Digital marketing is experiencing a revolution.

Agencies have more granular insight than ever before into the performance of their campaigns. Gone are the days of choosing media channels based on broad demographics and using generic ad impressions.

Marketers can now target specific audiences on multiple devices and measure engagement at each touchpoint to create comprehensive roadmaps for conversion. You can confirm that the right users are seeing digital ads, and even serve websites with dynamically generated content tailored to each user.

The best part? Each intervention can be assigned to its respective point of contact and measured. This enables agencies to become better strategic advisors, letting clients know exactly what works (and what doesn’t).

The driving force behind this seismic shift is Data – the collection, tools for analysis and automation algorithms that are used to capture and nurture the best leads.

But how should agencies deal with this new flow of data? What should they specifically focus on and what can they afford to ignore?

This post answers these and other questions. Let’s dive in.

4 data-driven ways to create more targeted advertising campaigns

Creating data-driven campaigns doesn’t have to be overly complicated or take months. The foundation of a solid campaign that uses the power of data to reach the right audience can be built on four main tactics.

1. Become programmatic when buying media.

The old methods of buying media have changed. Gone are the days of checking spreadsheets, negotiating tariffs endlessly, and making inflexible long-term contracts that you hold onto – even when it turns out they don’t work.

Programmatic buying is an automated method of buying digital media in real time that is easily customizable. That said, if budgets change, if you want to test new messages, or if placements don’t produce good results, media purchases can be changed or scaled immediately.

According to eMarketer, 83.5% of the US dollar digital display ad was served using programmatic technology in 2019.

In 2021, that number will be 90%, and US advertisers are expected to invest nearly $ 80 billion in digital displays.

Programmatic spending on digital display ads in US emarketers

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This process provides a direct way for advertisers to iteratively run campaigns based on data drawn from first, second, and third party sources.

With access to advanced data and the ability to make changes based on the information with no lead time, Programmatic Buy quickly optimizes media placement and gives advertisers the ability to make changes immediately due to internal changes or external market forces.

2. Make sure the right people are seeing your ads.

Digital publishers and platforms have their own metrics for displaying ads on specific channels. However, the market is changing rapidly and the data they offer is not always accurate.

If real Prospects won’t see your ads then the money you spent on placement is a waste. It is important to check that the numbers and demographics promised to you match the reality of the products delivered.

The best way to do this is through third party review of ads. However, if you’re not ready to make that investment, you can testify for yourself that the tools and tactics used by advertising partners are working as promised.

It can be difficult to make sure users see the ads that were served to them. Some platforms still use the old “impressions served” model, where you pay for each impression as soon as the ad loads. But how do you know she was seen?

This can get especially complex when it comes to videos. Not only do you need to consider how much is being displayed by the player, but also how much of the video has been viewed.

Media Rating Council guidelines count a video ad as viewed if at least 50% of the ad is visible for two consecutive seconds.

3. Personalize websites with dynamic content.

Your client’s website is made up of dozens, hundreds, or even thousands of unique visual elements – but there’s no reason why they need to be presented the same way to every single visitor. In fact, it can be customized for individual users based on what you know about them, providing dynamic content that is most likely to be relevant to them first.

You already expect your advertising partners to understand web visitors and only run your ad for relevant goals. You can use the same logic to create different versions of your website to display for each individual visitor.

Use the data you have about each user to customize the experience. This data can come from browsing history, demographics, and your existing consumer data repository.

Even if data isn’t available for a particular user, your website can make smart adjustments based on navigation behavior from the first click. This personalization ensures that every user has the most engaging experience and sees relevant offers that guide them through the conversion funnel.

4. Use personal measurement to track multiple devices.

Statista estimates that mobile will outperform desktops in total ad spend by 2022. But that doesn’t mean you can focus solely on mobile devices.

statia mobile desktop ads show data-driven marketing

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The modern buying journey is not always linear – consumers enter and exit the funnel at will on different devices. You’ll interact with brands on computers, smartphones, and tablets multiple times before converting, and expect a consistent experience the entire way. The only way to provide this is to keep track of relevant data about each consumer – and this cannot be fully achieved with device-specific technologies like cookies.

Instead, personal measurement uses unique identifiers that can be used to track engagement between devices. This allows you to measure ROI by channel, get accurate reach and frequency measurements, and even link offline conversions to online interactions.

With so many touchpoints in today’s sales funnels, mapping conversion to “last click” is no longer an effective way to make decisions. Having the right messaging at each point is critical to keeping consumers moving as they travel, and you need to tie everything to conversion.

Your advertising campaign shouldn’t be a shot in the dark

Without the visibility of data-driven tactics, the customer journey is difficult to follow and it is nearly impossible to match conversions with the right engagements.

Using the right information to recommend media purchases, news placement, website, and touchpoint mapping can improve all of your marketing campaigns from shooting in the dark to targeted efforts and set the course on a specific element align that the brand is the first to miss time.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in January 2017 and has been updated for completeness.

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