Digital advertising is still on the rise and shows no signs of slowing down in the near future. Companies are constantly seeking out the best new ad platforms to utilize, but frequently struggle with the ability to fully capitalize on their potential after they find a new option. Since the majority of modern ad engines work best when used in conjunction with a company’s existing first-party and third-party data, it can sometimes be difficult to fully utilize the platforms if there isn’t sufficient infrastructure in place.
Truly utilizing some platforms means having a complete understanding of your existing consumer. Without that as the base, it’s difficult to monitor the effectiveness of ad campaigns. Depending on the platform, campaigns can vary greatly.
For example, Instagram ads may prove successful towards a younger audience for an apparel company, whereas Google AdWords campaigns may be more effective for the same company at an older demographic. This doesn’t mean that if you tried to target a younger demographic on AdWords that the platform is a waste of ad spend, it means that the criteria for targeting was not what it should be.
While that’s a simplistic example, the point remains the same. Lacking a clear grasp of your consumer can lead to issues regarding correctly using different advertising growth engines. To achieve success, companies need a way to analyze all aspects of their customers. This doesn’t mean only checking google analytics to see which demographics are interacting most commonly with your site.
Understanding Customers Through Data
Think of some questions that would really help narrow down how your company is performing in different areas. What products are cross-selling most effectively for a given age range, and what platform is that on? What’s the most common driving distance a consumer is willing to travel to arrive at your location? Are consumers purchasing before or after you are sending out a mail piece? Is your event marketing driving sales from a particular demographic or at all?
These are all questions that can be answered within your own company’s data; but you need to know what questions to ask, have a solid database architecture and create a team that can effectively analyze this information as it pertains specifically to your industry and business.
Let’s take the third question, “are consumers purchasing before or after you are sending out a mail piece,” as an example. If a company doesn’t have a real time data feed of mailed date and sale date, they may be needlessly mailing certain consumers. Take the perspective of a computer retailer, who on average has customers purchase every 3 years. They have Consumer A that they have a mail piece going to on March 1st, but they actually purchased a computer from them in February. Since their sales data isn’t speaking to their mailing list, they have effectively wasted that mail piece. Multiply this concept over a few thousand customers in any given month, and there is a clear improvement that can be made simply by improving data infrastructure.
When all aspects of a companies data don’t speak with one another, there is frequently a waste in ad spend similar to this one. The above example pertains to the physical world of direct mail, which is much simpler to monitor than a digital ad growth engine. As more factors such as age and cross-sell are factored in, the potential issues continue to increase in the digital space.
Data Analysis For An Ad Growth Engine
Conducting thorough data analytics and analysis can solve these problems, preparing your company for any ad growth engine on the market. As mentioned before, the foundation for this lies within the information and database architecture for a company. Without the correct structure, data analysis will be pulled from a flawed base, making any findings questionable for any decisions regarding ad performance. Once that base is established, it will be easier to monitor campaign performance amongst various ad growth engine platforms. Let’s look at another example from the digital space to view another potential impact.
Take a company that operates off the physical address of consumers for targeting purposes, such as any IP Address to physical address matching platform. Successfully using this platform to start would require accurate data hygiene regarding all physical addresses in your CRM, otherwise performance and address matching could be negatively impacted. While the campaign is running and after it’s finished, those same addresses targeted need to be researched to see how different consumers reacted with your company during the campaign.
It could be that this campaign caused a specific product to sell at a much higher rate than average. Maybe consumers that had previously purchased one type of product or hit a spend threshold were much more likely to respond in the ad campaign. Being able to determine these criteria help tailor your targeting methodology towards this specific platform, maximizing your return on investment. Again, this starts with the foundations of being able to analyze those factors in the first place.
At Untitled, we help companies not only establish the base to conduct these types of analysis, but help them launch campaigns and find the platforms to use. Having strong database architecture helps your company utilize an ad growth engine, and positively influence all business decisions. Interested in learning more? Contact us to see how we can help.