Data has always been fundamental to the success of digital.

Like Batman and Robin, they have supported each other – digital’s speed and ease of use driving and fuelling better insight, with that knowledge being fed back into making digital campaigns more and more effective.

Now, the two are bonding ever more closely together.

Data onboarding is the new kid on the block

Data onboarding is the latest service ‘on the block’ available to brands looking to transform the way they communicate and interact with their customers across all channels and devices.

Data onboarding is the connection between online data and offline, physical environments – it provides the ability to accurately match online activity and experience with real people and long-established offline data sources.

Advertisers are increasingly onboarding data to create more targeted models for their 121 marketing and improve the extent to which they can measure the effectiveness of their online campaigns or offline engagement.

At long last, the dots can be joined up, and the tangible world linked up to a more dynamic online activity.

In practice, this means that digital-fuelled media, and time-sensitive 24/7 online movements and trends, are being increasingly connected to real people.

Onboarding is the bridge that has been long sought-after by marketers to empower more relevant and timely contact with consumers at precisely the right moment in time.

As with many new developments in the martech world, data onboarding first make waves in the US, acting as the missing link between media campaign effectiveness and attribution for retail brands.

Onboarding identifies new potential customers by more accurately profiling the behaviour and attributes of current customer bases, even helping publishers to track offline readers of their publications and communicate with them in the online space to transition audiences from one platform to another.

Data onboarding US vs UK

In the UK, the discipline is at an earlier stage in its development but still addressing the same problems encountered by marketers, brands and publishers and as with all data-enabled approaches these days, there is scrutiny around privacy.

The benefit of onboarding here is that all data is matched in line with regional data protection legislation in a secure safe haven. This means that marketers can use onboarding to enhance the provision of more relevant business data and useful content and messages to the right anonymous audience with confidence.

The dawn of effective onboarding does not mean consumers will be bombarded with more messages, but that the targeting of those messages can be improved. It simply means the marketing and advertising they’re exposed to will be far less random and far more relevant because a greater, more holistic understanding of an audience has been used to deliver more targeted, people-based, 121 marketing.

Through the development and growth of effective and well-handled data onboarding projects, marketers have now been handed the tool they have long been looking for – the ability to understand their consumers’ behaviour in a more rounded, complete way, to respond more accurately to in-the-moment customer actions, and to accurately link cause to effect.

The UK, as a country boasting much of the world’s most advanced marketing techniques, is fertile territory for this service.

The consumer is becoming empowered as never before to take action when brand communications don’t meet muster and equally, to take action when the relevance of good marketing does.

Savvy marketers stand to reap the benefits of improved ROI, harder working campaigns and, ultimately, more contented customers as a result. As we’ve witnessed in the US, we expect brands to be keen to get on board to see for themselves.