Uniting spend and donating behavior to understand customers

Several marketers are still operating under data silos. While data sets are being compiled to enhance the transactional power with the goal of wanting to achieve a 360-degree consumer view, they often don’t offer the full 'data picture' to understand the whole consumer.

Gartner noted the reason as to why the majority of marketers operate in data silos is because 87% of companies are classified as having low business intelligence and analytics. This creates a big obstacle for companies wanting to increase the value of their data assets and integration goals.

Let’s face it. Compiling all of your organization’s data into one database/infrastructure is not a reality for most marketers given the ‘Frankentech’ technology environment most operate in. Frankentech is a compilation of miscellaneous (or ad-hoc) technology products and applications that are integrated together, intended to provide an overall solution. Frankentech creates an operating environment of multiple technologies with lots of available locations to store and process data. So what can you do as a marketer to ensure you have the best data to meet your organization’s needs and really get to know your customers? Think beyond transactional data and focus on the consumer’s full spending behaviors. That is the spend patterns that leverage purchase and donation patterns to showcase consumer intent. It’s a blend of both the consumption of goods and donating.

For example, at Epsilon we create audience segments driven by robust transactional and donation behavior, or what we refer to as spending behavior – the insights that enable marketers to get to know the whole consumer and understand what drives them emotionally. Some of the segments include Perfect Gifters, the Humanitarian Donors, Mobility is Essential and Trendsetters. Perfect Gifters are defined as the shoppers who seek out the perfect, unique gifts for their loved ones; Humanitarian Donors are those who donate to national and local humanitarian causes within the United States; Mobility is Essential are older adults who want to optimize their living spaces and surroundings. They make purchases to sleep more comfortably, move around more easily and improve their health, and Trendsetters are the younger, active adults who enjoy the outdoors. They decorate their homes and wardrobes with the latest trends in home décor and fashion. They shop online for convenience, but also window shop and will use the call center when they have questions about a product.

Read more: A guide to cross-generation marketing


Oftentimes when we work with brands, they ask us why we decided to create these particular segments along with the benefits of segmentation. As for the why, we have over 150 billion dollars in transactional spend and donation history in which we’re able to leverage and offer these affinities so marketers can better understand the consumers who are more connected to their products and services. It’s essentially creating marketing personas. In regards to the benefits of segmentation, let’s further explore.

3 benefits of data segmentation

Creates customized and personalized communications: Think about a targeted group of consumers who all share similar wants, needs and interests. Having the ability to communicate with these consumers, on a personal level and share the benefits of your product or services enables marketers to connect emotionally with their customers. 80% of consumers are more likely to do business with a company that offers personalized experiences.

Reduces costs and eliminates waste: Sending targeted communications to segments of consumers who share an interest in your products/services reduces marketing costs. Marketers waste over 26% of their budget on the wrong strategies and channels.

Helps in identifying (and creating) brand advocates: When your customer segments continue to see the value of your brand first-hand and experience positive results, they become brand advocates – a spokesperson for your brand. And, brand advocates are 3X more likely to share positive feedback about your company. Essentially, the advocate is an extension of your brand and their passion for your products and services helps to mitigate customer service complaints and promotes a positive experience for consumers interacting with your brand.

So as you continue to evaluate your data strategy, make sure you have the intel to know ‘the whole consumer.’