Is That Data You’re Buying Any Good? on bigdataexchange.com

Is That Data You’re Buying Any Good?

3 big problems with common, overused data resources

The sale of data is big business. Data is of course used by businesses to target consumers who are likely to be interested in their products. Media companies use this same information to sell advertising packages for everything from TV and radio spots to direct mail services and digital ads on websites. And many organizations use data to inform market research that drives strategic decisions.

Unfortunately, there are three big problems with much of the stuff that is being sold and used: data that is too vague, massive overuse of the same third-party data, and flat-out incorrect information.

Problem #1 – Data that is too broad

The data that is being sold by most companies tends to be very broad and much of its use is based on predictive analysis rather than solid information. For instance, the predictive analysis projects that 10 million people might be looking to buy a new car, based on third-party data that shows these individuals are about to pay off their car loan. However, statistics might indicate that only about 1 million of those people will be actively looking to purchase a new car.

Marketers who rely on traditional data and predictive analytics are forced to market to all 10 million – wasting nine out of every 10 ad dollars on people who will never turn into customers. The numbers get even worse, of course, when factoring in the different response rates for different marketing vehicles.

And certain marketing firms looking to sell a business a direct mail campaign or an online ad buy, for examples, aren’t always interested in having a client reaching an exactly relevant audience. It’s in their best interest for the marketing vehicle to work, of course – but it’s also in some of their interest to upsell campaigns to 10 or 20 or 30 million potential targets, necessitating more impressions or pieces of mail.

Problem #2 – Massive overuse of third-party data

Another common problem is third-party data overuse. Basically, everyone is using the same playbook. Or the same databases, in this case.

If football teams followed this strategy, games would be a lot less competitive. The problem with overuse is that most platforms sell much of the same info to everyone, and the information they do sell is not very narrowly targeted. This doesn’t provide much of a competitive edge, in addition to the inefficiencies involved.

Problem #3 – Incorrect data

If you buy data from a company, you probably assume the information is correct. In many cases, this assumption is wrong. There are often mistakes in lists. The data could identify a consumer as a 35-year-old male when that person is actually a 35-year-old female. An individual could have moved from a previous address four years ago, but if the data is not sufficiently cross-referenced with other sources to verify it is current, more marketing dollars are wasted.

It’s crucial to authenticate data, and not all platforms have the capacity to do this effectively – either because they don’t have the right algorithms or they don’t have access to a wide enough range of sources.

How BDEX solves these problems

BDEX collects data in real time based on known behaviors of consumers. For instance, our data tracks when someone has searched online for a car or any other product or service, such as appliances, flights, and even diapers.

We also use the technology called “geofencing” that allows you to see the physical locations people have visited, whether that’s a car dealership, an IT services provider, or an appliance store. This gives you better quality data that includes your true target audience – only the individuals who are actively looking to buy your product, rather than the 10 million or so who are just maybe, possibly, likely to buy.

We also double, triple, and quadruple check information from multiple sources, to authenticate our data and ensure that it is current and correct.

Read more about how BDEX gathers its data.

BDEX features the first-ever Data Exchange Platform (DXP). The BDEX DXP and DAAS platforms enable companies to acquire impartial, quality-scored, third-party data reaching the right people at the right time like never before. We offer cross-device matching, auto dealership services, DAAS, real-time targeting, and custom segment building that is ideal for any industry, including auto dealers, retailers, brands, agencies, out-of-home, and franchises. Contact us today to get your customized marketing data.

Are You Using the Most Advanced Data to Target Consumers?

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

3 Data Factors to Consider When Reaching Consumers

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.

Using Too Many Data Sources? We Need a Centralized Marketplace

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

4 Ways Third-Party Data Can Generate Lift in Your Marketing Results

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.

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