Needle In a Haystack No More: Data Science, DMPs, and Finding Your Next Great Customer Now

Marketers estimate that $1 out of every $4 spent on digital marketing is wasted. Between poor targeting, inefficient channels, and less-than-optimal strategies, a huge percentage of most budgets is missing the mark.

To stop the bleed, marketers have to be able to find high-value customers within their existing audience — a task that can sometimes feel like finding a needle in a haystack. But the fact remains: finding more high-value, high-converting customers means greater revenue for your business and a better experience delivered to those you reach.

When Lenovo found itself in this all-too-prevalent predicament, it turned to look-alike modeling powered by Adobe Sensei’s cutting-edge artificial intelligence (AI) technology. Now, Lenovo is ramping up its Adobe Experience Manager usage, hyper-targeting its highest-value customers, growing its customer base. This is — and will continue to — help Lenovo make every interaction with its brand a more personalized experience. And you can do the same.

AI, look-alikes, and your DMP

Look-alike modeling helps brands understand the traits of their best customers and what drives them to take action — and how to find more people like that.

Lenovo wanted to use look-alike modeling both to identify the most high-value customers in its current base and to increase the pool of potential customers with the same traits. But when you stop to think about the amount of data needed to make this possible, the prospect is daunting. When done manually, the process of defining and creating these audiences can be prohibitively time-consuming, leading many teams to skimp on either the depth of the data used or the thoroughness of their analysis.

That’s where Adobe Sensei comes into play. By using the look-alike modeling feature powered by Adobe Sensei in Adobe Audience Manager, their data management platform (DMP), Lenovo simplified the segment definition process, found its target audiences quickly and easily, and integrated that audience information seamlessly into the DMP. The result is a list of thousands of different traits that are significant in defining the behavior of each audience segment.

“The DMP and look-alike feature powered by Adobe Sensei have allowed us to make sure we are constantly capturing our qualified audiences,” says Harrison Burch, global head of marketing analytics for Lenovo. “We can understand who our long-term customer and frequent buyers are, who’s coming back and revisiting our sites, who’s diving into content, and who is engaging with us on a day-to-day basis.”

As Lenovo looks to increase its Experience Manager usage, it’s clear the long-term value of this process will be unmatched. When Lenovo enters a country that is new to the market and launches a site, for example, the organization’s base of audience segments is already filled. This allows those countries to scale-up much faster because of the information built previously into the DMP.

“We just went live in one country that’s new for us, and we have three more countries coming down the road,” Harrison says. “The difference that this makes for us is really the beauty of AI and look-alike modeling.”

Putting the strategy to the test

One of Lenovo’s biggest areas of focus is small- to medium-sized businesses (SMBs). It’s a competitive space, but the Adobe Sensei-powered look-alike modeling in Adobe Audience Manager is helping Lenovo take advantage of opportunities to gain share in this market.

When an online visitor comes to Lenovo’s site for the first time, Lenovo marketers don’t know anything about them. The customer hasn’t interacted with any previous marketing campaigns or tactics. However, with this look-alike modeling, Lenovo is able to understand if the customer falls into an SMB audience segment. If they do, Lenovo can then deliver a targeted SMB experience based on previous audience knowledge gathered and modeled in its DMP.

“I like to call this first-touch targeting,” Harrison says.

Lenovo put this strategy to the test with the opening of its new online SMB Pro Store. The store offers a digital destination for all the organization’s SMB customers to discover what solutions are available to them and how to better take advantage of Lenovo’s products in their businesses. But after the initial launch, Lenovo marketers were still struggling to get customers to sign up for the service. By leveraging a targeted look-alike audience, Lenovo was able to identify high-value customers at first touch and drive them to the SMB Pro Store.

“That was a huge win for us,” Harrison says. “It really came down to identifying our audience segments and customers appropriately.”

Adobe Sensei made it possible for Lenovo to correctly segment its audiences, and Audience Manager made it simple for marketers to create and activate those audiences. The result was 3.5 times the growth in registrations for the SMB Pro Store.

Delivering targeted experiences in real time

By creating look-alike models within its DMP, Lenovo always knows which audiences it is targeting and can pinpoint issues with speed and ease. And with Adobe Sensei working through a platform like Adobe Experience Manager, marketers can understand the traits that are coming to digital properties in real time, something that wasn’t possible before.

“It has been really interesting watching how our customer base changes. One week we could have a rise in dentists. The next week it could be researchers, and another week it’s consultants,” Harrison says.

With the insights from Adobe Experience Manager, Lenovo will have the capability to capitalize on these diverse segments through look-alike modeling — and, likewise, businesses can improve their customer experiences from sales to marketing to support. When customers are correctly identified, defined, and targeted, you — like Lenovo — can fine-tune the customer journey for maximum personalization and engagement. You can find the needle in the haystack every time.

“As we become more agile, we can create marketing content on the fly and have the confidence to post it live, knowing we are reaching the correct audience. That’s where I see us being able to really access the power of Adobe Sensei with our DMP,” Harrison says.

Learn more about how Adobe Sensei is driving greater customer value.