-store purchases, reward or loyalty cards given out to customers, customer service centers and so on.
  • Online data sources such as website and app interactions or eCommerce purchase data, social media engagement, email campaign[8] engagements, and customer survey responses.

Another important component of first-party data to understand is that both online and offline sources can provide ad tech[9] players with what is referred to as Personal identifiable Information (PII[3]). This is essentially any information regarding the identity[10] of a customer such as their name, phone number, email address, and home address.

These bits of information are considered data points — data points that customers purposely share with brands and businesses when making purchases online, creating accounts, signing up for reward programs and anything else that requires a pre-purchase activity. 

The reason why first-party data is so valuable is because it comes straight for the horse’s mouth. In other words, it’s personal information that the customer willingly gives to the business, which also makes it more accurate, cleaner, and more privacy-safe compared to the other types of data out there.

Why Is First Party Data Important?

As mentioned above, first-party data is straightforward information that comes directly from the customer. It’s becoming increasingly important as third-party data cookies continue to be phased out. In fact, Google Chrome is the only web browser left that has yet to finish phasing out third-party cookies (which they claim they’ll be doing by 2024).

Phasing out third-party cookies on all web browsers is causing a serious shift in the way ad tech players go about their retargeting strategies. Advertisers especially have to rethink these strategies by relying mostly on first-party data, which means having a robust first-party database will be crucial to their retargeting success in a cookieless ecosystem.

Fortunately, advertisers have the upper hand here as most first-party data is already sitting in their CRM databases.

Of course, accessing and collecting first-party data in this brave new cookieless world is just the beginning. Understanding how to actually use this type of data to more accurately reach and motivate your audience to engage is the real battle.

What Is CRM Data?

CRM data is the first-party data your business or brand has collected from your customer base across all the channels you use. This is the data that can help you to better understand your customers on a deeper level, which includes what their individual preferences and interests are as well as their online behaviors and demographics.

Once you’ve gotten a stranglehold on this data, you can create unique audience segments according to the following categories:

  • Loyal Customers: Your loyal customers are the ones with a high lifetime value and a strong history of brand engagement via buying products or services consistently over a significant period of time.
  • Seasonal Customers: These are the customers that will interact with your brand intermittently, specifically during certain seasons or occasions depending on what’s being offered.
  • Lapsed Customers: These are the customers who were active at one time — once or over a certain period — but have stopped engaging with your brand. The length of time that constitutes a lapsed customer varies from business to business.
  • Unique Customers: Or, customers that have specific interests or shopping needs. An example of a unique customer could be a parent with small children who take certain safety features or kid-friendly features into account when researching products or services.

Once you have your audience segments created, you can use them to build your data-backed CRM retargeting strategies to efficiently and successfully retarget your entire customer base.

What Is CRM Targeting and How Does it Work?

CRM retargeting works by taking a marketer or advertiser[6]’s first-party data, such as an email list, and matches it to the customers within the database from all devices and browsers with logged-in media. (Logged-in media refers to the aforementioned customer accounts, reward programs, social media platforms, and email subscriptions).

Additionally, since CRM retargeting is based on first party data — aka, deterministic data — there’s no guesswork regarding who your audience base is and what their ad preferences are. You’ll know based on the data that they’ve supplied you with, and you can use that data to create more personalized and relevant campaigns across all the channels they hang out on to further nurture your audience relationships.

Let’s dive into a few examples of CRM retargeting strategies:

  • Upselling and Cross-Selling: This involves targeting[11] new or existing customers with the most relevant product recommendations or other incentives to turn them into lifetime customers.
  • Dynamic Creative[12][4] Retargeting: This involves retargeting users that have visited a specific landing page of yours by customizing ad creatives that would encourage them to move further down the sales funnel. For example, an ad creative that leads them to a quiz that will help them find a product or service to suit their individual needs. The result is a solid recommendation for the customer and a quality lead for you.
  • Event Promotions: You can reach your loyal customer base with invitations for upcoming events, virtual or otherwise, that you know will pique their interest leading to more engagement.
  • Special Offers: You can use special offers to incentivize your lapsed customer segment[13] to get them to re-engage with your brand. All it takes is some updated content that reflects the last pieces of content they engaged with. This also works for your seasonal customers as you can use holiday messaging and special discounts to reel them back in.

What Are the Benefits of CRM Retargeting?

We’ve covered the primary purpose of CRM retargeting — which is to get your customer base to engage or re-engage with your brand. 

Now let’s cover the benefits:

  • More Accurate Targeting: CRM targeting, once again, is based on deterministic data. This is something that can bring you peace of mind since it means you’ll be reaching only your intended audiences while remaining within your budget.
  • Higher Levels of Personalization: Using CRM data, you can target the specific audience segments mentioned earlier, which will guarantee that your customers are receiving the most relevant ad messages to their individual situation and needs.
  • Privacy Compliance: First-party data is based on user consent, which means that the first thing customers do is opt-in to your brand using their data. This gives you direct control over the data they hand over whereas third-party data does not. This keeps you compliant with GDPR and CCPA government regulations without the hassle.
  • More Engagement, More Revenue: All of the above benefits lead to higher levels of engagement which in turn leads to greater profits for your business.

What Role Does Email Play in CRM Targeting?

Email has always been a cookieless mode of digital marketing. Therefore, it’s the perfect marketing ecosystem for advertisers to not only survive but thrive — minus all the third-party cookies. 

Here’s the breakdown:

Email newsletter campaigns already leverage the email addresses readily handed over by users. Email also happens to be one of the most valuable pieces of first-party data you can collect, as it allows you to reach your customer base directly. By reaching your customers directly, you can build a more personalized channel to build better relationships with them and launch your CRM retargeting strategies without the help of third-party cookies.

Email advertising can also be used to build a first-party data footprint. Each email address adds to a chain of direct consumer data that can be used to learn more about your audience’s behaviors and preferences. In other words, email can be used to not just target and retarget audiences but also encourage them to subscribe to your newsletter and more, which helps build up your CRM database.

Getting Started with CRM Targeting and Email

If you’re interested in monetizing your newsletters, reach out to Freestar. Freestar is partnered with all of the major email monetization partners and can provide you with the best stack and tools available. We do all the heavy lifting so you can focus on what matters most to you. Get started today! 

1. first-party data. First-party data is the information that companies can collect from their own sources. In other words, every information about customers from both online and offline sources, such as the company's website, app, CRM, social media or surveys is first-party data.
2. third-party data. Third-party data is any information collected by an entity that does not have a direct relationship with the user the data is being collected on. Often times, third-party data is generated on a variety of websites and platforms and is then aggregated together by a third-party data provider such as a DMP.
3. Personally Identifiable Information [PII] ( PII ) Any data that could potentially identify a specific individual. Information that can be used to distinguish one person from another, and can be used for deanonymizing previously anonymous data, can be considered PII, such as name, email address, physical address, date of birth, etc.
4. Dynamic Creative. Advertisers wish to show different ads to different customers.
5. first-party. The person or entity who collects/builds the data set with a direct relationship to the data contributors.

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