Customer Targeting Made Easier for Media Companies on bigdataexchange.com

Customer Targeting Made Easier for Media Companies

The importance of real-time behavioral data and cross-device matching

According to statistics compiled by USC Annenberg, the average American now spends a full day – 24 hours – each week on the Internet. And what are they doing when they’re online?

A report from the Center for Digital Future reveals some very telling information about media consumption. More than 70 percent of people who go online visit their social networks. Sixty percent of people do so to download or watch videos. Fifty-six percent said they download or listen to music and 44 percent play games.

How people access this media is also assessed: Eighty-two percent of people get on the Internet through their phones, while 30 percent use a tablet or other device. Other interesting stats from the report:

  • 53 percent said they sometimes or often watch television shows on their TVs as well as computers and mobile devices
  • 37 percent said they sometimes or often watch TV shows through a free streaming service
  • 51 percent said they sometimes or often pay to watch movies online
  • 37 percent said they sometimes or often pay for streaming music
  • 37 percent also said they were likely or very likely to cut back or give up cable or satellite service entirely and just watch TV online

How BDEX can help media companies target customers – of both their media and the products and services sold by advertisers

Device graphs

These days, it’s all about getting the right content in front of the right people, at the right time. The best way to do this is by utilizing actionable, accurate data. At BDEX, we help media companies use data in several impactful ways.

First, with our device graphs, they can identify customers based on their devices. This allows them to market to a consumer at every touch point. Because so many people use a variety of devices, often this is a challenge. But our device graphs enable a media company to reach customers on many and sometimes all of them.

Real-time behavior

Once a company knows who is on what device, they can access and leverage the person’s real-time behavioral data. Content creators, advertisers, and other partners can then tailor specific media to that individual based on this behavior, as opposed to relying on typical audience groups, which generally consists of an older, less-specific set of data.

Better ad impression measurement

Device-matching is especially effective for ads. When ads are randomly run across devices, there is a good chance that one person sees the same ad twice. As a result, there is no way to measure how many individual customers saw it.

But when a company can identify the unique use of a phone and tablet, for example, they can make sure that ad is only run a predetermined number of times. This allows for much better insight into how many different people will have seen it, which can generate much more accurate measurements of ad impressions. Not only does this help the individual business, it also allows a media company to charge better ad rates for more effective ads.

How this can be put into practice

At an essential level, media companies have the capability to promote media on different devices. A new show that may be typically consumed on a certain individual’s tablet may be promoted across many of that person’s touchpoints – from the tablet to a text to their smartphone, as well as a dynamically-served ad on a website viewed on the browser of their laptop.

That media company’s advertisers reap similar targeting benefits. To get a sense of how these tools can be put into practice, let’s take a look at cars. Many media companies have partnerships with big car companies. Marketing initiatives in the past typically involved using an audience segment that would show someone was likely to buy a new car. This would usually consist of some sort of predictive analysis that, while somewhat accurate, had a failure rate that was still very high.

With our real-time data, all of this has changed significantly. Now media companies and the auto companies (as well as any other industries) who buy from them can be sure that they are targeting an audience that is much more relevant. They can do this by looking at the behavioral data that will show that someone is at that moment shopping for a new car – and mixing it with the data that shows where to reach them – which is exponentially more specific than the old, scattershot approach.

Want to find customers who are ready to buy what you – or your partners – are selling? Our real-time marketing takes the guesswork out of the equation. To get more information about the services we can provide for your media company, please contact us.

The Elements of Effective Targeted Marketing, Part 2 on bigdataexchange.com

The Elements of Effective Targeted Marketing, Part 2

The indicators that your ideal customer is actually ready to buy

In part one of this series, we discussed ways to identify your ideal customer. That’s the first, basic step in targeted marketing.

This is insufficient to refine a campaign, however – not by a long shot. True, highly-targeted marketing is all about reaching out to individuals who are actually ready to buy. And there are two subsequent steps in the process to achieve this: using predictive analytics and then real-time indicators that point to an imminent purchase.

Predictive analytics are last-gen targeted marketing – but still useful

The last generation of targeted marketing relied heavily (almost solely) on predictive analytics – which looks at data to spot behaviors, milestones, and demographics that are correlated with a purchase decision.

For example, as we described in a previous post:

The data will let you know that “Craig Smith” is about to finish paying off his car loan. A predictive analysis suggests that he might be interested in buying a new car. However, Craig may be just as likely to keep it in order to avoid making car payments. What if there are 10 million Craig Smiths out there? Not many of those individuals will shop for a new car. In fact, statistics might indicate that only about 10% of them will do so.

Predictive analytics takes the data describing your ideal customer – which may be, say, 50 million people for a national business – and refines it down to those who may be looking to buy based on historical data; in the above case, the 10 million individuals who just paid off their car loan.

Predictive analytics can use a variety of factors for different decisions. As another example, an individual who just moved and forwarded their mail may be in the market for new furniture for a new home. Individuals who bought a tablet computer five years ago could be ready for an upgrade. Consumers who completed the minimum contract for cell phone service might be interested in another provider with a lower rate. Perhaps someone recently had a baby. They would need diapers, clothing, baby supplies, and even furniture, such as cribs or changing tables.

These predictors are very useful and represented a massive step forward for targeted marketing. But they are still inefficient when used in isolation.

Predictive analytics narrowed down the above example list of 50 million to 10 million potential car shoppers – but how many of the latter group will actually buy?

If that number is really only one million, nine out of ten marketing dollars are wasted if you reach out to the whole group. This is why predictive analytics must be combined with real-time data that features actual indicators someone is shopping for a new car.

This is where targeted marketing gets real.

What signals that a customer is actively looking to purchase something?

Indicator #1: Online activity

One of the easiest ways to know whether someone is in the market for a product is through their online activity. Whether the person has visited cars.com, realtor.com, or a site that offers free diaper delivery, these indicators can be tracked and collected as real-time data.

Indicator #2: Visited a physical location

Technology can tell us when a customer has visited a physical location, such as a car dealership or a retail clothing store. It’s done via geofencing, a location-based service that uses GPS, Wi-Fi, and cellular data to track where people go within a certain radius. You can even collect data based on point-of-service (POS) systems to find out what customers bought if anything.

The complete targeted marketing process with BDEX

You’ll start the targeting process by defining your customers, and BDEX can help you refine this definition with data. From there, we fuse predictive analytics with the real-time indicators of people who are looking to buy right now. Based on these parameters, we provide you with an actionable list of your best customers as they are actively shopping for your product or service.

In the above example that could represent a nationwide auto dealer, the process moved a list from 50 million to 10 million – and finally down to the one million individuals who are really looking to buy a car.

But that’s just a generic example. The data is often specific enough – in terms of industry, product or service, and behaviors – to narrow down weekly lists to merely a few dozen individuals, in some cases. This means you get a recurring, narrow, and highly-actionable list of potential customers.

When this list is fused with our Data Exchange Platform (DXP) and Device Graph, it includes contact information as well as the different devices that prospects use in their daily lives.

This gives you the power to reach out to individuals who are specifically looking for your products and services, as well as the means to reach out to them where they are likely to see your message.

Marketing doesn’t get any more targeted than that.

Reach out to us today to learn more.

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.

The Elements of Effective Targeted Marketing, Part 1 on bigdataexchange.com

The Elements of Effective Targeted Marketing, Part 1

Identifying your ideal customer

The first, essential element of any targeted marketing strategy is identifying the ideal customer for your product or service. Actually, this is crucial for anyone who wants to build a successful business.

And it applies no matter what you’re selling; whether it’s a car, a washing machine, diapers, or legal services. Any successful strategy relies on having a basic understanding of the specific target market.

How to identify your target audience

1. Compile the demographics and habits of your ideal customer

Start to identify your target audience by thinking about the characteristics and behaviors that make a person your ideal customer.

These demographic and psychographic factors include:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Cultural heritage
  • Geography
  • Occupation
  • Marital status
  • Income
  • Lifestyle
  • Type of residence
  • Education level
  • Interests
  • Common problems

To summarize the findings, think in terms of one to a few people who represent your customer base, and then build an ideal customer avatar for each one.

For example, a 35-year-old married woman with two children and a full-time job. You must also try to detail what kind of residence she lives in and where its located, as well as her interests and common problems, such as being too busy to … [insert pain point]. The more specific you can get, the better.

These avatars will be influenced by …

2. Studying your existing customers and accessing third-party research

If you have an established business, you’ll want to study your existing customers. Who is buying or ordering your product? Is it single men, married women, Millennials, Baby Boomers, outdoor enthusiasts?

Look at which of your products have the best sales record and think about why they do better than others, and with whom. Understanding the buying habits of your customers helps you determine the best way to reach them and with what message. There are of course differences between the demographics and psychographics of someone looking to buy a minivan versus a BMW, for example.

In addition to your own, highly-valuable experience with current customers, there are third-party research services that can add layers of contextual demographic and psychographic information tailored to your industry, products or services, and geographic area.

3. Conduct a competitive analysis

You should also do a competitive analysis by looking at similar businesses in your area (or your industry). For example, a dealership that sells Hondas would research what competing dealerships are doing, in terms of pricing and deals, as well as other marketing specifics. Who are your competitors targeting in their marketing? What kind of marketing vehicles are they using?

You’ve defined your ideal customer and the media and products/services they use. What’s next?

Studying what you believe to be your ideal customer won’t tell you the full story. If you own a car dealership, simply advertising to everyone who falls under the basic profile of a car buyer won’t be very effective.

That’s still a pretty wide group. Not everyone in that demographic is actually looking to buy a car right now, and you’ll end up wasting vast resources marketing to people who aren’t even thinking about a purchase.

As we discuss in the next installment of this series, the basic profile of an ideal customer interface with both predictive analytics and the latest actionable, real-time data that pinpoint individuals who are actually ready to buy.

Click here to read part two.

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.

Data-Driven Direct Marketing for Auto Dealers on bigdataexchange.com

Data-Driven Direct Marketing for Auto Dealers

How modern car buying habits can be used to create highly-targeted marketing

Just as with nearly every aspect of our lives, technology has transformed the way people search for a new car. That same technology is also helpful in collecting data that marketers can use to very specifically target potential buyers.

Of course, having the right information is essential. In the past, the data has told marketers that “Alan Smith’s” truck loan will be paid off soon, but it can’t tell if he’s actually searching for a new truck. Until now.

BDEX uses real-time data to more precisely target those who are actively in the market for a new vehicle. How is this done? First, let’s discuss modern search habits when it comes time to buy a new vehicle.

Search habits of the modern automotive customer

Car buying has gone digital in a very big way. A majority of customers now begin the buying process by doing a tremendous amount of online research, from looking for types of vehicles and reviews to maintenance costs and depreciation of the major car brands. They also use a mixture of different devices for research, including smartphones, tablets, and computers.

Look at these stats from an AutoTrader.com/Kelly Blue Book study:

  • Car buyers spend 59% of their time researching online
  • 46% of car buyers used multiple devices in online searches

•  83% used a computer (desktop/laptop); 46% used a smartphone; 41% used a tablet

•  14% only used mobile devices

  • Only 30% of car buyers knew the exact make/model they wanted before they started researching
  • Third-party sites are the most-used of any online resource, with 78% of car buyers visiting at least one of them
  • Car buyers spent 60% of their time on third-party sites
  • The top 5 online activities of car buyers:

•  Researching car prices

•  Finding actual vehicles listed for sale

•  Comparing different models

•  Finding the current worth of a car

•  Locating a dealer/getting dealer info

More evidence of modern automotive buying habits, including the use of social media, from a study by JD Power & Associates:

  • Internet shoppers visit an average of 10 automotive websites in their shopping process
  • The three most frequently visited third-party sites are: Consumer Reports, Edmunds, and Kelley Blue Book
  • 22% of new-vehicle shoppers use social media sites as a shopping source

Once digital research is complete, the majority of shoppers still visit an auto dealership in person

Walking into the dealership is still the most common initial point of contact for car buyers, according to JD Power and Associates. 56% walked into a dealership, compared to 25% who used the phone, 14% who sent an email, and 3% who participated in an online chat.

How BDEX uses the modern search habits of car buyers to create targeted lists of data

BDEX uses real-time targeting to compile data from connected devices that marketers can use to offer relevant products related to current online (and even offline) buying activity. For instance, the data can tell marketers that a potential buyer has visited a site like cars.com, downloaded an app, or signed up for a newsletter. Unique identifiers are fed into a database and cross-referenced with other databases to help identify consumer behaviors, devices, and patterns.

Marketers can learn when users have been researching cars online, which sites were visited, and the specific device that accessed them.

Precise data that targets offline habits

People do still need to visit dealerships in person, either to test drive a number of different vehicles or purchase a specific one. So, it’s also important to be able to track this kind of activity.

BDEX leverages “geofencing,” a technology in which GPS, radio frequency identifiers (RFID), Wi-Fi, and cellular data are utilized to see information about the places people go, including a local car dealership. This makes it possible to identify prospects who have visited competitors in your area – which lets you know that you also need to get their attention.

Data that allows you to target modern car buyers (or any other product)

BDEX uses the shopping habits of modern consumers to provide data that goes beyond guesswork – is this prospect actually looking to buy a car? This enables you to vastly increase the efficiency of every marketing dollar compared to traditional direct marketing methods. We have over 700 million device ID connections, as well as more than 900 billion data signals available through our proprietary Data Exchange Platform.

To learn more about BDEX and what this data can do for your automotive marketing, contact us.

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.

Getting the Channel Mix Right in Target Marketing on bigdataexchange.com

Getting the Channel Mix Right in Target Marketing

The marketer’s channel-mix challenge across the digital landscape

Back in 2011, Google introduced us to a new marketing acronym. Zero Moment of Truth (ZMOT) is the moment where first impressions happen and the path to purchase often begins. Google explained that it’s a moment where information and marketing happen, and the consumer makes choices that impact the success or failure of nearly every brand in the world. Talk about the opposite of a “no pressure” moment.

Zero Moments of Truth happen. Nevertheless, many people aren’t going to remember the very first time they were exposed to a brand. “Ah, yes. It was a little after 3 in the afternoon on a Friday. I saw a mobile banner while I was checking the weather on my favorite app.”

That’s because it often takes more than the ZMOT to help a prospect overcome inertia and take the steps to become a customer. What leads to this conversion is a concerted effort to push recognition towards engagement. Often, we must be exposed to something multiple times for it to be stored in our long-term memory.

A marketer’s biggest challenge is to deliver an unbroken chain of impressions – on the right marketing channels to the right people – once the seed is planted with a Zero Moment of Truth. It’s a real-time pursuit across the digital landscape, and revenue from a customer is the prize.

Marketing by moments

There may be some steps unique to a particular industry, product, or service, but purchasing behavior generally has five predictable steps:

  1. Problem recognition: The path to purchasing starts when a prospect identifies their need or problem. Stop and read that again. It means that your ZMOT message should be focused as much on their pain point as it is your solution.
  2. Information search: A prospect will begin their search process in earnest now. They’ll look first for validation, perspective, and education about the problem – as well as how others have gone about solving it. The more complex the product or service, the longer this search will last. Think new car or real estate.
  3. Evaluation of alternatives: Do you stand out from the competition? Good. It still doesn’t mean a prospect will become your customer. This is the age of unlimited free search. Prospects want to be assured they’re about to make the right decision. The overarching solution here is to give prospects every reason to go with you.
  4. Purchase: Problem validated. Research completed. Ditto with the comparisons. Now it’s time to make the purchase decision. Marketing messages here usually revolve around a sense of security and value about the decision.
  5. Post-purchase evaluation: The transaction may have occurred, but the purchase is far from complete. A customer must now determine whether he or she is satisfied with the decision. So, another round of evaluation occurs, and brands must continue to communicate with these new customers to make sure they’re happy.

There have to be specific marketing messages delivered at one or more of these steps to encourage a decision to buy. Marketers must locate the right prospects as they take each step closer to deciding whether you understand their problem and offer the best solution.

Which channel keeps you by their side? That’s not the only challenge to conquer. It’s also necessary to consider the benefits and limitations of each channel. For example, SMS can be delivered instantly, has a higher open rate than any other marketing channel, and is extremely cost-effective. On the downside, you’ll have a limited message length and your choice of rich media is extremely narrow. Dynamically targeted banner ads have great targeting (these days) but could get lost in the mix during web surfing. Phone calls can be extremely effective but potentially invasive.

Some channels have a higher engagement rate, while others give you the opportunity of frequency. And not everyone uses all channels – so how do you follow a prospect along the path to purchase if they’re appearing and disappearing like the Cheshire Cat?

Fitting the puzzle pieces together

Marketers know they must be present in as many steps along the way as possible while the prospect is taking the buyer’s journey. There’s no pre-configured map since marketing channels have different characteristics. It’s up to you to determine the right mix so that you’re making the best impression when the prospect is ready to make a decision.

The first step in doing this in today’s complex media environment getting actionable, highly-targeted, real-time data that reveals exactly who is looking to buy your product or service – and which channels they use. BDEX can help you with that.

Find out how you can access real-time data that connect the dots, allowing you to reach prospects who are on the buyer’s journey.

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.