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Stop targeting “Soccer Moms”

This week’s guest blog post is an abstract from the original published in The Data Source by Ken Zachmann, SVP/GM Digital Solutions, V12 Data.

It wasn’t all that long ago when targeting pre-baked or profiled personas was the height of sophistication for most data-driven marketers.

On-boarded catalog cooperatives powered what was promised to be the Magic Eight Ball of AdTech ingenuity.



This broad based and heavily modeled data was our only window into a consumer’s offline or “real-world” behavior.

Back then, success was swift at the top of the funnel where large marketers could paint their brand across households with a wide, persona-driven-brush.

On the other hand, at the lower end of the funnel, this same tactic couldn’t quite hit the mark for direct response or highly specific behavioral targets.

Fast forward five years and we data providers are now helping marketers succeed by delivering CRM segmentation, analytics, custom audiences and predicting likely behavior based on measurable results.

A good chunk of this success is a nod to higher quality data standards across the board and the move towards more deterministically matched data.

But, the critical shift has been up to us, the data providers, working with marketers and agencies, nudging them away from persona-based targeting towards custom segmentation.

This level of customization aimed at increasing revenue has provided unprecedented insight to measure viewability, clicks, engagement and conversions that in turn feed future models and help construct a scaffolding for marketers to build a holistic view of their customers and prospects.

This level of custom segmentation has translated into unquestionable increases in revenue across display, device, video, and social.



Beyond the short-term revenue lift, these insights often jump the silo’d walls of a brand’s internal marketing channels and provide in-depth knowledge on how to best engage customers and prospects into the ever elusive omni-channel dialogue.

And, it is precisely at the point of engagement where additional custom data must be applied to ensure these audiences are triggered to act when the impression is served.

So, what does all this custom offline data have to do with ad engagement you’re thinking? A lot.

We’ve seen all too often that marketers focus all of their efforts on who to target but aren’t putting the same level of analytics behind their creative.

At this final stage, if marketers aren’t using psychographic or personality-based data to optimize creative and landing pages, they’re at risk of losing up to 30% or more of the users they put so much effort into reaching.

So, before the marketers we work with pull the trigger on any campaign we’ll show them how to create, test, optimize, and re-test sometimes several thousand pieces of creative and landing pages to target any number of, “travel-loving extraverts,” or, “deal-savvy introverts.”

Okay, by now I’m sure you’re thinking that offline custom segmentation and optimizing engagement can’t be the whole story. After all, there’s much to be gleaned from the online data world, right?

And, while it’s true that interest and intender data does have its place, all too often the performance is just not there and marketers are left wondering why so many “likes” didn’t lead to conversions.

So yes, layering in these online triggers as additional insights does serve the overall data story.

But remember, while the opportunity and allure to test online only and mobile data continues to grow, it’s the offline data that should serve as the foundation of all your data-driven campaigns.

So, I’ll leave you with this: You’ve got thousands of pre-baked personas to choose from and folders of creative to toss up for that next campaign.

But, if you really want to improve the effectiveness, efficiency and accuracy of your marketing tactics, you need to gut check your data strategy and remember that offline data is all about action and future behavior is often best predicted by past behavior.

And please, let’s not spend all this time on creating the perfect custom audience and not give equal attention to building a data-driven creative strategy too.

Oh, and in case you forgot, please… just stop targeting “soccer moms.”

Let the data experts show you a better path to turning audience data into revenue.

We can help you with audience targeting. Check out The Data Hotline.



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Download this article and more in The Data Source, Fall 2016 edition.

Image: Shutterstock

 

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