Most brands use technology as the backbone of operations and marketing. As many as 70% of global marketing leaders use a data management platform, while 19% indicate that they plan to adopt one in the next year. Other tools like guided selling, marketing automation, and loyalty programs are at or above two-thirds adoption.
While these tools enable implicit data to be surfaced across channels, they are highly underutilized. Only 27% of brands in L2’s Data and Targeting report use the data they collect to personalize the shopping experience, such as by segmenting the homepage by gender or featuring complementary items.
Lululemon, the activewear brand best known for its women’s leggings, effectively personalizes its homepage based on the user’s gender and browsing history. The brand achieves this with a sophisticated site technology stack including eight advertising vendors, eight analytics services, and one retargeting vendor that uses data acquired via two social media tags and a customer interaction tag. Engaging partners in a strategic way helps the company keep its site load time and data leakage to a minimum, while also delivering a personalized experience to users, both on its site and through programmatic advertising.
This strategy is not without risks, as programmatic ads sometimes show up near questionable content. For example, L2 found The North Face ads served by the brand’s retargeting vendors MediaMath and Evidon on a cluttered, click-bait site that stuffed six banner ads onto a single page. The North Face could limit repetitive ad buys by adding ad load limits to programmatic buy terms and employing third-party verification services to keep the quality of sites high. While The North Face certainly isn’t the only brand suffering from poor ad targeting, it does not have to settle for it.