3 Data Factors to Consider When Reaching Consumers

The importance of data to a business’s success isn’t a recent discovery. For decades, the fate of American television shows rested solely in the hands of The Nielsen Company, which still monitors citizens’ viewing habits via customer surveys and meter readings today. However, thanks to an incredible influx of information from a variety of sources, including cell phones, computers, and even sensor-equipped trains, brands have more access to analytics than ever before. Harvard Professor Gary King even referred to this stream of statistics as a “big data revolution” (Harvard Magazine). While the amount of information is impressive, King doesn’t believe the quantity is the “revolutionary” part.

“The big data revolution is that now we can do something with the data.”

But for many companies, knowing how to properly use acquired information is a major problem. When brands consider the following factors of big data, they are better equipped to reach consumers:

Timeliness of the Data

“In the rush to avoid being left behind, I also see that many companies risk becoming data rich but insight poor, says data expert and author Bernard Marr (Forbes). “They accumulate vast stores of data they have no idea what to do with, and no hope of learning anything useful from.”

One major issue with businesses storing data but not taking action is that the information goes bad quickly. Companies will keep the information hoping it will be of some use though it’s “no longer relevant, inaccurate or outdated,” says Marr. In other words, “time is of the essence.” BDEX is different from other data providers in that brands can access real-time analytics the moment consumers browse and shop online. By knowing what consumers want at a given time, businesses are better able to meet consumers’ needs.

Source of the Data

There is a common misconception that first-party data is superior to third-party data. While first-party data is owned by the company that obtained it, the data does not change as it’s transferred from party to party. That’s why data expert Kevin Tan believes companies should focus “on the quality and transparency of the data, not the party label.”

“Advertisers that choose to work with high-quality data providers can obtain third-party data that is timely and clear. Used together with first-party data, top quality third-party data enables brands to build a fuller picture of target audiences,” says Tan. (Exchange Wire)

In order to determine the quality of the information they receive, brands should also know where their data providers get their statistics. Some sources, like the US Census Bureau, may contain a broad range of data, while others, like market research surveys, may provide more specific information. By making use of data from a variety of sources, brands have the ability to assess their target audience and create better marketing campaigns.

Accuracy of the Data

You may be wondering, “How do I know what data is usable?” After all, the sheer number of data resources suggests that some of the data will either 1) not pertain to every business or 2) be incorrect. And while it does not serve your business to cater to every online consumer, know that the specificity of the information big data, especially third-party data, can provide is unparalleled. Information is collected by a variety of tools ranging from desktop cookies and e-tags to smart phone IDs.

“All this allows firms to glean what sites users have visited, what they have shopped for, what postcode they live in and so on. From this the firms can infer other personal details, such as their income, the size of their home and whether it is rented or owned.” (The Economist)

While the amount of data can be overwhelming, utilizing big data will not only help you reach your consumers but anticipate what they want next.

BDEX is the first ever Data Exchange Platform (DXP) offering real-time data in a marketplace environment.  All seller and consumer information is impartially scored to ensure that data is and high-quality and accurate. To learn more about BDEX’s unique services, or to become a BDEX buyer or seller, click here.

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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Why You Shouldn’t Limit Retargeting to Lost Customers

According to retailnext.net, at least four trillion dollars’ worth of merchandise was abandoned in online shopping carts in 2014 and over half of that amount is likely recoverable. So how do you turn those losses into gains? By retargeting—but not just any type of retargeting.

Modern consumers know they have the world at their fingertips—literally. They browse online stores, compare prices, read reviews, and more on their desktops, laptops, tablets, and smart phones. In short, consumers hold the power; they can either choose to boost a brand’s sales or purchase a different, and possibly cheaper, option. That’s why retargeting should be an essential step in every marketer’s strategy.

What is Retargeting?

Founder at AdProfs, a digital advertising consultancy in Canada, Ratko Vidakovic describes retargeting as a way “to show ads directly to visitors after they’ve left a site or landing page, providing multiple shots at the conversion.” Once a consumer visits a particular website, a piece of code is added to the landing page. A cookie is then placed in the shopper’s browser and she is added to a specific audience list and targeted with ads customized to meet her needs and interests.

Retargeting is not a new concept, however. Brands, retailers, and agencies have been taking advantage of this marketing tool for years. But why limit retargeting to only your lost customers? By taking advantage of the breadth of information in a data marketplace, like BDEX’s, you can retarget customers who not only visited your website but those who are shopping for your products or services elsewhere.

Why Retarget?


“It’s not uncommon to see amazing CTRs [click-through rates] with retargeting, anywhere from 0.30-0.95% – which is 3-10x higher than the industry average,” according to Vidakovic. In short, retargeting is a proven way to increase conversions and is more effective than regular targeting alone.


By courting consumers who have previously purchased or currently show interest in a product or service, marketers have a much better chance of increasing conversion rates. Retargeting potential consumers who have shopped for the same or similar items on other sites or apps increases the chances of boosting sales even more.


How Can I Retarget Better?


Most DMPs offer retargeting solutions in some form or another, but with an ever-changing marketplace to consider and new technological innovations being introduced constantly, taking advantage of the most advanced retargeting solutions can be difficult. A DXP like BDEX tracks millions of users across every channel, making it easy to target campaigns geared toward particular consumers. For example, if your business sells garden equipment, you can retarget ads to people who have either been to your website or recently bought garden equipment on another website or are in the market for new garden equipment. When you add a real-time element from outside your system to the scenario, you can find the most recent, relevant data possible. You can retarget with even greater specificity, leading to more sales.


Retarget better with BDEX. With over 20 billion new data signals on U.S. consumers every month, the BDEX marketplace is the most comprehensive data source of its kind. Whether you want to target—or retarget—consumers, the BDEX Data Exchange Platform offers in-depth insights perfect for any marketing campaign. To learn more about BDEX’s unique services, click here.

Image credit: Flickr/Bernard Goldbach