The Oracle Data Cloud blog highlights the latest data-driven insights and trends in digital marketing and ad tech.

The real challenge with international purchase-based targeting

This week’s guest blog post is contributed by Ben Geach, Product Strategy Director, Oracle Data Cloud.

Working in digital media for many, many years across a wide range of brands, I’ve repeatedly seen a common thread: it’s difficult to accurately engage and have a meaningful dialogue with consumers who purchase in-store for CPG brands in international markets.

For some industry verticals such as travel, the consumer journey from initial spark to consideration, evaluation and purchase is more connected. This ultimately means the customer journey is more measurable and drives deeper insights.

All this data can feed back into subsequent marketing activities.

The CPG challenge

From an international perspective, flip this situation to a large breakfast cereal manufacturer who just launched a new low-sugar cereal.

First, they have little online first-party data to model from—due to low visitor volume on their website—and most purchases happen in-store at large supermarkets.

While their focus groups and buyer panels obtain a clearer picture of the customer, there’s limited scale. They’re also not commercially viable to run in each geographic region, as market sizes vary and language requirements mean significant effort is required to gather meaningful findings in multiple regions.

Historically, a cereal brand like this would leverage large demographic and contextual audiences. While it’s a good starting point, they lack any sophisticated link to real offline purchases. This also broadly assumes they will be predictive of a purchase.

Their audience plan may look something like this:

  1. Female, age 25-40, children in household
  2. Students
  3. …?

It’s hard to determine what’s working and what’s not from this broad targeting approach. Even more so, what’s the potential you’re missing out on?

So, what’s the solution?

“Add in some purchase based data,” I hear you shout!

Great idea and it often works well in U.S. markets. But there is an absence of offline purchase data in global markets, which creates a void in global marketing strategies that need to target likely buyers.

To overcome this, marketers must think globally and consider what they can learn from consumers in regions where purchase-based data and other data sources are less scarce to inform your targeting tactics in regions with less purchase-based data.

This also allows for the unexpected to be revealed. One brand I worked with called these “micro audiences,” where they broke their “cereal buyers” audience into more discrete segments to target with different messages and at different frequencies.

These included:

  1. Brand loyalists – Those who purchase cereal every week and rarely consider brand switching. A great group to reinforce brand messages and offer affinity products.
  2. Own label purchasers – Those who purchase store-brand products. A key audience for the brand-switch initiative.
  3. Health-conscious families – Those who read the ingredients label before committing to a purchase and engage in a variety of outdoor pursuits. Messaging around the salt and sugar content resonates well with this audience and also informs non-digital (outdoor) campaigns.

As you can see from these three examples, one-size messaging does NOT fit all.

To talk to these customers, speak their language

How does audience targeting help marketers connect with their real customers? Well, global purchase-based audiences make your audience targeting more effective by leveraging real purchase data to inform and power your global audiences.   

Leveraging purchase data refines the online global signals to those most predictive of a purchase, getting you closer to likely buyers—simple!

Contact The Data Hotline to learn more about Oracle Data Cloud’s new solution in key global markets—Global Purchase Based Targeting—which leverages our unrivaled offline and online data assets together to find likely buyers globally. (What's The Data Hotline?)

About Ben Geach

Ben leads Product Strategy for global markets at Oracle Data Cloud. He spent the last decade working with the world’s leading brands and most innovative agencies to ensure their digital marketing reaches the right consumer, at the right time, with the right message.

Stay up to date with all the latest in data-driven news by following @OracleDataCloud on Twitter and Facebook!

Image: Shutterstock  




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