How clear customer sight helped Visionworks drive maximum conversions

Clear vision is essential to daily life. It allows people to connect with their surroundings, stay safe and maintain mental acuity. For those who need a little help to see clearly, prescription lenses can help not only to address these fundamentals, but to do things that exponentially increase quality of life: legally drive, watch Oscar-winning foreign films, steer clear of exes at the grocery store and so much more.   

The same can be said for brands as it relates to their customers. With an imperfect or incomplete view of the customer, it’s incredibly difficult to reach the correct consumers at the right time, which is imperative for campaign optimization. Sometimes brands need a partner to bring things into focus.

To discover the impact that activating individual-level customer profiles can have on a marketing strategy, Epsilon chatted with Stan Lippelman, SVP and head of marketing for optical retail company Visionworks, who was able to share insights for others looking to maximize ROI on its own advertising campaigns.

The common problem of impressions over conversions

Visionworks sought growth in two areas: eye exam bookings and new customers. However, the company found that its previous ad-tech partner reported impressive impression numbers but failed to meet their set conversion goals.

“With our past partner, it was inefficient.” Lippelman said. “There were tons of impressions, but no conversions—which is what we were after. This felt like a red flag.”

Sadly, many marketers today face this exact problem with their current ad-tech partners. It’s frustrating to see high impressions but low conversions. What gives?

The problem is that a lot of digital media vendors serve up messages to fragmented cookies, device IDs and email addresses—not to real people. For instance, a prospective customer could be engaging with a brand on their phone, their desktop and their tablet. They could have five separate email addresses causing the ad-tech vendor to think its five separate people. They could log in to an account with the brand or log in as a guest. In all these different scenarios, the connection to a single customer profile—to that one individual—is not being made.

A lack of individual-level customer identity can result in missed attributed conversions when a consumer browses on one device and converts on another (this can result in up to 80% missed attributed outcomes).

In addition, marketers have missed opportunities to reach in-market consumers because intent data is fragmented across digital identifiers. When this data is consolidated to a real person, it becomes obvious that the consumer is in-market to convert., there’s no way for brands to get the reach promised.

Clearly, a fuzzy view of customers is not something to overlook.

Getting clear on identity to maximize ROI

The solution is clear: individual-level customer identity. Visionworks found that strong identity resolution from Epsilon Digital media solutions enabled the brand to engage consumers the way they want, with the right context, at the right time.

“For most people, eyeglasses are a ‘need to have,’ not a ‘want to have,’” Lippelman said. “We’re trying to take a category that can be seen as a hassle and make it easy. So, being able to reach out to the right people when they’re ready to buy is crucial for us.”

A recent Visionworks acquisition campaign helps to paint the picture. The campaign objective was to drive new customers to Visionworks by looking for in-market prospects who “looked like” their best buyers.

To do so, Epsilon modeled the brand’s “best buyers” while suppressing individuals that had already been active in the market (90-day site visitors and 0- to 3-year buyers). Once identified, Visionworks was able to deliver a timely offer, including the nearest store location, to these individuals on their channel and device of choice.

Using Epsilon’s best-in-class identifier, CORE ID, Visionworks could finally connect various identifiers, fill in the missing data gaps and leverage complete individual-level people profiles. Five email addresses were now properly tied to one person, and device IDs were linked to their actual owners. No longer were fragments of someone’s identity being communicated to, erroneously, as a full person. With this newfound ability, Visionworks’ cost per action (CPA) landed a whopping 87% below their original campaign goal.

Don’t settle for fuzzy customer vision—you deserve better

Just like glasses, clear customer vision is a “need to have” for marketers looking to maximize their ROI from digital advertising campaigns. To learn how to find the ad tech partner you deserve, check out the recent Adweek webinar featuring Epsilon and Visionworks.

This article was originally published on Adweek, May 2023.