Oracle Data Cloud Blog

How to score big with audience data this holiday season

This week’s guest blog post is contributed by Agata Dooreck, Market Strategy Director, Oracle Data Cloud.            

It may sound like opposites attract, but hear me out: better understanding basketball can help you score big in your holiday campaigns. I think there are key lessons to be learned from this sport that are vital to your success as a marketer – here’s why:

Audience targeting is a team sport

You might remember back 1997, in a highly critical game in the series, the entire country watched beads of sweat drop down Michael Jordan’s forehead as he struggled to stand. The Bulls won that game despite their star player’s condition, because they spent the entire season playing as a team and not building a dependency only on one person.

Too frequently, marketers single out a single data type or audience set and depend on that for holiday revenue. When that data set changes or becomes less impactful, they usually have a hard time pivoting.

This is why a combination of strong first party data and moderately experimental third party data is so important. Whereas relying on first party data creates a static dependency on your best customers, combining first party data with data sources from other places creates a dynamic audience strategy.

Don’t “3 in the key”

Staying in the key for longer than 3 seconds gets you an automatic whistle in the ball game. The rule was created in order to ensure that the game would remain continuously in motion.

All too frequently, marketers stick to a given holiday audience strategy way past its expiration date, because it has worked for them in the past. This is what makes measuring the impact campaign to campaign and year to year so important.

When marketers measure the impact their audiences have on both media performance and offline sales, they can better understand when to shift their investments, before it is too late. Strong sales last year don’t guarantee that your data set will be a success this year any more than weak sales the year prior indicate that your data should be completely thrown out.

Passing the ball is just as important as trying to score

For this lesson, let’s take a look at John Stockton, who had over 15,806 career assists. Stockton wasn’t a big guy, but what he had was this this innate ability to get the ball to the best place on the court for his teammates to score.

Marketers often look at their data and see the worst aspects of it. They feel they don’t have enough first-person data or enough of the right kind of data. What marketers need to come to understand is that the vendors they leverage can be just as important as the data they use and media they leverage. Passing your data to the right vendor for analysis or appends can mean the difference between finding insights and continuing to make the same mistakes.

Listen to the Coach

Phil Jackson, the now infamous basketball coach, once said, “The ideal way to win a championship is step by step.” There’s so much to be gained for marketers from this simple statement.

In this fast real-time everything industry, it is easy to assume that the holidays will be won with a tremendous amount of planning. The reality is that campaign optimizations will likely have to occur on the fly and that means last minute work. If you’re a marketer who has experienced any Q4 fire drill, you know exactly what it feels like to feel very alone in the optimization process.

Marketers don’t have to deal with these shifts alone. The best partners will explain the process before it starts and guide you through optimization decisions when the campaign needs attention. In essence, a good vendor can act as a coach. While you know your game, a good coach knows how to improve it.

Now it’s time to get in the game and make your campaign stronger than ever.

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Image: bbernard/Shutterstock


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