Uncovering Your Secret Stash of Marketing Data to Improve Segmentation & Targeting

  |  October 15, 2013   |  Comments

Companies fail to take advantage data from offline customers, social channels, other ad campaigns and elsewhere. How can you put this data to better use?

secretIf you're a data geek like me, you understand how painful it can be to see good data go to waste. As a marketer, it can be a little frustrating when clients aren't aware of all the data their organizations can access. Or, even worse, they're aware but aren't capturing or leveraging the data for broader marketing initiatives.

What types of data do companies often fail to take advantage of? Let's look at a few examples you may have in your secret stash and see how those types of data can be used for improved segmentation and targeting.

Offline Customers

Many companies have databases of customers who interact directly through a physical store and therefore might be invisible to online digital marketing efforts.

In fact, these customers aren't invisible at all. Data on-boarding companies can now match a given email address (or other personal information) to a cookie. This means that if you go to the grocery store and use your store loyalty card while making a purchase, you may well see ads online for products similar to the ones you've purchased. You may even see them on Facebook. And while customers may be surprised to see online ads targeted according to their offline shopping, they'll likely get used to it pretty quickly. After all, if you've ever received a catalog or coupon in the mail, you're already being targeted based on your offline purchases.

Social Data

Chances are, your company is active on social media. But there's also a good chance that your social data is left siloed in Twitter, Facebook, or another platform. By leveraging a special Demand Side Platform (DMP) URL redirect, you can "shorten" your links so that all of your traffic is instantly rerouted through the DMP's domain. The advantage? Every single user who clicks on a link or photo is now cookied. That means you can identify new audiences or augment the profiles of existing customers.

In other words, you've got valuable new data sets to work with. This technique works across every browser because it's not, technically, a 3rd-party cookie.

Other Ad Campaigns

Every single digital ad campaign can act as a data source that augments what you know about each user. For example, a client we work with saw a spike in traffic the day its TV ads ran. There was a high probability that users arriving to the company's site that day were responding to the TV ad. By running an insights report on incoming traffic that day, we were able to gain a much better understanding of the effectiveness of the TV campaign.

Incoming Data

Existing traffic is always arriving from multiple sources and it's valuable information that is usually allowed to slip through the cracks. For example, we've found that for a particular fashion forward e-commerce client, users arriving from Pinterest were twice as likely to convert as users arriving from Google. The client was now able to double down on its Pinterest efforts and spend less time worrying about search traffic. More often that not, these type of insights are not being leveraged for either website content management optimization or retargeting.

On-Site Searches

This one should be a no-brainer, but some companies that pay close attention to Google traffic fail to take advantage of the searches performed on their own sites. When someone enters a search term on your site, it's often the most valuable data of all because it reveals intent, telling you what the customer is most interested in.

Speaking of on-site actions, if your company has a network of websites and services, the data from any one site can often be leveraged for another. For example, a Citibank client who visited should be shown an ad for Citibank mortgages the next time she visits

I could go on and on. But who has time when there's so much data out there for the taking?


Ben Plomion

Ben is Vice President of Marketing at Chango, where he heads up all marketing and communications initiatives. Prior to joining Chango, Ben worked with GE Capital for four years to establish and lead the digital media practice. This led to the development of GE Capital's digital value proposition and its execution worldwide.

Ben graduated from GE's Experienced Commercial Leadership program after completing his MBA at McGill University. Before GE, Ben held a variety of marketing and business development roles in the e-payments industry, while working at Gemalto in London.

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