Marketers understand that consumer data, both their own and that available from third-party vendors, is rich with potential to guide effective online advertising efforts. But the challenge is determining what type of data is right for your campaign or brand and whether it's really delivering value. The good news is, with advanced capabilities of real-time bidding through a demand side platform, data can be better understood and put to work more effectively for display campaigns. Before getting into "how" to best test and learn about data tactics, let's first review "what" types of data are available.
While the industry is abuzz about so-called third-party data from specialized brokers, it's worth emphasizing the primacy of a brand's own data. Such first-party data is a by-product of online and offline marketing efforts, transactions, and CRM (define) systems. Major sources of this data are ad servers, Web sites, and customer histories from back-end enterprise systems:
The starting point for successfully using data to drive your marketing efforts is collecting, organizing, and analyzing your brand data. But there are well-known challenges to doing this: the data resides in different silos maintained by various vendors and corporate functions. Moreover, while recent enterprise data warehouse initiatives have succeeded in creating better integration and reporting of historical consumer information, they struggle to operate in the real-time context increasingly required for online marketing success. And most marketers lack tools and expertise to use their data to predict and optimize marketing activities. Advanced data analytics vendors, some of which offer integrated real-time bidding systems, are overcoming these challenges, finding innovative ways to put first-party data to use for their clients' campaigns.
In addition to first-party data, marketers often turn to sources of third-party consumer data to help inform their marketing efforts. Ideally, the two types of data are used together for best results. Third-party data generally falls into two categories: 1) traditional data used for offline direct marketing and segmentation, which is very user-specific, but not readily addressable online, and doesn't convey current intent, and 2) online data, which is highly intent based, but often lacks granular transaction and economic data. Within these two categories, the primary types of third-party data include:
Sizing Up Your Data's Value
With the many types of data available, deciding which ones are best for your campaign isn't easy. Start by using a tool to help you understand the value of your data, then layer in third-party data to understand the incremental value. The question of value is best answered after the data has been tested, and there are actual campaign results to analyze. Here are some considerations to keep in mind when evaluating your data's impact:
Real-Time Bidding Makes Data More Powerful
Given the many variables in any campaign, the value of data can vary from one campaign to another, but the emergence of real-time bidding through demand-side platforms can offer additional ways for marketers to apply the data. These include cookie segment targeting, use of first-party data to inform bidding, and audience extension that combines both techniques.
Real-time bidding can also significantly enhance the value of your data, in three key ways:
Taken together, real-time bidding and advanced demand-side platform optimization capabilities offer exciting possibilities for marketers to unlock the value of any data they possess and target their desired customers with much greater precision.
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Mike Baker is president and CEO of DataXu. He has been pioneering digital media platforms for 20 years and is a widely recognized thought leader in interactive advertising. Before cofounding DataXu, he was vice president at Nokia, where he created and ran Nokia Interactive. Baker came to Nokia through its acquisition of mobile advertising leader Enpocket in 2007, where he was the founding investor and CEO. Baker was previously a partner at venture capital firm GrandBanks Capital. He has also been executive vice president at CMGI and Engage Technologies, an innovator in online advertising and behavioral targeting. Baker holds degrees in law and telecommunications management.
December 12, 2013
1:00pm ET / 10:00am PT