Let data, not price, dictate campaign targeting

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As marketers we know that deeper knowledge of the consumer allows for broader engagement through the offering of more targeted and relevant content. Knowing Jane is a runner also gives marketers the ability to deliver her non-sales content about running events or nutrition tips. Relationship building allows the marketer to build credibility first, and then close with product sales for running shoes or apparel.

This type of brand building requires a focus toward lead generation efforts opposed to broader methods such as paid search. Quality leads are generated from good data. It's called engaging with your target audience.

If a tablet device retailer is looking to market to consumers, they would look at age and income demographics to find a suitable target market that traditionally purchases higher-end electronics. A skilled media buyer would then run this campaign across several buyers (who all use the same data exchanges), which becomes a race for the cheapest price. Looking deeper to discover less obvious data points can help you formulate correlations and better messaging.

Consider that perhaps those who purchase tablets might also enjoy gardening or book clubs. Or, look for a tendency toward other behaviors such as travel to certain locales, or eating out more often than at home. Also check whether reviewers or those interested in the tablet products divulge personal information about their entertainment or shopping habits. Further review of data and customer feedback allows custom messaging and the presentation of completely new offers or products when appropriate.

Instead of broadly-based advertising to the whole market, campaigns backed by less obvious data becomes more of a one-on-one conversation between your brand and the interested consumer. Many marketers are very bright people with smart tools at their disposal, but they aren't using the available data effectively. Better market data with a focus on discovering previously unknown correlations can become a real driver of sales. At the higher level, beware of over analyzing or segmenting your data so you are left with too many small groups.

If everyone is using the same data exchanges to analyze and run campaigns, the companies that aim to be differentiators must then use the data in unique ways and also find methods to collect new data points. Collection of additional data can best be accomplished through surveys or other feedback metrics direct from consumers. This blending of more “public” data and specific customer data allows agencies to find new data to refine their future media buys, ensure better targeting, and ultimately reach higher ROI.

James Burrows is EVP of global sales for advertising platform e-Miles, an audience targeting platform that rewards consumers with virtual currency for their time and behavior.

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