The rules of marketing have changed. As much as marketers may try to dictate the rules of engagement with consumers, consumers are really the ones in the driver’s seat. Today’s consumers are inundated with branded content and advertising from hundreds of companies, and they can opt out, block or cut ties whenever they please. Therefore, it is imperative for brands to pay attention to what their customers want to stay relevant, break through the noise, and build positive relationships.

Brand marketers are always looking for insights into their customers’ behavior to figure out the best ways to reach them most effectively. What content do consumers care about? What platforms are they using? How do they want to receive information and how often would they like to receive it?

To find out, we partnered with the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Council to develop the Shopper Marketing: The New Rules of Engagement report. Together, we surveyed over 160 brand marketers and 2,100 consumers to better understand both how consumers want to be marketed to and what marketers think consumers want. As you can imagine, there were some discrepancies between what marketers perceived and how consumers actually responded, but it turns out – they had more in common than you’d think.

Marketers and consumers are on the same side

Marketers rely on data to target their customers and provide relevant and engaging experiences for them. You may be surprised, but consumers are actually okay with companies using their personal data for marketing in exchange for more personalized experiences with the brand. For example, nearly half of the consumer respondents shared that they prefer targeted brand offerings over coupons and discounts, and more than half have made purchases based on outreach around abandoned shopping carts or product recommendations based on their past purchases.

If consumers are willing to exchange data for more personalization, and marketers want to use data to give them more personalization – what’s the problem?

They’re separated by the data divide

Almost all (90%) of marketers consider access to real-time customer voice and shopping behavior as critical or important to creating personalized advertising experiences, but only 8% of respondents admit they could connect the dots between that information and future shopping behavior. Why is that?

Walled gardens are one of the biggest challenges today’s marketers face when trying to make data-driven decisions. According to the survey results, 83% of marketers admit they don’t have visibility or reach outside of their own company’s website, and 41% question the accuracy of their customer profiles. Marketers are missing out if they’re only collecting customer data from just one location. Collecting data from other sources gives marketers a much more holistic view of customer behavior that can drive actionable, targeted advertising decisions. The key is looking beyond their own data walls.

What marketers really need is broader visibility into shopper activity to effectively find and reach their customers.

What’s special about the Bazaarvoice Network is that we know when shoppers are truly in-market to buy. Over 150 million consumers interact with CGC on over 5,000 brand and retail websites each month, so we have a treasure trove of real-time customer data and insights into shopper activity at our fingertips.

Imagine the opportunity for marketers to overcome the data divide using the first-party data generated from our network. We know how frequently a shopper views a product. We know how often he/she reads product reviews and interacts with CGC, and we know the products shoppers in our network are purchasing. That’s why Bazaarvoice Advertising is so unique – our data-driven solution can find and reach 3 out of 4 in-market shoppers who are actively browsing, researching and buying products in our network.

The findings from the New Rules of Engagement report validate why marketers need more accurate data to target their customers and give them the personalized, relevant content they want. Bazaarvoice Advertising might just be the answer they’ve been looking for.