Data sourcing has never been a piece of cake. Brands, retailers, and agencies are always looking for the newest, most relevant data, but since the information first-party data provides is single-sourced, companies need to rely on third-party data for most of their campaigns.
Between managing each provider individually, overseeing numerous contracts, trying to match mobile IDs with email addresses, and weeding through the data, marketers hardly have the time to merge these disparate data sources let alone use the learned analytics effectively. With the advent of true data marketplaces, obtaining quality, real-time data pre-merged to a single unified ID is now as simple as shopping online.
Marketers have been reaping the benefits of third-party data for years, but the process of obtaining that information is easier said than done. While using third-party data allows brands and retailers to better understand their consumers, seemingly boundless intelligence can also be overwhelming. From hiring data scientists to dissect every statistic to creating an infrastructure to save every fact and figure, multisourcing is not only complicated but incredibly expensive.
A common challenge faced by marketers employing third-party data is knowing how to source, organize, and manage that abundance of information.
“The more variables you have, the more complex data gathering and consistent reporting becomes. Endless combinations of inputs and outputs can soon become unwieldy and hard to manage,” according to Greenstone, a leading provider of non-financial reporting software in the UK.
But sorting the information isn’t the only difficulty marketers face. They have to screen vendors, establish guidelines for data retrieval, address contract security and privacy issues, and manage the business relationship. In other words, utilizing a variety of analytics companies makes the data management process more complicated, more expensive, and more time-consuming. Often, after going through the trouble of obtaining the information, marketers find the acquired data to be too similar, stale, and, ultimately, not worth the trouble.
Another issue brands, retailers, and agencies face is linking IDs across multiple sites and platforms. Connecting users is especially important since mobile is “the leading digital platform, with total activity on smartphones and tablets accounting for 62 percent of digital media time spent, and apps alone now representing the majority of digital media time at 54 percent,” according to the 2015 US Mobile App Report.
Keith Sayewitz, Chief Marketing Officer at BDEX, believes that having a breadth of data that connects patterns and trends among consumers is essential to creating a successful campaign.
“When you get all of your data from a marketplace like BDEX’s, you’re not only receiving information from companies like Neustar but thousands of mobile devices and clicks in real time,” says Sayewitz. “The ability to link customers’ mobile, cookie, postal and email IDs makes the marketing process even more efficient.”
Marketers can then target customers from a variety of angles, increasing the chance of better results and ultimately a higher ROI. Though the development of linking big data is still a work in progress, the most innovative companies have begun taking advantage of the scale of information available and are acquiring pre-merged data from the marketplace.
BDEX provides brands, retailers, and agencies with extensive, quality data from a variety of sources in a true marketplace environment. With over 20 billion data points tied to mobile IDs and every channel added to the marketplace each month, buyers can understand consumers like never before and create compelling campaigns that return real results.
Image Credit: FreeDigitalPhotos.net/hywards
The way we use data to target audiences is constantly evolving. The first phase in targeting was fairly simple in that we relied on only a few simple demographics, like age and gender, to segment consumers. Then audience groups were formed. More advanced and specific, audience groups were, and still are, based on consumers’ shared interests. The newest chapter in data targeting, utilizing real-time insights, merges information about demographics and audience groups with real-time activity. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Real-time data isn’t just information about your consumers’ spending habits in the last month. True, real-time insights let you know what your target customers are searching for the moment they shop online.
In the mid-20th century, marketers focused on only a few consumer demographics when developing marketing campaigns. While factors like age and gender were more important sixty years ago when people sourced their news and entertainment from the same place, the traditional methods for obtaining consumer data are not as relevant anymore. McKinsey’s John Forsythe demonstrates the problems associated with using only a few, superficial demographics by citing the differences between Prince Charles, Queen Elizabeth’s son and her heir apparent, and Ozzy Osbourne, lead singer of heavy metal band Black Sabbath. While both men are British and the same age, a marketer obviously wouldn’t market to them the same way.
Marketing and brand expert Adam Paulisick also believes that simple demographics don’t provide enough information to properly target consumers.
“Segmenting consumers by age and gender or other demographics is inefficient at best, even for more traditional marketing campaigns because there are no hard and fast rules anymore for what a man or a women will intuitively buy (with few exceptions).”
While we might not know the “hard and fast rules” that drive what a consumer buys, we can know the next best thing: what product they are shopping for the moment they shop. Real-time data takes into account everything we used to know about consumers based on demographics and audience groups and merges it with live activity.
Keith Sayewitz, Chief Marketing Officer and Head of Sales at BDEX, a market-driven exchange platform that provides users with real-time data, explains the value of real-time analytics for marketers.
“For years a company depended on simple demographics to identify a certain consumer, like ‘soccer moms.’ Then audience groups were formed, so we discovered those soccer moms were interested in fitness. But now, with real-time data, we learn which of those soccer moms are in the market for a treadmill or are switching to vegan cuisine. This information is incredibly powerful because it allows for truly advanced targeting. We know that this customer is likely to buy a treadmill because she is in the market for one at this exact moment.”
Marketers can then create specific ads for the desired consumer, increase the probability for conversion, and, therefore, create more sales. The insights provided by real-time data are essential to brands, retailers, and agencies who want to stay up-to-date on consumer activities and truly understand their customers’ needs.
BDEX, the first ever Data Exchange Platform (DXP), is currently the only source for true, real-time data. For more information about BDEX’s unique services, click here.
Image Credit: NEC Corporation of America
The importance of data to a business’s success isn’t a recent discovery. For decades, the fate of American television shows rested solely in the hands of The Nielsen Company, which still monitors citizens’ viewing habits via customer surveys and meter readings today. However, thanks to an incredible influx of information from a variety of sources, including cell phones, computers, and even sensor-equipped trains, brands have more access to analytics than ever before. Harvard Professor Gary King even referred to this stream of statistics as a “big data revolution” (Harvard Magazine). While the amount of information is impressive, King doesn’t believe the quantity is the “revolutionary” part.
“The big data revolution is that now we can do something with the data.”
But for many companies, knowing how to properly use acquired information is a major problem. When brands consider the following factors of big data, they are better equipped to reach consumers:
Timeliness of the Data
“In the rush to avoid being left behind, I also see that many companies risk becoming data rich but insight poor, says data expert and author Bernard Marr (Forbes). “They accumulate vast stores of data they have no idea what to do with, and no hope of learning anything useful from.”
One major issue with businesses storing data but not taking action is that the information goes bad quickly. Companies will keep the information hoping it will be of some use though it’s “no longer relevant, inaccurate or outdated,” says Marr. In other words, “time is of the essence.” BDEX is different from other data providers in that brands can access real-time analytics the moment consumers browse and shop online. By knowing what consumers want at a given time, businesses are better able to meet consumers’ needs.
Source of the Data
There is a common misconception that first-party data is superior to third-party data. While first-party data is owned by the company that obtained it, the data does not change as it’s transferred from party to party. That’s why data expert Kevin Tan believes companies should focus “on the quality and transparency of the data, not the party label.”
“Advertisers that choose to work with high-quality data providers can obtain third-party data that is timely and clear. Used together with first-party data, top quality third-party data enables brands to build a fuller picture of target audiences,” says Tan. (Exchange Wire)
In order to determine the quality of the information they receive, brands should also know where their data providers get their statistics. Some sources, like the US Census Bureau, may contain a broad range of data, while others, like market research surveys, may provide more specific information. By making use of data from a variety of sources, brands have the ability to assess their target audience and create better marketing campaigns.
Accuracy of the Data
You may be wondering, “How do I know what data is usable?” After all, the sheer number of data resources suggests that some of the data will either 1) not pertain to every business or 2) be incorrect. And while it does not serve your business to cater to every online consumer, know that the specificity of the information big data, especially third-party data, can provide is unparalleled. Information is collected by a variety of tools ranging from desktop cookies and e-tags to smart phone IDs.
“All this allows firms to glean what sites users have visited, what they have shopped for, what postcode they live in and so on. From this the firms can infer other personal details, such as their income, the size of their home and whether it is rented or owned.” (The Economist)
While the amount of data can be overwhelming, utilizing big data will not only help you reach your consumers but anticipate what they want next.
BDEX is the first ever Data Exchange Platform (DXP) offering real-time data in a marketplace environment. All seller and consumer information is impartially scored to ensure that data is and high-quality and accurate. To learn more about BDEX’s unique services, or to become a BDEX buyer or seller, click here.
Marketers may be hesitant to invest in third-party big data insights due to poor reputation. Digiday blasted the products of many big data vendors as “cheap, plentiful, [and] inaccurate, citing cases 30-35% inaccuracy rates discovered through validation testing. However, even the most outspoken critics of third-party data admit that not all vendors are equal, and marketers can drive desired results if they don’t trade “accuracy for scale.”
With the right vendor, third party big data can be a crucial tool for generating lift in marketing results. The proof is in the meteoric growth of programmatic advertising, in which results are largely dependent on data quality and scale. Perhaps more importantly, marketers must remember that third-party data purchased from outside parties isn’t a new concept.
Marketing teams have bought insights for decades as a tool for tailoring print advertising and direct mail campaigns. While the best advertising formats and data scale have changed, the importance of outside perspective hasn’t. Join as we review reasons why validated, high-quality third party data assets are crucial to marketing results.
1. Third-Party Data Can Be First-Party Data
Third-party that generates poor marketing results or contains vast inaccuracies is usually far-removed from it’s source. It was purchased from the organization who originally collected it months prior, scrubbed, categorized, and distributed. However, with BDEX’s data marketplace, your team can purchase data from first-party sources in real-time. Instead of relying on aging insights or questionable segments, you can combine your data with another organization’s first party insights, resulting in far broader contacts and understanding.
2. Third-Party Data Introduces You to New Contacts
While emails, mobile, and programmatic advertising are important tools for customer retention, marketers are in the business of acquiring new customers. The goal of a marketing department is to attract people who resemble your most qualified customers. Third-party data can function much like the contact lists or leads marketers may have purchased in the past. With exclusive partnerships, you can gain access to the email addresses of pre-qualified consumers who are actively looking for your product or services.
3. Your Data isn’t Validated
Third-party data assets from trusted vendors can reveal uncomfortable truths about your organization’s data quality. The most commonly reported data management challenge is resolving quality problems “before they become an issue.” Even if your organization has above-average data management practices, there are likely inaccuracies in your contact profiles. By reconciling your insights in a data management platform against a third-party vendors, you can perform validation and cleansing actions needed to maintain accurate information.
4. Your Touch Points aren’t the Full Picture
Even if your organization engages in extensive first-party data collection practices, you’re probably not getting the full picture. Your insights are limited to what you’re able to collect through Cookies, user-generated web content, and customer touch points. If you’re in the finance industry, you may not know that your customer is expecting a child. If you’re in real estate, you may not know that a client is actively planning for retirement. In order to understand your consumers on an individual level, third-party insights are typically necessary.
Ideally, third-party data has the potential to elevate your team’s insights through validation and the addition of well-rounded insights. Instead of relying exclusively on your own touch points, you can gain insights from other organization’s data collection practices.
BDEX is a first-of-its-kind marketplace, offering marketing teams the ability to connect directly with first-party data vendors in a variety of industries. Buyers gain the ability to access objectively-scored, real-time insights, which can be downloaded directly into your data management platform (DMP) to immediately begin generating marketing lift.
Low-quality big data assets can lead to incredibly costly marketing mistakes. Research by Experian indicates that low data quality has a direct impact on revenue for 88% of modern organizations. Average losses are approximately 12% of revenue. For organizations who are shifting towards data-driven marketing and customer experiences, low-quality data can lead to costly mistakes.
How Bad is the Average Marketing Big Data?
Per eConsultancy, 22% of information on contacts, leads, and customers contains inaccuracies. Perhaps most concerning, the average organization’s quality index is headed in the wrong direction. Twelve months ago, the average inaccuracy rate was just 17%. Incorrect data can have a real impact on your team’s ability to build segments, understand behavioral triggers and preferences.
In contrast, organizations with a high degree of data accuracy are more likely to appreciate:
● Customer Satisfaction
● Informed Decision-Making
● Protection of Brand Reputation
Poor-quality or old customer data can lead to a series of costly marketing mistakes. Join us as we review some devastating errors that can be directly attributed to inaccurate customer data.
1. Low Advertising Conversions
Low conversion rates on programmatic advertising is a symptom, not an issue. Poor click-throughs and conversions can be attributed to a lack of mobile advertising, poor segmentation, irrelevant data, or other factors. However, far too many marketing teams fail to take appropriate action in response to low advertising conversions. Instead of working to improve the breadth or quality of data, they continue generating ads. Before running more ad campaigns, marketing teams should take appropriate action to ensure they can achieve better returns.
2. Inconsistent Brand Experiences
Without accurate or up-to-date data, your brand communications could send the message that you don’t know your customers. You may generate programmatic advertising for products your customers already own. You could send an email blast for baby products as their children are approaching preschool age. Marketers need to actively combat a brand experience that’s inconsistent with a customer’s needs and activities. If you miss the mark repeatedly, you’ll struggle to build customer loyalty and sales.
3. Poor Email Deliverability
The average return on investment (ROI) for email marketing at mid-sized organizations is 246%. However, organizations have the potential to significantly exceed these benchmarks with appropriate timing, segmentation, and other big data-driven activities. Email communications to outdated contact lists have the potential for a high bounce rate, or percentage of emails that are undeliverable. Email segmentations that are vastly inaccurate could also increase your risk of being pinged as spam. In the mind of a consumer, spam is simply “unsolicited bulk email.” If your messaging is irrelevant or feels too much like a mass communication, it’s likely unwelcome.
4. Mobile Neglect
Far too many big data marketing strategies are focused on desktop advertising, email receipt, and experiences. In reality, consumer behavior demands mobile marketing. As of 2015, adults now spend more time engaged with mobile devices than desktops, laptops, and other connected devices combined. There’s a good chance that, at least 50% of the time, your desktop-optimized advertising is consumed on mobile devices. This can lead to poor user experience (UX) and returns on investment.
5. Poor Verification Methodologies
All too often, major brands go viral for all the wrong reasons. Poor data verification can lead to mistakes that are embarrassing, insulting, or even hurtful to their loyal customers. OfficeMax sent coupons addressed to “Mike Seay, daughter killed in car crash.” The addendum to the customer’s name was unfortunately true. The company ultimately issued a public apology to the customer. Manual data verification processes are rarely effective in the big data age. Fortunately, using a data management platform (DMP) or another tool to perform quality checking against 3rd party data can eliminate much of the risk of similar mistakes.
If your organization’s data quality is average or below average, you’re at risk for many of these expensive marketing mistakes. By taking the appropriate internal steps to improve your quality standards, you can improve the ROI and impact of your marketing efforts.
BDEX offers high-quality, real-time big data assets from trusted 3rd party vendors to safeguard against low-return marketing investments. By downloading the right data resources directly into your DMP, you can improve the accuracy of your customer records, gain deeper insight into your buyers, and build better segments.For more information on becoming a BDEX buyer or seller, click here.
Your customers expect you to understand their needs. 80% of modern consumers expect personalized experiences from their favorite brands. Despite increased budget for big data marketing initiatives, 43% of marketers feel they’re getting almost “no benefit” from their existing data assets. These two statistics illustrate a clear disconnect between what customers want, and what marketing teams are able to deliver.
The savviest marketing teams aren’t just deriving value from their internal, or first party, data assets, they’re obtaining high-quality, real-time insights from 3rd-party data vendors to develop a 360-degree view of their customers. In order to capture and retain today’s complex digital consumers, a big data-driven customer strategy is a must.
What Does a Big Data-Driven Marketing Strategy Entail?
Every time your customers swipe on a mobile device screen or post a status update to social media, they leave a trail of data on their preferences and behaviors. Each of these interactions offers the potential for your brand to gain insight into how to create personalized experiences for your customers.
By synthesizing first and third-party data insights in a data management platform (DMP), you can create a holistic view of your customer base. This allows you to understand patterns and stories that extend beyond your own touch points, and discover truths about how your customers interact with the world around them, by using these stories to create segments and understand your customers on an individual level. In this blog, we’ll discuss several of the best practices best-of-class organizations adopt when developing a marketing strategy that’s driven by big data insight.
1. Expand Your Data Collection
Transform your strategy from first-party data analysis to a program that’s focused on true cross-channel synthesis. By combining the broadest array of data sources possible, you can improve your strategic analysis and customer understanding.
2. Score Your Segments
By creating narrow segments of your existing customers, you can focus on your best clients. These are the individuals with the highest customer lifetime value (LTV), and who may be most likely to promote your brand on social media channels and other online forums. The creation of buyer persona profiles has traditionally been executed through qualitative research methods, such as focus groups. By allowing data to tell your story, you can eliminate organizational biases about what your best customers look like.
3. Focus on Customer Experience
When you have identified your best customers, it is critical to discover ways you can improve your client experience. You can discover insights on how your customers interact with brands through the inclusion of 3rd-party data. Are they mobile shoppers, or heavily-engaged app users? Tailor your engagement strategy to your client’s existing behavior patterns.
4. Get Personal
The best marketers know that big data has the potential to move your strategy from segments to true personalization. Use your big data insights to discover behavioral triggers, and tailor personalized marketing efforts to meet your client’s needs for relevant email marketing and programmatic advertising.
5. Measure and Optimize
With your programmatic advertising and email marketing metrics, your brand has the potential to move towards continual improvement cycling in your marketing program. Never stop collecting data, analyzing, and improving your efforts to deliver a best-of-class customer experience.
Are you ready to make the shift towards customer-focused, Real Time big data-driven marketing? Contact BDEX today for more information on high-quality, real-time big data assets from trusted 3rd-party sources.
Would you like a representative to contact you?