The 2023 Retail Technology Buyers Guides
earned data

Activating Earned Data

“We are hungry for earned data anywhere we can get it and it’s fine. You can get transactional data, you can get behavioral data, but I think the beauty of what 3radical can add on to this is really, really contextualize data and the way they source the data.”


A conversation with Rebecca Trivella of 3radical and Robbie Sexton of XtremePush.

Full Transcript Below


George Wiedemann:

Rebecca, Robbie, what brought 3radical and Xtremepush together?

Rebecca Trivella:

I think fundamentally, George, I mean, we started our partnership a couple of years ago, and I’d say that at the heart of it, we’ve got a shared belief of trying to humanize the customer experience. That’s very much kind of 3radical language and Xtremepush will use slightly different language, but we believe fundamentally in trying to better serve the customer in doing that through insight and data and trying to bring campaigns together with understanding and create that sort of virtuous cycle of better understanding someone, better serving them, building better campaigns, being more relevant, being more contextual, being more personalized, and therefore driving better outcomes, not only for consumers, but also for the organizations that we represent as technology vendors. That would be my point of view.

George Wiedemann:

Rebecca, I’m fascinated that you call it humanizing, the interaction between the company, the brand, and the consumer. I see the brand personalization wave flowing, are you catching that wave?

Rebecca Trivella:

Yeah, I would say so. I think that there’s multiple pressures coming to bear that mean that that, as a human level, I think we’re really calling out for it, individuals and particularly the younger generation are pulling, I feel, are pulling brands up by their heels and saying, “Talk to me in a meaningful way and then we can have a proper relationship. And if I don’t value you as a brand, I don’t value your values.” Overuse of the word, value. “I don’t align with your values and we don’t have kind of mutual respect around data share and then how that’s utilized. Actually, I’m going to walk away from you.” So, yeah, I think, very much, there is this shift towards brands having the opportunity to have more control and more power around their brands and around bringing consumers much closer, but kind of with the opportunity comes the flip side of that, I guess, that there’s also a bit of a risk if they don’t mobilize that effectively.

George Wiedemann:

I was wondering, Robbie, on the Xtremepush side, with your multi-channel expertise and everything, how does that fit with and that brought you together with 3radical?

Robbie Sexton:

Yeah, I think we talk about brand personalization, but we talk about personalizing the customer experience, and really there’s an expression that we use is, “Show me that you know me.” And it really is, you need to understand the customer and I think there’s an expectation with customers now, with end customers, that needs to be a deep understanding. From us, our communications are always driven by the data that we have in our system, in the platform. That enables the brands to use our solution to actually really get personalized with their communications. So, the folks in 3radical, they essentially, they can really, really help us there because what they can do is they can help delivering zero-party and earned data and that could be fed into our system, which then helps the brand using our platform to understand the end users, which ultimately helps with the communications and delivering a much better customer experience.

George Wiedemann:

So, “Show me you know me,” is very dependent on having the data resources to enact that, right?

Robbie Sexton:

Absolutely. We are hungry for data anywhere we can get it and it’s fine. You can get transactional data, you can get behavioral data, but I think the beauty of what 3radical can add on to this is really, really contextualize data and the way they source the data. I think it’s something that resonates with customers, so that’s part of the reason why I think it’s such a good fit between the two companies.

George Wiedemann:

Can you talk a little bit and explain to us the importance of earned data?

Rebecca Trivella:

Yeah, so I think, well, earned data is a phrase that 3radical have garnered and are trying to help the market understand what we mean, and really evangelical, I would say, about this term, earned data. There is a difference. You could debate how subtle it is, but there is a difference for us between earned data and zero-party data, which is obviously a Forrester term. I think there’s one which is slightly sentimental, which is you’re trying to understand a person. So, just giving them yet another number, third party, second party, first party, zero party, doesn’t, from a sentiment perspective, doesn’t feel right.

Then, from the actual kind of literal perspective, earned data for us is much more about, it’s that permissioned, it’s personal, it’s two-way, it’s this relationship data that Georgie and I spoke about a couple of moments ago. And so there is this, it’s much more about who you are and understanding your needs and your intent and your motivations and that going forward, whereas zero-party data might kind of capture what is relevant to you right here, right now. If you really understand somebody’s needs and motivations and intent, it becomes quite considerably more predictive really. “Why are you buying this from me now?” Versus, “If I really understand you as a person, I might then be able to understand where you might want to interact with us in future,” whether that’s as a holiday or buying a pair of slippers, anything, but irrespective of the product and the service, understand that person very wholeheartedly. It’s much more about the human, the relationship, and seeking to understand the whole.

George Wiedemann:

So, earned then, Rebecca, gets into that area that as I start to interact with the brand and I trust that they’re using my data to serve me and help me and make it personal to me, that’s the earned part, I suppose.

Rebecca Trivella:

Yeah, I think for us as well that earned is also that progressiveness about it, whereas I think zero-party feels very much that in the moment. For us, earned data is constantly seeking to understand more like you would do in any relationship, in any friendship. You don’t meet someone for the first time and ask, try and find out a little bit about them, maybe their family set up, where they live. You asked us where we came from, where in the world we’re sitting. Next time you meet them, you want to understand a little bit more and things change for people.

Earned data for us is very much about creating an environment that’s always on. So, you have this ability not only to garner more information and kind of more data points and more understanding, but you reflect on that and you see whether that’s still true today. I think the climate that we’re living in at the moment and have been for the last couple of years, I feel like it’s maybe never been more true that people are changing. You could have asked, a brand might have been trying to understand me because I bought lots of suits and shirts from them three years ago. Quite frankly, because of COVID, we were more inclined to be buying jogging bottoms and comfortable shoes.

George Wiedemann:

Exactly right.

Rebecca Trivella:

Our needs, our motivations, it changes, and earned data is about respecting that for us.

George Wiedemann:

Great.

Robbie Sexton:

I think it’s also bringing the customer on a journey and building out that relationship as well. You’re understanding the customer at the different areas of their lifecycle, and you’re continuously getting this earned data and that also builds the relationship. How you’re getting that data, it’s almost transparent how you’re getting that information. I think that helps with the relationship building as well.

George Wiedemann:

By the way, Robbie, that’s a perfect kind of segue into the, is how exactly 3radical and Xtremepush are teamed up, and then what exactly, if I’m the client, are you delivering? How is that then? How are you delivering? What are-

Robbie Sexton:

Sure. There’s a number of ways in how we work together. As mentioned earlier on, obviously 3radical are garnering this earned data from the customers. That data can then get fed into the Xtremepush platform, which then helps us with our personalizing our communications. So, we have a much deeper understanding of the customers and that helps the brands to communicate much better with the customers.

And then also there’s also ways of maybe promoting certain mechanics that 3radical have through our channels, which you can drive them back to continue that loop. And it’s ever-evolving. It’s continuously kind of building up that data, communicating and it’s refining as you go, and that will ultimately lead to a better customer experience.

George Wiedemann:

Robbie, is that across numerous touchpoints? Do you have an example maybe of what might happen at a touchpoint?

Robbie Sexton:

Yeah, absolutely. Look, on our side, and Rebecca, you can jump in on where maybe your touchpoints may be within a website or a mobile app. But for us, it would, so our channels of… I suppose another good point, along with the earned data, we would fundamentally, our platform communicates with end customers on permission-based channels. Think about email, think about SMS, think about maybe push notifications, web push. These are all permission-based channels. So, the end customer has given the brand the permission to talk to them on these channels. So, in that way, the brands can own their own, I suppose, own their own destiny a little bit more. Whereas if they’re using third parties, like say the likes of Facebook or Google, there’s things like cost-per-acquisition. We’re talking, they can massively increase or decrease, but with owned channels, you’re controlling your own destiny. So, you got the communication sending it that way.

And then obviously then with the data flowing back in, so you might send out an email, maybe promoting something that 3radical may do that can actually, you might be a mechanic, Rebecca, you could probably talk about that a little bit more, which will help with getting more earned data.

Rebecca Trivella:

Irrespective of who you’re working with, organizations will be largely paying the media to get traffic to whatever source that is. And then to Robbie’s point, we need to seek permission. What I’d be looking for at that point is to, even right at that point of engagement, try and garner some information. So, even if someone’s just coming on your website, maybe you’re a cruise company for example, and someone’s come to your site for the very first time. Yes, absolutely, as a cruise company, you’re trying to sell cruises, but there’s going to be very different people coming, of all different ages, different demographic profiles, different amounts of money they might spend on their holiday. Some people might have never done it before, some people might be really experienced.

So, even right from that get-go, where 3radical would come in is we would sit right on the webpage, we would be introducing a popup that would try and collect normally kind of two to three bits of really, really golden information that are the most powerful for navigating that person in the next part of their journey. And so maybe it is, “Have you ever gone on a cruise before?” Because actually maybe that is from a decision-tree perspective, really, really helpful to understand.

Again, thinking about human relationships. If I was sat opposite you and I was trying to sell you a cruise, what would I ask you first? So, we very much try and talk to our customers about what are the golden bits of information that would help them better understand their customer. So, in that real-life example, maybe they would say, “Oh no, I’ve never gone on a cruise before.” And you might ask, “How many people?” Or, “Who are you going with on the cruise?” And, “How soon out are you going to go? In the next month, six months, 12 months?”

And then what Robbie, and from an Xtremepush technology perspective, if we have that information, then that would go straight into Xtremepush. And then Xtremepush is sort of just nudging generically to, “Hey, here are loads of offers,” and actually I’m working with a prospect at the moment and that’s exactly what they do. Three emails a day, just blah, blah, offers.

George Wiedemann:

Right. Right. Right.

Rebecca Trivella:

You’ve all got those in our inbox. What Xtremepush can do in using their single-customer view and also their kind of outreach technologies, the channels, is whatever channel you are then pushing that out on is be really relevant. So, actually, if you’ve never booked a cruise before, don’t just keep sending me loads of offers. Maybe I need to know how do I even select a cruise? How do I select whether I want to be on a big ship, a small ship, a week or a month, a round-the-world tour or the Nordic Fjord? So, actually nudge me towards the right bit of content. And that’s where Xtremepush would then come in and nudge people towards the right things based on the data that we had earned.

George Wiedemann:

We’re entering this world of earned data. How do you see what’s going to happen over the next couple, two, three years as this unfolds? And maybe as you answer that, what it means if I’m a prospective client or customer for the combination?

Robbie Sexton:

Yeah, I think what we’re seeing is very much, whereas I think brands, an awful lot of brands over the past number of years, I think their model would have been very much an acquisition model. So, they’d be spending an awful lot on performance media, ad spend on driving people to the website, and be very much around maybe a single-purchase acquisition strategy.

I think what we’re seeing now more is, I think, brands for a number of reasons, it’s the cookies going away, it’s the updates on iOS 14, it’s the skyrocketing cost-per-acquisitions. I think brands are spending much more on retention. So, they want to build brand loyalty, they want to build customer lifetime value. And so I think there’ll be a big refocus from, obviously, you’re always going to have acquisition, but I think there’s a big refocus on retention and with obviously, how do you drive retention? You really understand who your customers are and you’re communicating with them or you’re providing the best experience and the best service. So, I think that’s one thing that we’re definitely seeing.

I also think, as I mentioned earlier on, brands want to maybe be able to control their own destiny. I think they’ve seen there’s an awful lot of volatility on platforms that they don’t necessarily have control, whereas like that. We talk about the data that you own, the channels that you own, you can very much control that yourself. And there’s maybe less variables in the mix, I would say.

George Wiedemann:

So, it very much sounds, it’s back to that word, ownership again, that we’re deviating from all this third party stuff to go down this road of making sure you own your data, the earned data and the channels of communication, to have this sort of personal relationship with the customer.

Robbie Sexton:

Yeah, absolutely, agreed. And also I think as well, just we were talking about the metrics maybe have shifted. An awful lot of people are, they’re not just looking for hyper-growth, they’re looking for hyper-growth and profitability. I think that’s something that’s really important, whereas those metrics are coming much more into focus now for an awful lot of brands and investors, they want to see that this is a stable business and things like long-term customer value, repeat purchases, those metrics are really, really coming into focus more so now.

George Wiedemann:

Rebecca from 3radical, Robbie from Xtremepush, cannot thank you enough.

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