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.

How Mobile has Enabled Target Marketing on bigdataexchange.com

How Mobile has Enabled Target Marketing

Now you can find your customers anywhere, anytime

Attracting potential buyers to a service or product has always been one of the primary challenges of any business. For years, the most common approach utilized poorly-targeted outbound methods – TV commercials, display ads, bulk direct mail, and similar vehicles.

Recently, there has been a move toward inbound marketing, which is focused on creating online content that lures in customers. And while all of these tactics can be effective, what if there was an even more precise way of reaching prospects?

What if you could get what you’re selling in front of someone at almost at the exact moment they’d be interested in purchasing it?

Using data for real-time mobile targeting

Right now, about 78 percent of Americans use a mobile device, and the total number of people who own at least one worldwide is 3.7 billion. It’s no wonder that online searching and sales using a smartphone or tablet have skyrocketed in recent years – and that these figures are only increasing. This is why smart companies now put an intense focus on mobile marketing.

With people spending an average of about six hours per day on a device, it just makes sense. And businesses can take advantage of mobile usage in an even more powerful way with real-time targeting.

How BDEX can connect you with customers

At BDEX, we can give your company real, actionable data that makes people aware of what you’re offering when they’re looking for it. We do this by allowing a business to see someone’s buying and search activity across all of their devices.

How it works

When a person does something like download an app, this connects that particular device to their email address or IP address. This uniquely ties that individual to that device.

This information is then captured in a database called a Device Graph. Other databases will then be checked to find the same unique identifiers, along with information volunteered by the individual, including their name, address, or phone number.

The benefits to a marketer are obvious; not only do they know what a person is planning to buy, they’ll know the devices they use as well as their contact information. This allows highly personalized and precisely-targeted marketing campaigns.

Find customers online and off

Wouldn’t it be nice to know who’s buying from your competitors? You can. In addition to discovering what people are planning to buy, you can also find out where they’re shopping.

This is possible with geofencing, which involves setting up a virtual boundary around a specific geographic area. Using software or an app that utilizes things like GPS or even just Wi-Fi, a business will know when a mobile device enters this boundary.

Not only will you be able to see where someone goes – such as to one of your competitors – but it may be tied to if and what he or she buys. This information is valuable on its own – but geofencing combined with other actionable data allows a company to send out immediate notifications about their own specials or deals.

How to get even more personal with your customers

Personalization could be the most important component of marketing these days. Almost 80 percent of consumers say that unless an offer from a retailer has been personalized based on their previous actions with a business, they won’t act on it.

While email is still a good way of reaching people on a personal level, texting has proven to be much more effective. The open rate for emails is about 22 percent. Texting, on the other hand, has an open rate of around 98 percent.

While people will almost always open a text you send them, you have to be smart in your approach:

  • Make sure they know who you are
  • Make sure you know who they are
  • Send them pertinent information at the right time
  • Don’t forget the call-to-action
  • Keep it short and sweet

Another benefit of device matching is that it allows you to dynamically serve display ads to that device on the media that these individuals use. Someone who is searching online for a specific product or service will see your message, at the exact time they are ready to buy.

BDEX will give you real insights that convert

If you’re tired of wasting time and money on poorly-targeted marketing campaigns that bear little fruit, it’s time to start doing things differently. BDEX can help you easily find your ideal customers when they want to buy. And more often than ever before, that means reaching them on a mobile device.

Contact us to get started.

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.

Marketing: When is as Important as How on bigdataexchange.com

Marketing: When is as Important as How

Powerful targeted marketing data identifies customers when they’re looking to buy

The success of any marketing campaign hinges on reaching the ideal target audience with the right message. And whether you sell vacuum cleaners or real estate, if you can’t target those who are most likely to buy your product, you won’t sell very many. Modern marketers and advertisers have traditionally used data that contains information about potential buyers’ habits to roughly predict that someone might be likely to make a purchase.

But those marketing and advertising professionals know that this data can be pretty vague. It can predict that a customer could be looking to buy in the future, but it doesn’t tell you when they are actively looking.

This is inefficient and expensive. And there is a better way.

Forget what a target audience might be looking for … talk to them when they’re actually looking for it

What would you do if you knew that “Craig Smith” was searching for a new car – and furthermore, the brand of a car within a certain geographic area? What if you knew that “Maria Gonzalez” bought a ticket to San Antonio two days ago and is searching for entertainment and dining options? What if you knew that “Emily Thomas” buys diapers online every other week?

If you own a car dealership, operate a restaurant or theatre in San Antonio, or you own an online business that sells baby products, you’d probably want to get in front of that potential customer. BDEX can help you do that.

The old way of analyzing customer data and predicting patterns

Conventional data collection looks at what people did in the past and uses it to predict what they may do in the future. The data will let you know that “Craig Smith” is about to finish paying off his car loan. 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.

Before, advertisers were stuck having to market to those 10 million people anyway. With behavioral data from BDEX, you can narrow the list down and only reach out to the 1 million who are actively looking to buy.

How BDEX data is different

BDEX collects real-time data based on actual behaviors of customers. For instance, the data can tell you when someone has searched for a car on a place like cars.com. It can tell you if people have recently moved or put their house up for sale, while actively shopping for real estate. It can even track if someone has visited the location of a local retail competitor using the technology called geofencing.

Geofencing is “a location-based service in which an app or other software uses GPS, RFID (radio frequency identifiers), Wi-Fi or cellular data to trigger a pre-programmed action when a mobile device or RFID tag enters or exits a virtual boundary set up around a geographical location.”

It allows you to see information about where people go, whether it’s to Verizon, an Apple Store, The Gap, or any other establishment that falls within your industry. Additional data can be collected based on store POS systems, showing what particular items customers have purchased. This knowledge can then be integrated with additional online and behavioral data, including contact information.

BDEX data allows marketers and advertisers to spend dollars efficiently and powerfully. Looking at website visits, geofencing when individuals visit competitors and combining this data with more traditional metrics and multiple device matching enables micro-targeting the right individuals – when they are about to make a purchase.

Marketing is a whole new ballgame.

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.

When Your Audience Doesn’t Reflect Reality: Big Data Audience Building

Marketers understand that you simply can’t build audience groups on pure demographic factors. After all, Prince Charles of England and rocker Ozzy Osbourne are both British males of the same approximate age. However, it’s safe to say that a marketing message tailored for Ozzy wouldn’t necessarily convert the heir apparent, Prince Charles. Consumer preferences, motivations, and needs play a critical role in purchase decisions.

It’s clear that audience groups must be more sophisticated than demographics. Even deep demographic factors like income or family status don’t tell the full story. As Harvard Business Review’s (HBR) highlights, the sorts of audience groups that convert are rarely “created.” Instead, they’re “uncovered” through data analysis that incorporates behavioral clues from cookies, web analytics, user-generated content, and other big data sources.

Why Your Audience Groups aren’t Converting

Despite the fact that marketers understand what’s required to build audience groups, too few brands have segments that reflect reality. Information Week recently wrote about some of the “perils” of big data analysis biases, which can include:
● Selection Bias
● Inclusion of Outliers
● Overfitting and Underfitting
● Confirmation Bias
The term “data scientist” is ultimately accurate. To accurately understand patterns in reality, marketing teams must leverage enormous amounts of data to control against faulty results. If your big data audience segments are based on false positives from too-small or incomplete data sets, you could be suffering as a result. In one anonymous case study detailed by Information Week, a brand’s profit margin decreased significantly as a result of audience groups’ creation that didn’t control for bias.

Do You Trust Your Audience Analysis Methods?
Many marketers have developed some level of big data fluency. They understand some common analysis methods used to develop audience groups, such as clustering or linear analysis. Undergraduate studies of statistics has leant familiarity with concepts like sample size and statistical significance. An abundance of easy-to-use analytics tools allows marketers without extensive technology backgrounds to perform complex analyses in a point-and-click environment. However, a lack of big data resources has forced many marketing teams to rely on pre-formed audience groups from 3rd party vendors that are questionable in accuracy.

One large-scale study by HBR indicated that some 85% of product launches fail because of poor segmentation methods. Ineffective segmentation can have a significant impact on your brand’s profitability and outcomes. If you’re reliant on pre-packaged audience groups that you’ve purchased from a 3rd-party vendor, it’s likely time to refresh your segments. Join us as we review a new approach to building audience groups that convert.

1. Form Segment Hypotheses
Big data analysis for the purpose of segmentation is inherently scientific. The first step is to develop hypotheses about your segments. Based on what you know about your segment, you can develop a framework for analysis.
To avoid the risk of confirmation bias, your hypothesis should be based on known variables and goals. It could resemble the following statement:
Individuals who are seeking a mortgage for a second home are often 30-50 years
old with an income of $100,000 or more per annum.”
A correctly-formed hypothesis serves to narrow your analysis, while still providing room to discover behavioral and motivational insights.

2. Obtain and Combine Data
By participating in BDEX’s  Data Exchange Platform, marketers can gain immediate access to billions of data points in real-time. Marketers have the ability to set their own budget, and access insights on web behavior, preferences, and transaction history on consumers that match their existing contacts. Depending on your campaign goals and objectives, you can also opt to obtain contact information for additional prospects that match your goals and objectives. By connecting BDEX’s marketplace with your data management platform (DMP) tool, you can gain immediate access to fresh data insights.

3. Analyze
Effective marketing segmentation today has little resemblance to the mass marketing messages of yesterday. By obtaining third-party insights, you can gain a comprehensive understanding of how your contacts behave. This can lead to an understanding that your buyers prefer self-guided product research, are likely to have two children, or other rich factors that reveal segmentation without bias.
By allowing big data to form your segments without bias, you can avoid the risk of inaccurate results. BDEX’s open marketplace forum allows analysis with minimal risk of bias, due to the sheer volume of available insights.

4. Launch Advertising
Once you have developed rich, up-to-date and accurate market segments, you can launch advertising to connect with your audience groups. Instead of relying on months-old segments created by a third-party vendor, your marketing team has the power to continually test, iterate, and improve your audience groups.

For more insights on the power of real-time targeting for marketing initiatives with BDEX, click here!

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Thick Data: Why Marketers Must Understand Why People Behave the Way They Do

92% of companies are still dealing with obstacles to successful big data projects, according to global research by CA Technologies. Across industries, the adoption of big data initiatives is way up. Spending has increased, and the vast majority of companies using big data expect return on investment.

However, companies still cite a “lack of visibility into processes and information” as a primary big data pain point. Modeling customer segments accurately can be impossible for marketers who don’t understand why their customers decide to make purchases.

Many marketers applying big data to programmatic advertising or email marketing initiatives understand patterns. With sufficiently high-quality and recent insights, marketing departments can create segments and offers that reflect reality. However, experts are predicting that the next step for marketing will be the adoption of “thick data” for behavioral understanding.

What is Thick Data?
Data-driven marketing is the act of making educated guesses about human behavior, based on historical patterns and other analyses. Product development, offer creation, and email campaigns are, at best, well-informed guesswork about your customers. Thick data can represent the missing piece by explaining why humans act the way they do.

Harvard Business Review (HBR) defines thick data as a tool for developing “hypotheses” about “why people behave” in certain ways. While big data can indicate trends in behavior that allow marketers to form hypotheses, thick data can fill in the gaps and allow marketers to understand why their customers are likely to take certain actions.

While “thick data” is recently receiving a great deal of attention among big data thought leaders, it’s not a new concept. There’s little difference between “thick” data and “prescriptive analytics,” both of which represent advanced maturity in marketing big data. By shifting your focus from predictive big data to forming and testing hypotheses, marketers can better understand how their buyers will act in the future.

Where Does Thick Data Come From?
Historically, big data has been transactional, while thick data has been qualitative. For data-driven brands of years past, insights into consumer behavior were typically derived from behavioral observation, voice of the customer (VOC) or Net Promoter Score (NPS) surveying, focus groups, or other time-intensive research methods.

Today, insights into consumer behavior can come from a variety of sources. Thanks to social media, internet of things technologies and other drivers of big data, marketers can gain insight into why humans act the way they do with data sources such as:
● Online or Mobile Behavior
● User-generated social media content
● 3rd-party transactional data

Studies indicate that currently, 95% of brand research into consumer preferences is performed manually, using methods such as surveying or focus groups. However, in an era where consumers produce thousands of insights each day from mobile usage, online shopping and social media updates, the insights are easy to obtain.


How Thick Data Can Benefit Your Marketing Results
One of the most famous examples of thick data application belongs to Lego, who BIGfish reports was on the brink of financial collapse in the early 2000’s. After several failed repositioning attempts, the brand engaged in a “major qualitative research project” to understand why the “emotional needs of children” at play weren’t being met by Lego’s current offerings. After observing and analyzing countless hours of video recordings, Lego was able to successfully reposition their products and resurrect their status as an important toy brand.

While Lego’s use of thick data occurred in an age where analytics tools were far less sophisticated or widely available, the concept offers lessons to contemporary marketing teams. By applying attitudinal, social, and other preference-driven data to your marketing analyses, you can understand what your customers actually need. Yesterday’s focus groups have been replaced by the trail of qualitative insights consumers leave on their mobile devices, in apps, and at sensor beacons. For brands that are willing to listen, there’s remarkable potential for prescriptive analytics.

If your marketing goals for the year to come include a better understanding of your customers, integrating more qualitative and attitudinal big data insights can allow you to unleash the power of thick data. The BDEX marketplace allows brands to connect directly with 3rd-party data vendors, to gain real-time access to insights on why their buyers act the way they do. To learn more about BDEX’s innovative approach to real-time data exchange, click here.

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