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What is Sticky Data and Why Do I Need It?

Jul 9, 2015   |   3 min read

Knowledge Center  ❯   Blog

sticky_dataToday, marketers aren’t simply concerned with tracking browser behavior, we’re interested in tracking all behaviors across all platforms. We know this is the key to truly understanding what drives our customers’ decisions. Enter sticky data-your new secret weapon for capturing a wealth of customer insights, and the potential to completely transform the ways you engage with your audiences.

Read on to learn what sticky data is and how you can use it to drive successful marketing:

Uncovering Virtual Fingerprints

Undoubtedly, your first question is: What is “sticky data?” Simply put, it’s any data point that gives a marketer access to treasure trove of additional data.

A prime example of sticky data is the ubiquitous hashed email address. Consumers use their email addresses nearly everywhere-from logging in to their Facebook accounts and shopping websites to mobile apps and retail loyalty programs, just to name a few. This email address “sticks” with the user across these multiple environments, which yields valuable insights savvy marketers can use to better understand how their customers communicate.

In other words, when a customer gives a company her email address, she’s essentially providing a virtual fingerprint. This “fingerprint” is then used by the marketing team to learn how she behaves online and how the company can best engage with her in the future.

The email address is perhaps the ultimate sticky data point, and the information this virtual fingerprint reveals is invaluable.

Leveraging New Opportunities

At the end of the day, information is only as good as the insights it leads to. Fortunately, the process of translating sticky data to new revenue opportunities is simply a supercharged version of the process you’re already using to understand your customers.

Consider the example of a fast-casual restaurant chain. Let’s say it’s your favorite place to eat, so you join its loyalty program. By signing up, you provide the restaurant with your email address. Several times each week, you log onto your account (using your email address) and order lunch online to be delivered to your office address. Occasionally, you stop by the restaurant to purchase a meal, and swipe your loyalty card (which is tied to your online account). The restaurant also emails you weekly coupons-some of which you click and use, and some of which you don’t.

Now, consider the information the restaurant gains from these simple transactions. The restaurant now knows your preferred delivery location, you really like the Grande Burrito with extra guacamole, and you prefer specials with a discount than “buy one get one free” offers. And it know all of this because you gave it your email address, and performed all transactions while logged in under this address.

The restaurant can now use this information to improve the way it markets to you. The company can offer more targeted messages (“Here’s a coupon for $2 off your next Grande Burrito!” or “Since you like our Grande Burrito, you might also like our Grande Salad – try it for free with your next purchase!”) It can retarget you on Facebook by connecting your email with a social media campaign (“Use #CrazyBurritoExperience to share your craziest burrito memories and enter to win a free burrito picnic!”) The company can even use insights from its relationship with you to tweak the way it markets to other consumers similar to you.

Ultimately, the concept of sticky data is more about multi-channel marketing than fundamental email marketing. With sticky data, marketers gain a vehicle to capture data across multiple devices-and even offline. It takes the conversation about data beyond simple KPIs, like open rates and click-throughs, to more fruitful approaches. By utilizing sticky data, you can achieve the trifecta of marketing strategy: reaching the customer at the right time, in the right place and with the right message.

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