In the programmatic era, the more data you’ve got for your digital campaign, the better. So, when we see one of our clients with access to mountains of data that isn’t being captured or put to use, it makes us want to smack our foreheads against the wall.
Unfortunately for our foreheads — not to mention the walls in our office — good data goes to waste all the time, and CPG companies are sometimes the biggest offenders. The good news: It’s never too late to take advantage of your data. Let’s look at three major categories of data that are typically underused by CPG companies — and also at a few ways to put that data to work.
Many CPG companies have databases of consumers who purchase their products in physical stores. It’s valuable data that has often been painstakingly gathered through a variety of offline campaigns, from coupons, to loyalty card programs. But some companies don’t yet appreciate that data onboarding companies can match offline consumers with their online identities using cookies. And once a match is made, you’ve left with an ideal consumer to target online. To take a simple (fictional) example: A consumer buys a bottle of Johnson & Johnson’s baby shampoo at Safeway using a coupon she received in the mail. She then logs in to Facebook and sees an ad (perhaps offering a discount) for Johnson and Johnson’s baby bubble bath or lotion. (Yes, even Facebook has gotten into the onboarding game.)
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Just about every company is now active on a number of different social networks. The problem? All this great social data is often used only for campaigns on the specific network from which it’s gathered. Facebook data is used for Facebook campaigns, Twitter data for Twitter campaigns, and so on. But it doesn’t have to be this way. If Starbucks’ Facebook fans click on a photo of one its drinks, for example, Starbucks should be able to show those Facebook users ads not just on Facebook but also on all the different websites they visit. And thanks to demand side platforms (DMPs) that’s now entirely doable. DMPs allows you to “shorten” all of your social links so that they’re rerouted through the DMP’s domain. In non-ad geek speak, that means that every single social user who clicks on your link or photo can be targeted just about anywhere.
Traffic to your website, of course, arrives from lots of other sites. And which specific sites they are is valuable — and often overlooked — data. Say you’re a healthy snack brand, such as Robert’s American Gourmet Food, and you notice that a significant portion of your incoming traffic comes from Pinterest boards created by Moms interested in healthy school lunches. Meanwhile, another big portion of your traffic comes from a site dedicated to eating well on a tight budget. These are likely two very different types of consumers and it could make sense to retarget them with very different creatives. In short, all incoming traffic is not made alike, and that simple insight can make your campaigns much more effective.
As you can see, the data is there, just begging for someone to use it. And the ways in which you can take advantage extend far beyond traditional RTB. For some brands, private exchanges (programmatic premium) have become a way to safely take advantage of previously untapped data. You can now even send targeted tweets with Twitter’s brand new Tailored Audiences program. (Ever thought you’d be able to send thank you tweets or requests for reviews to people who just bought your product at Sears? Now you can…) And while native advertising can be resistant to targeting, the data you gather on your customers can still lead to much stronger, more informed, native campaigns.
In other words, if you’re in CPG and not using all your data, it’s time to act. Our office walls will thank you.