AI on Target to Change the Way We Market on bdex.com

AI on Target to Change the Way We Market

6 ways artificial intelligence could impact target marketing

Artificial intelligence (AI) is one of the most talked about and promising technologies today. While many individuals think it still exists mainly in the realm of science fiction, AI is actually very much part of the real world now. It’s becoming increasingly more sophisticated and the number of industries using the technology is growing, including professionals in marketing and advertising.

First, what is artificial intelligence exactly?

Artificial intelligence is widely misunderstood, mainly due to Hollywood movies featuring robots that try to take over the world. Think The Terminator or HAL from 2001: A Space Odyssey. In today’s actual, practical applications, AI technology makes it possible for machines to “learn” discrete tasks much as humans do. Think with Google describes it this way: “Artificial intelligence is the study of how to make machines intelligent or capable of solving problems as well as people … with machine learning, we teach computers to learn without having to program them with a rigid set of rules.”

Here are 6 promising ways AI is (or will be) used in marketing and advertising:

1.  AI can be used to create customizable ad campaigns

AI is a tool that will allow marketers to tailor ad campaigns based on consumer intent at the moment. “We’re getting closer to the point where campaigns and customer interactions can be made more relevant end-to-end – from planning to creative messaging to media targeting to the retail experience,” according to Think with Google.

BDEX already has the technology to target customer behavior based on real-time data such as online searches, geofencing, and in-store POS purchases. When this data interface with full-developed AI, what you do with it will become automatic.

2.  AI can allow you to set up custom ad impressions

AI is already present in marketing tools that use custom algorithms to increase the number and relevancy of impressions that are served to potential consumers online. By using historical data and online search data, programs learn to predict consumer behavior and then automatically show ads that are most relevant to prospects at that time.

3.  AI can help you create programmatic advertising

Programmatic advertising is a promising new technology that has a lot of marketers excited. This tool allows you to buy digital advertising space automatically after AI analyzes data to determine which ads to buy. Demand-side platform (DSP) and supply-side platform (SSP) work together to match the right ad to the right audience. AI can analyze online behavior to create an instantaneous campaign that is optimized to a specific user.

4.  AI can create responsive search ads

Along with customizable and programmed ads, AI can also be used to create something called responsive search ads. It’s a technology being employed by the Google Marketing Platform. You submit 3-15 different ad layouts, along with meta-descriptions for each ad. Google will combine their data with your ad parameters and use it to determine which ad should be displayed for a particular user. The ad that’s displayed is different for everyone, as it’s based on his or her search history, habits, and preferences.

5.  AI can help create and curate ad campaign content

Although it’s hard to imagine a computer coming up with creative ideas, it has been done successfully. “Toyota recently started to create AI-generated ads …They were able to generate a system that created realistic-sounding lines that they were able to implement in their marketing,” reports Target Marketing Magazine.

AI can also be used to create visual content, such as videos, commercials, and in-store promotions displayed on digital screens.

6.  AI can help you test different ad campaigns

AI is capable of automating complex tasks like A/B testing to gauge the effectiveness of various marketing campaigns. It can get feedback in many different ways and formats and then determine the success or failure of a specific campaign based on a vast array of metrics. This same concept can also be applied to data that is supplied by BDEX. Our customers often want to be able to adjust their marketing campaigns based on different data signals; let’s say you choose four different data signals and run unique campaigns based on each segment. You can monitor the performance of each campaign and then use algorithms to decide which one is working the best for each data source. The essential promise of AI is that it can iteratively learn which data signals are the best predictors of behavior and the success of a campaign – at a much higher volume and a much faster pace, automatically.

Artificial intelligence is technology that is changing the way marketers and advertisers interact with and reach potential consumers. Some of it is future tech, while much of it is being used now.

BDEX also offers new and innovative ways to reach your target audience through the use of comprehensive, real-time data. Contact us to today to learn more.

BDEX is Not a Typical Marketing Data Company on bdex.com

BDEX is Not a Typical Marketing Data Company

We make a point to know our customers so they can know theirs better

Although data analysis for marketing purposes is relatively new, there are now numerous companies that sell data and associated services to businesses. The problem, though, is that while plentiful, often much of this data is worthless – because it’s old, unreliable, or just not relevant.

Most companies don’t work closely enough with their customers to find the right data, and once they make a sale, they often don’t care whether or not it was useful. However, this is where BDEX stands out from the pack.

The BDEX difference

At BDEX, we take a consultative approach with our customers. This involves getting to know them in order to get a clear understanding of who their customers are and who they’re trying to reach. But we also dig much deeper. To determine if someone is an ideal prospect for our clients, we look at behaviors and intents.

Are individuals in the process of looking for a business’s specific product or service? If so, how and when are they searching? It’s at that point that we look at the data signals that indicate certain behaviors.

When we identify the right data signals, we start building the proper filter for our customer. In addition to the exact signals, we also look at a specific geographic region. One of the best aspects of our process is that it’s almost completely turnkey. We make it extremely simple for our customers. And once the filter is built, we start sending them data that is very easy to read and utilize.

Comprehensive reports

Our team of data experts creates and distributes regular reports for our customers. These involve the agreed-upon signals and geographic region that show how many consumers can be reached per month, along with their costs. They can also get files daily, monthly, or weekly with the names, addresses, phone numbers, and emails of the people whom they want to market to.

Real-time behaviors, not predictive analytics

One company we work with does a lot related to the furniture industry. After determining who their customers are and who they want to target, we thought about when people decide to buy furniture. Often this is related to certain life events, such as when someone has a baby or when they move. We began to identify the signals that show that someone may need new furniture. And, unlike most data companies that use predictive analytics, we look at real-time behaviors.

For example, if someone visits a real estate website, we will know it almost as soon as it happens. This could be an indication that now is a good time to reach this person, as new furniture often accompanies a home purchase. And when it’s coupled with other real-time signals – such as actively shopping at a competing furniture store – the data becomes incredibly precise and powerful.

In addition to businesses that sell furniture, this information is also relevant to financing companies. Before someone moves – or even before they buy a new home – they can be presented with financing offers, giving them an incentive to go to a specific furniture store when they’re ready to buy.

Quick adaptations

We understand that our success is based on the success of our customers, which is why we don’t just supply data and walk away. We always make a point to follow up to talk about their marketing results. If things need to be tweaked, we will make the necessary changes or adjustments. In most cases, customers want to expand what they’re doing with us because they see how effective it is.

If your company’s marketing efforts are too broad, BDEX can help you narrow them so you are just targeting customers who are ready to buy right now. Contact us to get started.

The Importance of Cybersecurity for Your Company’s Data on bdex.com

The Importance of Cybersecurity for Your Company’s Data

Is your information – including your marketing data – safe from cyber-attacks?

In this digital era where data containing private information is stored in the cloud or on in-house servers, cybercrime has become one of the most pressing issues around the world. Brazen cyberattacks have become big news, from those targeting retail chains and highly-trafficked websites to the data breach at Equifax, one of the main credit rating agencies, which compromised nearly 150 million people.

It is clear that data firms and the organizations that use that data need to be vigilant and take greater steps to protect their information from hackers and cybercriminals.

The cornerstone of cybersecurity is PDR

The key to protecting data is PDR: Prevent, Detect, and Respond. Companies must establish protocols to detect and stop breaches from within and from outside sources. This should include software that can detect anomalies within the system and employee education about cybersecurity.

Using data analytics to protect your data

Data analytics can detect patterns. In the case of BDEX, it’s used to spot real-time consumer activity both online and in brick-and-mortar stores. BDEX data tells you that someone has been searching for a new car, purchased concert tickets, or bought baby food.

A similar technology can also be programmed to search for anomalies in device behavior to detect potential breaches. In other words, the same programs that search for buying patterns can be taught how to spot abnormal or suspicious network behavior. Systems can be programmed to detect threats from someone using an unknown signature. Analytics programs can also collect data from various sources and silos to “learn” how different kinds of attacks occur – so those attacks will be quickly recognized and shut down.

Employee activity monitoring and training

Though no one wants to think that an employee could be the source of a cyber attack, it is a very real possibility. In fact, the Harvard Business Review cited a 2016 Cyber Security Intelligence Index from IBM, which found that “60% of all attacks were carried out by insiders. Of these attacks, three-quarters involved malicious intent, and one-quarter involved inadvertent actors.”

Data analytics can be used to detect unusual activity on the part of employees, such as downloading large amounts of data or activity that takes place at unusual times. But as critical is training employees basic cybersecurity, such as not exchanging sensitive data over unsecured networks and how to avoid vishing and phishing attacks. Vishing is when hackers try to “human engineer” their way into getting credentials or other information through a phone call, while phishing attempts the same thing using fraudulent emails that spoof reputable senders.

Employees should only accept emails that:

  • Come from someone they know
  • They expected to receive
  • Look normal with no unusual email addresses, spellings, wording or suspicious content or links
  • Pass anti-malware tests

Employees must understand the risks of certain behaviors, such as clicking unknown links, downloading content or software from unknown or unverified sources, and visiting certain websites. Any of these behaviors can lead to computers becoming infected with a virus or malicious software that can corrupt or steal data.

There should also be proper training in document management and data management, as well as training on how to recognize and report computer problems that could be related to a virus, malware, or other threat.

Monitoring outside threats with intrusion detection

Many types of threats come from beyond the perimeter of your company’s network. Companies must have adequate perimeter protections to stop the intrusion, which typically involves a professional-grade firewall. Other security steps include using multi-factor authentication, which requires at least two distinct forms of identity to log in to a system, and the use of data encryption. Encryption is particularly valuable, as even if hackers successfully steal data, they simply can’t read or use it without the encryption key.

Cybersecurity is now crucial – and growing in importance

With cybercrime costing organizations and individuals as much as $600 billion in 2017 alone, security is more important than ever. It is essential that every company take action to prevent, detect and respond to cyber attacks. From data analytics designed to spot threats to adequate employee training, being vigilant now may safeguard your data – as well as your company’s reputation.

BDEX provides real-time data via over 700 million device ID connections and more than 900 billion data signals available through our proprietary Data Exchange Platform. Call us at 917-410-6616 or send an email to info@bdex.com to start putting this information to work for your next marketing campaign.

Which Vehicles Will Drive the Success of Your Marketing Campaign on bdex.com

Which Vehicles Will Drive the Success of Your Marketing Campaign?

The pros and cons of marketing media

A successful marketing campaign depends on several elements. You need to create a marketing plan, determine your target market, and then decide the best way to reach those potential customers. Data from BDEX will give you great insight into who is most likely to be interested in your product or service. We collect real-time data based on actual customer behavior, from recent online activity, via store POS (point of service) systems, plus geofencing technology, which tracks when people have visited a physical store.

Choosing the right marketing media

Once you have your target market, you must choose marketing media that will give you the best results. Which ones you choose will depend on several factors, including your budget and the “personality” and preferences of your target market. The vehicles you choose to target millennial males will be very different than if you’re targeting women 65 and older. Targeted marketing media can include email, direct mail, social media advertising, mobile advertising, website ads, and telemarketing, among others.

Let’s take a look at various marketing mediums and discuss the best practices for each

Email marketing

Targeted emails deliver your message directly to existing or potential customers. Email campaigns are one of the most effective marketing vehicles, as the open rates for a well-targeted and executed campaign can be pretty high. According to Adobe.com, email open rates can be as high as 20-30 percent.

Here are more email marketing statistics from HubSpot.com:

  • Consumers who purchase products through email spend 138% more money
  • Sales emails have eight times more opens and clicks and can produce six times more ROI than other types of email
  • Email is the third-most-influential source of information for B2B audiences

One thing to note is that you need permission to send emails. Every country has different rules and some are much more strict than others. For instance, the European Union recently enacted GDPR, which set new rules on how personal information can be used. If you violate the terms, your company could face fines or worse. Canada and the US also have their own laws. Basically, you shouldn’t send marketing emails unless someone has opted in or subscribed, whether the person provides an email at a physical store or fills out an online form. The alternative is to work with an Email Service Provider or ESP that maintains an email opt-in list. In this case, they can send the emails for you to their opted-in users.

Online and social media campaigns

Online marketing campaigns can include digital ads on related websites or blogs frequented by your target market. Online marketing can also include served ads that appear based on the online activity of your potential customers, including purchases or Internet searches. Your campaign might also include paid advertising on a search engine like Google. Basically, you pay Google to advertise your content to customers based on keyword searches, which captures them at the very moment they are most likely to take action.

Another effective means of online marketing is advertising on social media sites. These sites allow you to target ads based on factors like location, gender, age, marital status, and hobbies/interests. You can reach a relatively large number of people without spending a lot of money. Which social media site you choose will depend greatly on your target audience. Teens and millennials tend to use Instagram over Facebook, for instance.

Direct mail marketing

Direct mail remains an effective marketing medium, especially with certain target segments. For instance, senior citizens might not be online as much or be as tech savvy with their phones, but they are more likely to read their mail. A big advantage of this medium is that you don’t need any sort of opt-in or permission to send a postcard. On the other hand, your piece can easily go straight in the trash. This medium is also more expensive as you must pay to have the piece produced, printed (by the thousands), and then mailed.

Phone marketing

Although telemarketing has gotten a bad rap, phone calls can still be an effective method of reaching your target audience. It can be even more effective when applied to B2B marketing. However, be aware that there are regulations you need to follow in order to avoid fines. You must get permission in order to call cell phones. You also want to make sure your data is as up to date as possible. Check for things like a change of phone number or address. If you are calling a business, ensure your contact is still with that company or if they have changed positions. Generally speaking, businesses do have the ability to call past or existing customers.

An effective marketing campaign is all about determining your target market and then deciding which marketing vehicles will best reach those people. Each vehicle has pros and cons, so you must decide which will be the most cost-effective and give you a better ROI.

BDEX can help you create an effective marketing campaign by providing real-time data via over 700 million device ID connections and more than 900 billion data signals available through our proprietary Data Exchange Platform. Call us at 917-410-6616 or send an email to info@bdex.com to start putting this information to work for your business.

Why a Subscription Model Makes Sense for Targeted Marketing Data on bdex.com

Why a Subscription Model Makes Sense for Targeted Marketing Data

Only get the targeted marketing data you need, when you need it

One of the elements of successful marketing is knowing your audience. Whether you’re trying to sell a phone or a shower curtain, knowing which people are potential customers is essential. Otherwise, you’re unlikely to sell anything at all.

Buying data, then, is an essential part of the process of finding customers. Through this information, companies can learn what consumers are buying, how much they are paying, where they are making their purchases, and how likely they are to repeat them. Unfortunately, many data brokers are more concerned with the quantity than the quality of the data they provide.

One of the largest problems that come from working with such great quantities is that data becomes too broad to actually be useful. Let’s say, for example, that a customer fits a demographic and predictive profile of people who are likely to buy a home, based on past data that shows 10% of that group with similar characteristics will be in the market. That means, at best, 90% of the dollars spent on marketing to the group will be wasted.

Many data firms, however, are going to give companies that big, non-specific list based on predictive data. It will likely target and reach some people who are interested in buying a house, but at what cost? In a traditional data licensing agreement, it’s all or nothing; companies pay to license the entire file.

Many data companies may not care if their clients are only looking for data about specific demographics or regions, forcing them to pay for data they cannot even use. A home appliance company that only serves Florida does not need information about Maine, after all. And a law firm that specializes in divorce does not need information about teenagers. But the complete dataset purchased from some data brokers will have all of that information, which then needs to be whittled down in-house, creating an additional expense in the form of the expertise and man-hours needed to manage the data.

A subscription model like BDEX, however, completely changes this

In a subscription model that involves real-time data, the client only receives the consumer information that they want, when they want it. If a company is only interested in people who live or work in downtown Pittsburgh who are actively shopping for a home online or in-person, that’s the information that a subscription will provide. Gone is the need to sieve aimlessly through a thousand faceless names, trying to poke and prod until you find information that can be used for marketing.

Take a look at a specific example: Let’s say a marketer wants to identify and reach out to people who collect antiques. With BDEX’s geofencing capability, a marketer can actually see that a collector has spent time at a brick-and-mortar antique store. Thanks to online behavioral date, they can also see that he’s been visiting eBay and antique websites online. These elements are fused with specific variables (say, home address and potentially many other factors) and the marketer receives a customized list of only the names of these highly-specific targets – individuals who are actively looking to buy collectibles in a geographic area, all the way down to the specific zip codes.

That list may only be 10 people a month, based on the parameters.

With a standard data company, a marketer might instead buy a list of people in the antiquing demographic, and it would take hours to sort the relevant elements and find a way to advertise to collectors … along with a bunch of people who aren’t collectors. A subscription model eliminates these inefficiencies. Your company can advertise to consumers more efficiently than its competitors, and get your customer those antiques (or cars, homes, furnishings, etc.) even more quickly.

Additionally, a subscription model may help you find customers that other models are not even able to detect. If everyone is using the same data collecting techniques, then all of your competitors will end up advertising to the same people, whether or not it is effective. The data gets stale and overused and suddenly people are seeing ten ads a day for sinks they already bought, which is a massive waste of money. A subscription, on the other hand, allows marketers access to consumers that traditional models might not pick up – those whom are looking to buy now.

All of this serves to make a subscription model more competitive in a changing marketplace. Subscriptions allow businesses to adapt on the fly without having to sort through gigabytes of useless information, giving them the edge they need to market successfully.

To start making a highly-specific data subscription model work for your marketing campaigns, call us at 917-410-6616 or send an email to info@bdex.com.

Data Holds the Key to Personalizing the Buying Process on bigdataexchange.com

Data Holds the Key to Personalizing the Buying Process

Real-time behavioral data meet consumers on their terms

The way marketers and advertisers reach potential customers has changed immensely in the last few years. We live in the age of “Big Data” where information and buying habits are collected via websites, search engines and social media platforms every second of every day.

Some consumers may see this as impersonal or even intrusive, but in many respects, the opposite is true. Data has allowed for a far more personalized consumer experience because now marketers can track online and in-store behavior to find out exactly what customers want – and then better meet their needs when they have them.

BDEX takes data to the next level by allowing marketers to reach their target audience based on real-time online searches, activity, and even in-person store visits. From research on hotels.com to shopping at The Gap, behavioral information can be used to reach potential customers who are actively searching for a service or product.

How modern data provides a more personalized experience

The term “Big Data” refers to a large amount of information collected together, which is then fused and analyzed by software that is designed to reveal patterns, associations, and trends. The raw data is impersonal – but analyzing that data provides highly-personalized information.

allBusiness puts it well: “While we may be in the Age of Big Data, we also are in the Age of the Customer. And, today’s customers are demanding that companies meet their expectations for service and experience. The simple truth is that companies that capitalize on data win the customer experience game.”

Online behavioral data helps reach consumers where they are at in the sales funnel

Online consumer behavior provides a treasure trove of data that can help all industries target potential customers in a more cost-effective way. These days, when consumers are looking to buy something – whether it’s purchasing a new TV or dishwasher, or researching places for their next vacation – they typically start the process by searching online.

“The average consumer looks at an average 10.4 sources before making a purchase. B2B buyers do even more research, with 94% of business buyers performing online research,” according to allBusiness.

Here are more quick stats:

  • 77% use Google searches
  • 84.3% check business websites
  • 34% visit third-party websites
  • 41% read user reviews

Of course, research is not conducted exclusively online. Consumers still visit brick and mortar stores, often going to multiple locations in search of the best deal or highest quality goods and services. All of this behavior can be tracked and used to create targeted, actionable lists that reveal when customers are in the market for a certain product. That’s where BDEX comes in.

How BDEX uses actionable data to personalize the customer experience

BDEX collects a vast array of real-time data based on actual consumer behavior. For instance, our data might reveal that a consumer has actively searched for products on petsmart.com. It might show that someone has recently moved to the area and is looking for furnishings (which means they might be in the market for home goods or even a local grocery store). We even have the capability to track if a consumer has visited a physical store using geofencing technology.

Conventional data lists only look at past consumer behavior, using predictive analysis to then “guess” what that consumer might do tomorrow. BDEX gives marketers the ability to track active, real-time searches – whether online or in-store. When this is combined with device-matching technology that follows an individual across multiple devices, it allows for incredibly precise targeting of consumers – and more effective marketing spends compared to other direct marketing methods.

Modern data allows marketers to provide the most personalized customer experience in history. BDEX can help by providing real-time data via over 700 million device ID connections and more than 900 billion data signals available through our proprietary Data Exchange Platform.

Call us at 917-410-6616 or send an email to info@bdex.com to start putting this information to work for your business.