Hitting the bull’s eye with data.

Remember the days when advertisers were shouting from breaks during the most watched TV shows and spreading their media spend across newspapers with the highest circulations? Today, that shout has splintered into billions of target-specific whispers. The right data mix, delivered across programmatic exchanges, creates a phenomenon like telepathy.

Chances are, forward-thinking marketers have an accurate prediction of what you’re going to do when you open your computer, even when you don’t know. Look at the ad units on your browser. Your favorite brands (and their competitors) are probably popping up constantly on Facebook. That dress you were browsing reappears across a variety of websites for a few days then disappears and that film whose trailer you watched starts following you.

The world of programmatic media placement and predictive modeling has gone beyond the questions of “what is the best environment for my ad?” or “who is the appropriate audience for my product?” and now extends to the entire online map of what leads a particular individual to a purchase at a certain time.

Advertisers, the savvy ones, are lifting campaign performance via data integration. These campaigns are nimble: making improvements in real time, tying in page context and media use insights, past user behavior as well as demographics, and enterprise wide (not just online) data collection sources. The people who manage these campaigns, like myself, are constantly testing ideas, new data partnerships, and conversion page optimizations to keep pushing performance.

Data is only as good as the system it lives in. How do your web insights help you communicate with your customers? How long does it take for seasonal browsing habits to become a trend? A microtrend? How long before you respond and change the page flow for your users? How do you adapt user experience options for anyone who doesn’t fit this trend? How do you answer these questions?

Most companies, according to a study by Lynchpin and Econsultancy, are held back by an analytics skills gap. Data is captured but never utilized. It’s imperative to pull multiple data points into a main, actionable insight. The integration of data is at least as important as the data itself.

What data’s out there?

– First party: web analytics and retargeting, FB follower segmentation, email capture and CRM strategy.

– Second party: partnerships with someone who can strategically leverage your first party data in exchange for theirs.

– Third party: provided (for a fee) by data aggregation companies. The baseline for industry standard audience targeting.

First party is the big opportunity: I’ve managed campaigns where first party data integration lead to an 18:1 ROI (as a baseline, the same creative/landing page configuration elsewhere yielded 4:1.) As a growing trend, the implementation of first party data leads to an increase in lifetime value of a customer. (Source: Signal)

A case study in support of data: Kraft Foods, embarked on test to leverage small segments of its data from more than 100 million monthly unique visits to its digital properties.

From customer interactions, Kraft gathers 22,000 individual attributes, including flavor preferences, and uses them to design personalized ads to specific customer segments such as Easter celebrating people with a sweet tooth. To drive sales around the holiday, Kraft pushed a popular dessert recipe to this audience. The result: a 23% sales increase for four Kraft products used in the recipe and a 4x return on their ad spend. Read more about this campaign here.

How are you systematically tracking and gathering data so you can learn from campaign results? If you aren’t sure, reach out to me at smith + jones to see how we can help make sense out of your data and drive record results.

– Jesse Plate | email: jplate@sjmarketing.com | phone: 775.831.6262 x207

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