The Elements of Effective Targeted Marketing, Part 2 on bigdataexchange.com

The Elements of Effective Targeted Marketing, Part 2

The indicators that your ideal customer is actually ready to buy

In part one of this series, we discussed ways to identify your ideal customer. That’s the first, basic step in targeted marketing.

This is insufficient to refine a campaign, however – not by a long shot. True, highly-targeted marketing is all about reaching out to individuals who are actually ready to buy. And there are two subsequent steps in the process to achieve this: using predictive analytics and then real-time indicators that point to an imminent purchase.

Predictive analytics are last-gen targeted marketing – but still useful

The last generation of targeted marketing relied heavily (almost solely) on predictive analytics – which looks at data to spot behaviors, milestones, and demographics that are correlated with a purchase decision.

For example, as we described in a previous post:

The data will let you know that “Craig Smith” is about to finish paying off his car loan. A predictive analysis suggests that he might be interested in buying a new car. However, Craig may be just as likely to keep it in order to avoid making car payments. What if there are 10 million Craig Smiths out there? Not many of those individuals will shop for a new car. In fact, statistics might indicate that only about 10% of them will do so.

Predictive analytics takes the data describing your ideal customer – which may be, say, 50 million people for a national business – and refines it down to those who may be looking to buy based on historical data; in the above case, the 10 million individuals who just paid off their car loan.

Predictive analytics can use a variety of factors for different decisions. As another example, an individual who just moved and forwarded their mail may be in the market for new furniture for a new home. Individuals who bought a tablet computer five years ago could be ready for an upgrade. Consumers who completed the minimum contract for cell phone service might be interested in another provider with a lower rate. Perhaps someone recently had a baby. They would need diapers, clothing, baby supplies, and even furniture, such as cribs or changing tables.

These predictors are very useful and represented a massive step forward for targeted marketing. But they are still inefficient when used in isolation.

Predictive analytics narrowed down the above example list of 50 million to 10 million potential car shoppers – but how many of the latter group will actually buy?

If that number is really only one million, nine out of ten marketing dollars are wasted if you reach out to the whole group. This is why predictive analytics must be combined with real-time data that features actual indicators someone is shopping for a new car.

This is where targeted marketing gets real.

What signals that a customer is actively looking to purchase something?

Indicator #1: Online activity

One of the easiest ways to know whether someone is in the market for a product is through their online activity. Whether the person has visited cars.com, realtor.com, or a site that offers free diaper delivery, these indicators can be tracked and collected as real-time data.

Indicator #2: Visited a physical location

Technology can tell us when a customer has visited a physical location, such as a car dealership or a retail clothing store. It’s done via geofencing, a location-based service that uses GPS, Wi-Fi, and cellular data to track where people go within a certain radius. You can even collect data based on point-of-service (POS) systems to find out what customers bought if anything.

The complete targeted marketing process with BDEX

You’ll start the targeting process by defining your customers, and BDEX can help you refine this definition with data. From there, we fuse predictive analytics with the real-time indicators of people who are looking to buy right now. Based on these parameters, we provide you with an actionable list of your best customers as they are actively shopping for your product or service.

In the above example that could represent a nationwide auto dealer, the process moved a list from 50 million to 10 million – and finally down to the one million individuals who are really looking to buy a car.

But that’s just a generic example. The data is often specific enough – in terms of industry, product or service, and behaviors – to narrow down weekly lists to merely a few dozen individuals, in some cases. This means you get a recurring, narrow, and highly-actionable list of potential customers.

When this list is fused with our Data Exchange Platform (DXP) and Device Graph, it includes contact information as well as the different devices that prospects use in their daily lives.

This gives you the power to reach out to individuals who are specifically looking for your products and services, as well as the means to reach out to them where they are likely to see your message.

Marketing doesn’t get any more targeted than that.

Reach out to us today to learn more.

BDEX features the first-ever Data Exchange Platform (DXP). The BDEX DXP and DAAS platforms enable companies to acquire impartial, quality-scored, third-party data reaching the right people at the right time like never before. We offer cross-device matching, auto dealership services, DAAS, real-time targeting, and custom segment building that is ideal for any industry, including auto dealers, retailers, brands, agencies, out-of-home, and franchises.

The Elements of Effective Targeted Marketing, Part 1 on bigdataexchange.com

The Elements of Effective Targeted Marketing, Part 1

Identifying your ideal customer

The first, essential element of any targeted marketing strategy is identifying the ideal customer for your product or service. Actually, this is crucial for anyone who wants to build a successful business.

And it applies no matter what you’re selling; whether it’s a car, a washing machine, diapers, or legal services. Any successful strategy relies on having a basic understanding of the specific target market.

How to identify your target audience

1. Compile the demographics and habits of your ideal customer

Start to identify your target audience by thinking about the characteristics and behaviors that make a person your ideal customer.

These demographic and psychographic factors include:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Cultural heritage
  • Geography
  • Occupation
  • Marital status
  • Income
  • Lifestyle
  • Type of residence
  • Education level
  • Interests
  • Common problems

To summarize the findings, think in terms of one to a few people who represent your customer base, and then build an ideal customer avatar for each one.

For example, a 35-year-old married woman with two children and a full-time job. You must also try to detail what kind of residence she lives in and where its located, as well as her interests and common problems, such as being too busy to … [insert pain point]. The more specific you can get, the better.

These avatars will be influenced by …

2. Studying your existing customers and accessing third-party research

If you have an established business, you’ll want to study your existing customers. Who is buying or ordering your product? Is it single men, married women, Millennials, Baby Boomers, outdoor enthusiasts?

Look at which of your products have the best sales record and think about why they do better than others, and with whom. Understanding the buying habits of your customers helps you determine the best way to reach them and with what message. There are of course differences between the demographics and psychographics of someone looking to buy a minivan versus a BMW, for example.

In addition to your own, highly-valuable experience with current customers, there are third-party research services that can add layers of contextual demographic and psychographic information tailored to your industry, products or services, and geographic area.

3. Conduct a competitive analysis

You should also do a competitive analysis by looking at similar businesses in your area (or your industry). For example, a dealership that sells Hondas would research what competing dealerships are doing, in terms of pricing and deals, as well as other marketing specifics. Who are your competitors targeting in their marketing? What kind of marketing vehicles are they using?

You’ve defined your ideal customer and the media and products/services they use. What’s next?

Studying what you believe to be your ideal customer won’t tell you the full story. If you own a car dealership, simply advertising to everyone who falls under the basic profile of a car buyer won’t be very effective.

That’s still a pretty wide group. Not everyone in that demographic is actually looking to buy a car right now, and you’ll end up wasting vast resources marketing to people who aren’t even thinking about a purchase.

As we discuss in the next installment of this series, the basic profile of an ideal customer interface with both predictive analytics and the latest actionable, real-time data that pinpoint individuals who are actually ready to buy.

Click here to read part two.

BDEX features the first-ever Data Exchange Platform (DXP). The BDEX DXP and DAAS platforms enable companies to acquire impartial, quality-scored, third-party data reaching the right people at the right time like never before. We offer cross-device matching, auto dealership services, DAAS, real-time targeting, and custom segment building that is ideal for any industry, including auto dealers, retailers, brands, agencies, out-of-home, and franchises. Contact us today to get your customized marketing data.

How Mobile has Enabled Target Marketing on bigdataexchange.com

How Mobile has Enabled Target Marketing

Now you can find your customers anywhere, anytime

Attracting potential buyers to a service or product has always been one of the primary challenges of any business. For years, the most common approach utilized poorly-targeted outbound methods – TV commercials, display ads, bulk direct mail, and similar vehicles.

Recently, there has been a move toward inbound marketing, which is focused on creating online content that lures in customers. And while all of these tactics can be effective, what if there was an even more precise way of reaching prospects?

What if you could get what you’re selling in front of someone at almost at the exact moment they’d be interested in purchasing it?

Using data for real-time mobile targeting

Right now, about 78 percent of Americans use a mobile device, and the total number of people who own at least one worldwide is 3.7 billion. It’s no wonder that online searching and sales using a smartphone or tablet have skyrocketed in recent years – and that these figures are only increasing. This is why smart companies now put an intense focus on mobile marketing.

With people spending an average of about six hours per day on a device, it just makes sense. And businesses can take advantage of mobile usage in an even more powerful way with real-time targeting.

How BDEX can connect you with customers

At BDEX, we can give your company real, actionable data that makes people aware of what you’re offering when they’re looking for it. We do this by allowing a business to see someone’s buying and search activity across all of their devices.

How it works

When a person does something like download an app, this connects that particular device to their email address or IP address. This uniquely ties that individual to that device.

This information is then captured in a database called a Device Graph. Other databases will then be checked to find the same unique identifiers, along with information volunteered by the individual, including their name, address, or phone number.

The benefits to a marketer are obvious; not only do they know what a person is planning to buy, they’ll know the devices they use as well as their contact information. This allows highly personalized and precisely-targeted marketing campaigns.

Find customers online and off

Wouldn’t it be nice to know who’s buying from your competitors? You can. In addition to discovering what people are planning to buy, you can also find out where they’re shopping.

This is possible with geofencing, which involves setting up a virtual boundary around a specific geographic area. Using software or an app that utilizes things like GPS or even just Wi-Fi, a business will know when a mobile device enters this boundary.

Not only will you be able to see where someone goes – such as to one of your competitors – but it may be tied to if and what he or she buys. This information is valuable on its own – but geofencing combined with other actionable data allows a company to send out immediate notifications about their own specials or deals.

How to get even more personal with your customers

Personalization could be the most important component of marketing these days. Almost 80 percent of consumers say that unless an offer from a retailer has been personalized based on their previous actions with a business, they won’t act on it.

While email is still a good way of reaching people on a personal level, texting has proven to be much more effective. The open rate for emails is about 22 percent. Texting, on the other hand, has an open rate of around 98 percent.

While people will almost always open a text you send them, you have to be smart in your approach:

  • Make sure they know who you are
  • Make sure you know who they are
  • Send them pertinent information at the right time
  • Don’t forget the call-to-action
  • Keep it short and sweet

Another benefit of device matching is that it allows you to dynamically serve display ads to that device on the media that these individuals use. Someone who is searching online for a specific product or service will see your message, at the exact time they are ready to buy.

BDEX will give you real insights that convert

If you’re tired of wasting time and money on poorly-targeted marketing campaigns that bear little fruit, it’s time to start doing things differently. BDEX can help you easily find your ideal customers when they want to buy. And more often than ever before, that means reaching them on a mobile device.

Contact us to get started.

Data-Driven Direct Marketing for Auto Dealers on bigdataexchange.com

Data-Driven Direct Marketing for Auto Dealers

How modern car buying habits can be used to create highly-targeted marketing

Just as with nearly every aspect of our lives, technology has transformed the way people search for a new car. That same technology is also helpful in collecting data that marketers can use to very specifically target potential buyers.

Of course, having the right information is essential. In the past, the data has told marketers that “Alan Smith’s” truck loan will be paid off soon, but it can’t tell if he’s actually searching for a new truck. Until now.

BDEX uses real-time data to more precisely target those who are actively in the market for a new vehicle. How is this done? First, let’s discuss modern search habits when it comes time to buy a new vehicle.

Search habits of the modern automotive customer

Car buying has gone digital in a very big way. A majority of customers now begin the buying process by doing a tremendous amount of online research, from looking for types of vehicles and reviews to maintenance costs and depreciation of the major car brands. They also use a mixture of different devices for research, including smartphones, tablets, and computers.

Look at these stats from an AutoTrader.com/Kelly Blue Book study:

  • Car buyers spend 59% of their time researching online
  • 46% of car buyers used multiple devices in online searches

•  83% used a computer (desktop/laptop); 46% used a smartphone; 41% used a tablet

•  14% only used mobile devices

  • Only 30% of car buyers knew the exact make/model they wanted before they started researching
  • Third-party sites are the most-used of any online resource, with 78% of car buyers visiting at least one of them
  • Car buyers spent 60% of their time on third-party sites
  • The top 5 online activities of car buyers:

•  Researching car prices

•  Finding actual vehicles listed for sale

•  Comparing different models

•  Finding the current worth of a car

•  Locating a dealer/getting dealer info

More evidence of modern automotive buying habits, including the use of social media, from a study by JD Power & Associates:

  • Internet shoppers visit an average of 10 automotive websites in their shopping process
  • The three most frequently visited third-party sites are: Consumer Reports, Edmunds, and Kelley Blue Book
  • 22% of new-vehicle shoppers use social media sites as a shopping source

Once digital research is complete, the majority of shoppers still visit an auto dealership in person

Walking into the dealership is still the most common initial point of contact for car buyers, according to JD Power and Associates. 56% walked into a dealership, compared to 25% who used the phone, 14% who sent an email, and 3% who participated in an online chat.

How BDEX uses the modern search habits of car buyers to create targeted lists of data

BDEX uses real-time targeting to compile data from connected devices that marketers can use to offer relevant products related to current online (and even offline) buying activity. For instance, the data can tell marketers that a potential buyer has visited a site like cars.com, downloaded an app, or signed up for a newsletter. Unique identifiers are fed into a database and cross-referenced with other databases to help identify consumer behaviors, devices, and patterns.

Marketers can learn when users have been researching cars online, which sites were visited, and the specific device that accessed them.

Precise data that targets offline habits

People do still need to visit dealerships in person, either to test drive a number of different vehicles or purchase a specific one. So, it’s also important to be able to track this kind of activity.

BDEX leverages “geofencing,” a technology in which GPS, radio frequency identifiers (RFID), Wi-Fi, and cellular data are utilized to see information about the places people go, including a local car dealership. This makes it possible to identify prospects who have visited competitors in your area – which lets you know that you also need to get their attention.

Data that allows you to target modern car buyers (or any other product)

BDEX uses the shopping habits of modern consumers to provide data that goes beyond guesswork – is this prospect actually looking to buy a car? This enables you to vastly increase the efficiency of every marketing dollar compared to traditional direct marketing methods. We have over 700 million device ID connections, as well as more than 900 billion data signals available through our proprietary Data Exchange Platform.

To learn more about BDEX and what this data can do for your automotive marketing, contact us.

Is That Data You’re Buying Any Good? on bigdataexchange.com

Is That Data You’re Buying Any Good?

3 big problems with common, overused data resources

The sale of data is big business. Data is of course used by businesses to target consumers who are likely to be interested in their products. Media companies use this same information to sell advertising packages for everything from TV and radio spots to direct mail services and digital ads on websites. And many organizations use data to inform market research that drives strategic decisions.

Unfortunately, there are three big problems with much of the stuff that is being sold and used: data that is too vague, massive overuse of the same third-party data, and flat-out incorrect information.

Problem #1 – Data that is too broad

The data that is being sold by most companies tends to be very broad and much of its use is based on predictive analysis rather than solid information. For instance, the predictive analysis projects that 10 million people might be looking to buy a new car, based on third-party data that shows these individuals are about to pay off their car loan. However, statistics might indicate that only about 1 million of those people will be actively looking to purchase a new car.

Marketers who rely on traditional data and predictive analytics are forced to market to all 10 million – wasting nine out of every 10 ad dollars on people who will never turn into customers. The numbers get even worse, of course, when factoring in the different response rates for different marketing vehicles.

And certain marketing firms looking to sell a business a direct mail campaign or an online ad buy, for examples, aren’t always interested in having a client reaching an exactly relevant audience. It’s in their best interest for the marketing vehicle to work, of course – but it’s also in some of their interest to upsell campaigns to 10 or 20 or 30 million potential targets, necessitating more impressions or pieces of mail.

Problem #2 – Massive overuse of third-party data

Another common problem is third-party data overuse. Basically, everyone is using the same playbook. Or the same databases, in this case.

If football teams followed this strategy, games would be a lot less competitive. The problem with overuse is that most platforms sell much of the same info to everyone, and the information they do sell is not very narrowly targeted. This doesn’t provide much of a competitive edge, in addition to the inefficiencies involved.

Problem #3 – Incorrect data

If you buy data from a company, you probably assume the information is correct. In many cases, this assumption is wrong. There are often mistakes in lists. The data could identify a consumer as a 35-year-old male when that person is actually a 35-year-old female. An individual could have moved from a previous address four years ago, but if the data is not sufficiently cross-referenced with other sources to verify it is current, more marketing dollars are wasted.

It’s crucial to authenticate data, and not all platforms have the capacity to do this effectively – either because they don’t have the right algorithms or they don’t have access to a wide enough range of sources.

How BDEX solves these problems

BDEX collects data in real time based on known behaviors of consumers. For instance, our data tracks when someone has searched online for a car or any other product or service, such as appliances, flights, and even diapers.

We also use the technology called “geofencing” that allows you to see the physical locations people have visited, whether that’s a car dealership, an IT services provider, or an appliance store. This gives you better quality data that includes your true target audience – only the individuals who are actively looking to buy your product, rather than the 10 million or so who are just maybe, possibly, likely to buy.

We also double, triple, and quadruple check information from multiple sources, to authenticate our data and ensure that it is current and correct.

Read more about how BDEX gathers its data.

BDEX features the first-ever Data Exchange Platform (DXP). The BDEX DXP and DAAS platforms enable companies to acquire impartial, quality-scored, third-party data reaching the right people at the right time like never before. We offer cross-device matching, auto dealership services, DAAS, real-time targeting, and custom segment building that is ideal for any industry, including auto dealers, retailers, brands, agencies, out-of-home, and franchises. Contact us today to get your customized marketing data.