Why Brands Need to Focus on Propensity, Not Personas

by Jonathan Zajicek, 19 Jun 2019

Propensity modeling gives you personas that are more likely to convert — and a smarter, more efficient marketing effort.

Before You Do Any More Marketing Research, Stop!

Every brand is looking for a better, smarter silver bullet that will help them crack the code of reaching their customers. The only problem is: silver bullets rarely work…or at least they never work out as well as they were supposed to.

If you really want to better understand your customers — and, more importantly, which customers you should be spending time and budget speaking to — you need to segment your customer file based on propensity. It helps you determine exactly when you should be targeting a customer or prospect, something no persona could even dream of doing.

Why Propensity Modeling?

Propensity modeling is a statistical calculation performed on your existing customer data that allows you to identify people who are most likely to respond to an action (offer, cross-sell, marketing touch etc). At a high level, propensity modeling gives you the data to do three really important things:

  1. Improve your marketing efficiency
  2. Develop a more segmented messaging strategy
  3. Create a better lookalike prospecting audience

How Propensity Improves your Marketing Efficiency

A great propensity model helps you determine the combination of attributes that make someone a great target for your message. This data can immediately improve the efficiency of your marketing programs because it doesn’t just tell you who the best targets are, it also shows you who the worst targets are.

That equates to whole swaths of impressions you don’t have to buy anymore. Tons and tons of creative versioning you no longer have to do because the model has shown you who is not likely to convert.

How the Model Develops More Segmented Messaging Naturally

The holy grail of most marketing departments today is the dream of personalized marketing: getting the right message to the right person at the right time. 

But in order to craft the right message, you have to know what differentiates your audiences.

By building a propensity model, the attributes that matter naturally surface. And as the model grows and expands, it unearths the segments of your audience that are unique and shows you which defining characteristics make them unique.

How Data Partners Turn Your Segments into Incredible Lookalike Audiences

Now, that’s all great for turning your existing customers into even better customers, but how does propensity modeling give you a better way to target prospects? 

Once you’ve identified the right customers and segmented them, you can build lookalike audiences. A data partner like Experian is brought in to match your segments to targetable, prospecting audiences matched back to that perfect combination of attributes.

It makes retargeting a lookalike audience based on website visitors look like child’s play.

Start with The Right Foundation

Propensity modeling is a huge opportunity for companies today — especially those who are feeling budgetary pressures and are looking for more intelligent ways to make marketing decisions.

As marketers, we all understand the importance of putting the right foundation in place. Understanding your customers and your target audience comes first, and there is no more data-driven, evidence-backed way to do that than propensity modeling.

Ready to learn more? DRUM helps brands build better, smarter marketing programs that lead to more personalization and greater efficacy.