The second volume of the fourth season of Netflix’s hit series “Stranger Things” touched down on July 1, and it was a smash hit. According to Netflix's internal metrics, the show just became only the second Netflix series ever to cross 1 billion hours viewed within its first 28 days of availability, and the premiere of Season 4 (Volume One) set the record for Netflix’s biggest-ever premiere weekend for an English-language series.
It’s safe to say it’s a popular show. The question is: Did Netflix know that it would be the mega success that it did when it first came out?
Despite the fact that the cast was made up of mostly unknown actors and the marketing for Season 1 was largely grassroots, the show was awarded a $6 million per episode budget in its first season. Netflix had more than just faith the show would be a success.
Viewer data helped drive the look and feel of "Stranger Things," something that catapulted the sleeper show to Netflix's crown jewel. And it's not science fiction: Brands can also use consumer data to develop their own marketing magic.
First-party data is a superpower of its own
Netflix connects with its 200 million-plus subscribers directly every day, filing away hordes of extremely valuable first-party data. They use this data expertly—using viewership data to drive everything from production and marketing to content creation. Since the very beginning of the streaming service, it has been using predictive-analysis algorithms to recommend personalised content to its subscribers.
So, in many ways, Netflix was very sure “Stranger Things” would be a hit. They based their decision to produce the series with the budget it received on data analysis of what previous Netflix content was performing well. The series was a hit because Netflix listened to data when creating it.
On top of that, Netflix used its data to best position the show to its subscribers on an individual-level basis. Knowing who they serve allowed them to show one promotional image of the show to one subscriber on their homepage, while a completely different image to another subscriber on their homepage—all based on the data Netflix has on those two separate individuals.
In a world where third-party identifiers are going away, first-party data is becoming even more important for marketers looking to successfully engage their customer base. And thankfully, according to our research, most marketers are putting greater emphasis on their first-party data strategy.
But it’s not enough just to collect the data; marketers need to know how to wield it. As needs to be said for all superpowers, “With great power comes great responsibility.”
How to use first-party data like a superhero
First-party data is critical to developing custom audiences defined to marketing objectives like customer acquisition, cross-sell, up-sell and brand awareness. Understanding the best audience for a given objective allows marketers to build custom audiences based on the profile of their ideal customer and similar customers in-market.
Audience development starts with customer identity. What’s new, and a major roadblock for many marketers, is the complexity of integrating data from multiple sources to build one universal profile of an individual.
If your campaign analysis & planning is currently managed in-house you could be missing some critical insight to enhance ROI and create greater long-term value for your business.
Epsilons Campaign 360 is a fully managed data analytics solution with dedicated resource in sync with your brand.
Here’s an example of what may be possible to know about your customers’ purchasing behaviour using Epsilon Abacus data analytics:
Here’s what Campaign 360 can deliver for your business:
Higher quality customer acquisition - Make sure you are acquiring the customers that will spend more, purchase more regularly and stay loyal for longer to grow your customer base.
Reconnection with inactive customers - Help your high value customers find their way back to you with offers that match their purchasing behaviour from other brands similar to yours.
Better retention and spend from loyal customers - Learn what your customers really want and retain them. They will thank you for tempting them with offers and products that increase their average spend.
Increased lifetime value - Happy customers who become brand advocates spend more, recommend more and add more long-term value to your business.
By combining the 500M+ transactions held on the Abacus Alliance with your customer RFM, the Campaign 360 segmentation will allow you to identify dormant or lapsed customers that are still active in your market space and well as “one-off”, single buyers that are unlikely to repeat purchase. This in turn will improve your targeting, reducing marketing wastage and improve campaign ROI.
Don’t stay in the upside down – activate your first-party data
You may not be able to save the world with a robust first-party data strategy, but you sure can enhance your marketing. At Epsilon Abacus our solutions allow marketers to recognise customers wherever they are with a unified profile. These consumer insights drive personalised marketing through powerful AI and ultimately results in better outcomes for both the customer and the brand.
Epsilon Abacus lets brands connect to millions of active consumers on the Abacus Alliance to understand what each person wants, and then reach those people using highly targeted offline campaigns.
Big brands like Netflix are taking big bets on delivering experiences they know are going to resonate with their audiences. You don't need to be a major Hollywood studio to have the same kind of impact: First-party data gives all types of brands the chance to do something impactful.
To dive even deeper into the ways first-party data prioritisation can boost your marketing,
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