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.

What Does a Big Data-Driven Customer Experience Look Like?

Your customers expect you to understand their needs. 80% of modern consumers expect personalized experiences from their favorite brands. Despite increased budget for big data marketing initiatives, 43% of marketers feel they’re getting almost “no benefit” from their existing data assets. These two statistics illustrate a clear disconnect between what customers want, and what marketing teams are able to deliver.

The savviest marketing teams aren’t just deriving value from their internal, or first party, data assets, they’re obtaining high-quality, real-time insights from 3rd-party data vendors to develop a 360-degree view of their customers. In order to capture and retain today’s complex digital consumers, a big data-driven customer strategy is a must.


What Does a Big Data-Driven Marketing Strategy Entail?

Every time your customers swipe on a mobile device screen or post a status update to social media, they leave a trail of data on their preferences and behaviors. Each of these interactions offers the potential for your brand to gain insight into how to create personalized experiences for your customers.

By synthesizing first and third-party data insights in a data management platform (DMP), you can create a holistic view of your customer base. This allows you to understand patterns and stories that extend beyond your own touch points, and discover truths about how your customers interact with the world around them, by using these stories to create segments and understand your customers on an individual level. In this blog, we’ll discuss several of the best practices best-of-class organizations adopt when developing a marketing strategy that’s driven by big data insight.

1. Expand Your Data Collection
Transform your strategy from first-party data analysis to a program that’s focused on true cross-channel synthesis. By combining the broadest array of data sources possible, you can improve your strategic analysis and customer understanding.

2. Score Your Segments
By creating narrow segments of your existing customers, you can focus on your best clients. These are the individuals with the highest customer lifetime value (LTV), and who may be most likely to promote your brand on social media channels and other online forums. The creation of buyer persona profiles has traditionally been executed through qualitative research methods, such as focus groups. By allowing data to tell your story, you can eliminate organizational biases about what your best customers look like.

3. Focus on Customer Experience
When you have identified your best customers, it is critical to discover ways you can improve your client experience. You can discover insights on how your customers interact with brands through the inclusion of 3rd-party data. Are they mobile shoppers, or heavily-engaged app users? Tailor your engagement strategy to your client’s existing behavior patterns.

4. Get Personal
The best marketers know that big data has the potential to move your strategy from segments to true personalization. Use your big data insights to discover behavioral triggers, and tailor personalized marketing efforts to meet your client’s needs for relevant email marketing and programmatic advertising.

5. Measure and Optimize
With your programmatic advertising and email marketing metrics, your brand has the potential to move towards continual improvement cycling in your marketing program. Never stop collecting data, analyzing, and improving your efforts to deliver a best-of-class customer experience.


Are you ready to make the shift towards customer-focused, Real Time big data-driven marketing? Contact BDEX today for more information on high-quality, real-time big data assets from trusted 3rd-party sources.

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Are You Using the Most Advanced Data to Target Consumers?

The way we use data to target audiences is constantly evolving. The first phase in targeting was fairly simple in that we relied on only a few simple demographics, like age and gender, to segment consumers. Then audience groups were formed. More advanced and specific, audience groups were, and still are, based on consumers’ shared interests. The newest chapter in data targeting, utilizing real-time insights, merges information about demographics and audience groups with real-time activity. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Real-time data isn’t just information about your consumers’ spending habits in the last month. True, real-time insights let you know what your target customers are searching for the moment they shop online.


In the mid-20th century, marketers focused on only a few consumer demographics when developing marketing campaigns. While factors like age and gender were more important sixty years ago when people sourced their news and entertainment from the same place, the traditional methods for obtaining consumer data are not as relevant anymore. McKinsey’s John Forsythe demonstrates the problems associated with using only a few, superficial demographics by citing the differences between Prince Charles, Queen Elizabeth’s son and her heir apparent, and Ozzy Osbourne, lead singer of heavy metal band Black Sabbath. While both men are British and the same age, a marketer obviously wouldn’t market to them the same way.


Marketing and brand expert Adam Paulisick also believes that simple demographics don’t provide enough information to properly target consumers.


“Segmenting consumers by age and gender or other demographics is inefficient at best, even for more traditional marketing campaigns because there are no hard and fast rules anymore for what a man or a women will intuitively buy (with few exceptions).”


While we might not know the “hard and fast rules” that drive what a consumer buys, we can know the next best thing: what product they are shopping for the moment they shop. Real-time data takes into account everything we used to know about consumers based on demographics and audience groups and merges it with live activity.


Keith Sayewitz, Chief Marketing Officer and Head of Sales at BDEX, a market-driven exchange platform that provides users with real-time data, explains the value of real-time analytics for marketers.


“For years a company depended on simple demographics to identify a certain consumer, like ‘soccer moms.’ Then audience groups were formed, so we discovered those soccer moms were interested in fitness. But now, with real-time data, we learn which of those soccer moms are in the market for a treadmill or are switching to vegan cuisine. This information is incredibly powerful because it allows for truly advanced targeting. We know that this customer is likely to buy a treadmill because she is in the market for one at this exact moment.”


Marketers can then create specific ads for the desired consumer, increase the probability for conversion, and, therefore, create more sales. The insights provided by real-time data are essential to brands, retailers, and agencies who want to stay up-to-date on consumer activities and truly understand their customers’ needs.


BDEX, the first ever Data Exchange Platform (DXP), is currently the only source for true, real-time data. For more information about BDEX’s unique services, click here.

Image Credit: NEC Corporation of America

When Real-Time Data is Actual Real-Time Data

Many data platforms claim they can provide their customers with real-time insights, but their definition of “real-time” is often debatable. True, real-time data is not only obtained in real time but offers brands, retailers, and agencies up-to-the-second information on their customers’ behavior. After all, if you acquire information about an online shopper one minute but the information is 30 days old, the data’s value is greatly diminished. But if that same online shopper searches for sandals on one website one minute, and the marketer learns that information a minute later, the data is priceless. “Organizations can reap a lot of benefits by accessing real-time analytics purely because of their close relevance to market realities” (Techopedia).

Mobile Data

Real-time data can be learned a variety of ways, perhaps most obviously, through mobile IDs. Every Apple device has a UDID, or Unique Device Identifier. “Originally, the UDID was intended as a sort of serial number for Apple devices. But, as the industry began to explode, app developers turned to the UDID to help track and target mobile users.” Apple later denied app developers access to users’ UDIDs and created a data set called IDFA, or Identifier for Advertisers. Unlike the UDID, the IDFA is not easily linked to devices or users. In fact, users can even opt of advertising tracking altogether if they wish.

Despite mobile advertising regulations, mobile ID tracking provides valuable data for marketers, especially when tracking real-time behavior. With over 100 million mobile device IDs tied to AAIDs and IDFAs, the BDEX DXP has some of the most comprehensive and diverse mobile data on the market.

Cross-Device Matching

Ninety percent of today’s consumers bounce back and forth between devices when making purchases. When you consider that 65% of the revenue generated online comes from purchases that are made across multiple channels, you have little choice but to target users with ads regardless of the device they’re using to access these channels” (Shopify). To target the same consumers across multiple channels, however, marketers must link those consumer’s various IDs. Not surprisingly, connecting the ID “dots” is easier said than done.

There are over 80 million email-to-mobile ID and email-to-cookie ID matches available in the BDEX marketplace. Thanks to a plethora of data provided by more than 75 sources and custom BDEX identifier tags, marketers can link their consumers’ information across multiple sites and platforms and use that data to advertise via mobile, email, display, or any other channel.

Moving Beyond Interest and Intent

While interest and intent data is certainly valuable, when you add a real-time element to the equation, the information learned is not only a predictor of what a consumer may buy but an indicator of what he/she will buy. With millions of new data points received daily across thousands of categories, the BDEX Data Exchange Platform offers the most comprehensive and time-relevant data on the market. For more information about our platform, visit our website. Want to get in touch? Email info@bdex.com.

Image via Flickr/Jean-Pierre Bovin

When Your Audience Doesn’t Reflect Reality: Big Data Audience Building

Marketers understand that you simply can’t build audience groups on pure demographic factors. After all, Prince Charles of England and rocker Ozzy Osbourne are both British males of the same approximate age. However, it’s safe to say that a marketing message tailored for Ozzy wouldn’t necessarily convert the heir apparent, Prince Charles. Consumer preferences, motivations, and needs play a critical role in purchase decisions.

It’s clear that audience groups must be more sophisticated than demographics. Even deep demographic factors like income or family status don’t tell the full story. As Harvard Business Review’s (HBR) highlights, the sorts of audience groups that convert are rarely “created.” Instead, they’re “uncovered” through data analysis that incorporates behavioral clues from cookies, web analytics, user-generated content, and other big data sources.

Why Your Audience Groups aren’t Converting

Despite the fact that marketers understand what’s required to build audience groups, too few brands have segments that reflect reality. Information Week recently wrote about some of the “perils” of big data analysis biases, which can include:
● Selection Bias
● Inclusion of Outliers
● Overfitting and Underfitting
● Confirmation Bias
The term “data scientist” is ultimately accurate. To accurately understand patterns in reality, marketing teams must leverage enormous amounts of data to control against faulty results. If your big data audience segments are based on false positives from too-small or incomplete data sets, you could be suffering as a result. In one anonymous case study detailed by Information Week, a brand’s profit margin decreased significantly as a result of audience groups’ creation that didn’t control for bias.

Do You Trust Your Audience Analysis Methods?
Many marketers have developed some level of big data fluency. They understand some common analysis methods used to develop audience groups, such as clustering or linear analysis. Undergraduate studies of statistics has leant familiarity with concepts like sample size and statistical significance. An abundance of easy-to-use analytics tools allows marketers without extensive technology backgrounds to perform complex analyses in a point-and-click environment. However, a lack of big data resources has forced many marketing teams to rely on pre-formed audience groups from 3rd party vendors that are questionable in accuracy.

One large-scale study by HBR indicated that some 85% of product launches fail because of poor segmentation methods. Ineffective segmentation can have a significant impact on your brand’s profitability and outcomes. If you’re reliant on pre-packaged audience groups that you’ve purchased from a 3rd-party vendor, it’s likely time to refresh your segments. Join us as we review a new approach to building audience groups that convert.

1. Form Segment Hypotheses
Big data analysis for the purpose of segmentation is inherently scientific. The first step is to develop hypotheses about your segments. Based on what you know about your segment, you can develop a framework for analysis.
To avoid the risk of confirmation bias, your hypothesis should be based on known variables and goals. It could resemble the following statement:
Individuals who are seeking a mortgage for a second home are often 30-50 years
old with an income of $100,000 or more per annum.”
A correctly-formed hypothesis serves to narrow your analysis, while still providing room to discover behavioral and motivational insights.

2. Obtain and Combine Data
By participating in BDEX’s  Data Exchange Platform, marketers can gain immediate access to billions of data points in real-time. Marketers have the ability to set their own budget, and access insights on web behavior, preferences, and transaction history on consumers that match their existing contacts. Depending on your campaign goals and objectives, you can also opt to obtain contact information for additional prospects that match your goals and objectives. By connecting BDEX’s marketplace with your data management platform (DMP) tool, you can gain immediate access to fresh data insights.

3. Analyze
Effective marketing segmentation today has little resemblance to the mass marketing messages of yesterday. By obtaining third-party insights, you can gain a comprehensive understanding of how your contacts behave. This can lead to an understanding that your buyers prefer self-guided product research, are likely to have two children, or other rich factors that reveal segmentation without bias.
By allowing big data to form your segments without bias, you can avoid the risk of inaccurate results. BDEX’s open marketplace forum allows analysis with minimal risk of bias, due to the sheer volume of available insights.

4. Launch Advertising
Once you have developed rich, up-to-date and accurate market segments, you can launch advertising to connect with your audience groups. Instead of relying on months-old segments created by a third-party vendor, your marketing team has the power to continually test, iterate, and improve your audience groups.

For more insights on the power of real-time targeting for marketing initiatives with BDEX, click here!

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4 Steps to Better Auto Dealer Marketing

Long gone are the days of cheesy, old fashioned car salesmen and hard-selling. Dealerships are spending less on traditional forms of advertising like television commercials and newspaper ads and more on digital marketing. The process is understandably overwhelming for small dealerships, however. With a limited advertising budget, creating the most effective marketing with the best chance for significant ROI is important. Paid search tools are a popular approach, but they can be expensive and display ads can bring awareness to a particular brand or business, but when it comes to controlling when and where your ads appear, flexibility is limited.

By focusing on a few key strategies when establishing your dealership’s digital marketing plan, you can rest assured you’re spending your money effectively and efficiently.

1. Take Advantage of Email Retargeting

Consumers who visit your website are important; they’re potential buyers who show interest in your cars and services. By matching potential buyers with their email ID, you can create personalized email campaigns to fit their needs. BDEX offers email retargeting as well as other cross-device matching services to connect your customers across multiple platforms.

2. Use Real-Time Data

What if you knew which consumers are shopping for a car right now? With real-time data, you can. But while there are hundreds of data providers, not all of them offer up-to-the-second information on consumers. With real-time targeting from BDEX, you can find prospective buyers who are shopping for a car or have a lease expiring.

3. Utilize Geofencing

Geofencing is a location-based service that tracks who is visiting a particular area. Geofencing is used in a variety of industries from human resource management to law enforcement. Dealerships can take advantage of geofencing by tracking people who visit their own business or competing dealerships.

4. Don’t Forget Direct Mail Targeting

Dealerships that take advantage of BDEX Hyperlocal Data suite services will gain additional data on their consumers, opening new avenues for other marketing, including direct mail. While direct mail is an older, more traditional approach to marketing, used in conjunction with digital marketing, this method is another way to grab your consumers’ attention without crowding their inbox.

Instead of waiting for your customers to see your advertising, why not target prospective buyers now? With the BDEX Hyperlocal Data Suite services, you can find potential car buyers in a specific area—in real time. Email us at info@bdex.com to learn more about our auto/dealership services.

Image via Flickr/David Brown