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.

Taking Control of Your Data on bdex.com

Taking Control of Your Data

How BDEX’s Platform as a Service helps you easily monetize your customer data

Managing data can be complex. If you are trying to monetize data you’ve gathered, or just keep it organized when it comes in from discrete sources, it can take hours of work just to synthesize it in a usable and meaningful way. And even then, every bit of it has to be tailored to suit the formats of the various platforms on which data can be monetized.

Data is a major business and an extremely valuable commodity that some are willing to pay good money for. So, when companies collect data and lack a way to properly monetize it, they are basically sitting on a deposit of gold with no equipment to mine it.

For example, a food delivery service could collect a good deal of information about their customers: spending habits, location, and the best contact methods. Unless that business is monetizing its data, however, it is not properly leveraging a potential revenue stream.

Unfortunately, many companies do not have the internal infrastructure needed to organize and monetize their data. It can be a challenge to track information, gather it from across networks and services, make it uniform if derived from different systems, and then present it in a way that can earn revenue. In fact, data is often only used profitably by many companies through their own marketing efforts or to enhance products and services, as selling to other companies can be somewhat complex.

You need a platform to organize and monetize your data

One way to meet this need is through the creation of a unique platform for data monetization. Companies gathering large amounts of data can hire developers to build a platform capable of sustaining the kind of data collection they want, one that then formats and sorts it for monetization. Unfortunately, as they gather more data, the platform necessarily becomes larger and more robust, requiring more effort and tools to maintain it. The data must also be tailored to the individual platforms that purchase it. This can get rather expensive.

This is where BDEX’s platform for data collecting and monetization comes in. Our Platform as a Service (PaaS), available to companies of all sizes and specialties, is built around managing data in such a way that marketing, as well as monetization, become easier and more efficient. Rather than trying to design an in-house solution that deals with the various formats and qualities of data (taken indirectly and/or and from third parties), BDEX is able to synthesize this data into an easy-to-use format.

To monetize data, it is typically sold to common third-party data buyers. Each of these entities requires customers to organize it and format it in a certain way. Data sellers must conform to each distinct set of parameters, including how often you can update the data and how it looks.

Platform as a Service (PaaS) simplifies this process. It already has all the functionality one could want in a platform that is custom-designed to monetize data. It can capture information in real time, manage that data in an efficient and organized way, and even transmit it to third parties – preformatted for specific data buyers. It interfaces with all kinds of data collection and purchasing systems, including those set up for mobile devices. All of the data you collect is entered automatically into the system and can be quickly plugged into external systems such as LiveRamp.

One of its features is its ability to authenticate duplicated data. If data is collected for the same user more than once on different sources, those occurrences will be used to verify the information and then gathered into a single identity to avoid unnecessary redundancy.

This system allows companies to take complete control of their data, keeping it organized and monetized as a way to gain passive revenue. No programmers or database developers required.

Like most BDEX services, this is a subscription model available to all sorts of companies for a monthly fee. To learn more, contact us.

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.

How Can Retailers Better Target Customers? on bigdataexchange.com

How Can Retailers Better Target Customers?

It’s all about having the right data – and knowing how to use it

Fall is the time for retailers to really start thinking about the upcoming holiday season. Because so many companies depend on strong sales at the end of the year, they have to be sure their marketing campaigns are on point.

To get a glimpse of what we can expect this year, let’s take a look at some numbers from last year courtesy of the National Retail Federation:

  • 174 million people in the U.S. shopped from Thanksgiving Day to Cyber Monday
  • 51 million shopped exclusively in-store
  • 58 million shopped exclusively online
  • 64 million shopped both in-store and online
  • People who shopped both in-store and online spent an average of $49 more than the in-store-only shopper and $82 more than the online-only shopper
  • 63% of smartphone owners used mobile devices to make holiday decisions
  • 29% of smartphone owners used their phones to make purchases
  • The average amount each person spent over the 5-day period was $335.47
  • The highest average amount was $419.52, which was spent by people age 25-34

Additional stats show that for Black Friday, more than 46 percent of digital revenue came via mobile devices, which was up over 18 percent compared to 2016. However, most of the shopping that day still takes place in actual stores. Multichannel Merchant reported that while 66 million people shopped online, 77 million went to stores to make a purchase.

Millions of people are shopping in the run-up to the holiday season, giving retailers a huge pool of potential customers. But how do you find the ones who actually want your goods?

Instead of just devising a marketing strategy based on predictive data and hoping it reaches your ideal customer, wouldn’t it be nice to know exactly who that person is – and what and when he or she is looking to buy?

What real-time behavioral data and device-matching can do for your retail business

Your business probably utilizes data in its marketing, but it’s very possible that it just isn’t that useful. A lot of the data being sold has several inherent problems, such as being way too broad and sometimes outdated. But this is never an issue with the data BDEX offers. With more than 900 billion data points, we can help you figure out exactly who your best customers are.

The data allows you to check out the shopping behavior of someone in real time. This means that if they’re looking at a golf club online, for example, and you happen to sell golf clothes, you’ll know it – and you can immediately hit them with an ad or offer. Plus, with device-matching, you can follow the same shopper across multiple devices and adjust the messaging and the vehicle accordingly.

How to find customers in the real world

While it may seem as though all shopping now takes place online, remember those stats mentioned earlier. Brick-and-mortar businesses are still important to many people, and there’s a tactic that can let you know which stores they’re visiting: geofencing.

Geofencing uses software to draw a virtual line around a specific area, followed by telling you when a mobile device enters this boundary. This is beneficial in a couple of different ways. First, you can see which stores someone goes to, including a competitor. And when this information is matched with real-time behavioral data, you can see what they’re buying or perhaps thinking about buying. Your business can then send out its own offers for competing or complementary products at the exact time a prospect is looking to make a purchase.

If you’re working on your holiday marketing plan, BDEX wants to help you have an even more profitable season. To learn more about what we offer, call us at 917-410-6616 or send an email to info@bdex.com.