Data & Digital Channels

Introduction

The technology that has become standard in digital advertising is changing how brands advertise to their audiences. In today's market, it's more than having a great tag or some shiny creative, it's about leveraging data to enrich the audience's experience with the brand/product. The following topics cover the basic understanding of data and online advertising, and what needs to be considered.

Types of Digital Advertising

Display advertising:
Display advertising (also known as banner advertising) is a form of advertising that conveys a commercial message visually using text, logos, animations, videos, photographs or other graphics.

Social network advertising:
Social network advertising, also social media targeting, is a group of terms that are used to describe forms of online advertising that Focuses on social networking services.

Native advertising:
Native advertising is the use of paid advertising that matches the look, feel and function of the media format in which they appear. Native advertising is often found as recommended content on web pages/media feeds.

Email marketing:
Email marketing is the act of sending a commercial message, typically to a group of people, using email. In its broadest sense, every email sent to a potential or current customer could be considered email marketing.

Video advertising:
Video advertising covers online display advertisements that have video content within them as well as advertising that occurs before, during and after a video stream on the internet.

Generating and Building Data

Marketing platforms such as Sizmek and Google's Doubleclick have enabled users/marketers to build data, insights and analytics when delivering digital advertising. When an advertiser books a placement on a website or phone app its is understood that the data generated by the impression can be mined to be later used by the market

Listed below are the data categories from which you collect and use your online campaign’s data:

Retargeting
Retargeting is a cookie-based technology that uses simple Javascript code to anonymously ‘follow’ your audience all over the Web. So when a user visits your website a cookie file is stored in the user's browser that can later be accessed for advertisement targeting. When the users continue to look on the Web the cookie will inform your marketing platform to serve an ad where appropriate ensuring only visitors of your website are reengaged.

Contextual Targeting
Contextual targeting is where ads are displayed based on the content of the website. The process involves matching ads to relevant sites using your keywords, topics or a visitor's recent browsing history.

Programmatic Advertising
Programmatic advertising is the automated process of buying and selling online ad space. Targeting is used to segment audiences using data provided to make sure the ads are delivered to the correct audience.

Targeting Data

Targeting is a key element to a successful advertising campaign and it's about showing the right audience at the right time.

When it comes to using data to help with this, the main source is advertisers due to the customer's data collected, then publishers as they have access to browsing data followed by companies such as Facebook who have a large amount of data based on the collection and storage of services to customers over time.

Data also may be 1st party (collected directly from consumers), 2nd party (first-party data shared directly with a partner) or 3rd party data (data sold on via an intermediary).

Below references the main elements that can be broken out regarding data and what is accessible when collecting or targeting:

User Data

  • Demographic
    • Demographic data is statistical data collected about the characteristics of the population, e.g. age, sex or education level for example.
  • Interest
    • Interest data is the interests of the prospect/customer collected and typically stored in CRM/marketing profile's.
  • Browsing
    • Accessible history from sites visited.
  • Location
    • Shows potential customers' physical locations.
  • Purchasing
    • Previous sales enquiries / purchasing transactions or similar products/services.

Device Data

  • Browser
    • The name of users' browsers, for example, Internet Explorer or Firefox.
  • Operating system
    • Users' operating system, for example, Windows, Linux, Macintosh, or iOS.

Contextual data

  • Ad format
    • Visual enhancements to search ads that more prominently display information about your business, such as a phone number, or your website's domain in the headline.
  • Environment
    • This can include data from customer interactions, social media, news.

Campaign data

  • Dwell time
    • The duration that the ad was dwelled upon.
  • Click-through rate (CTR)
    • The number of impressions that resulted in clicks out of served impressions.
  • Interaction rate
    • Interaction rate is used to measure how often people interact with your ad after it's shown.

Recent statistics show that demographics Data is The Most Used Data Type by Digital Marketers to Target Their Audience With a Rate of 95%

Leveraging Data

It is important to think as you approach your next consumer engagement opportunity 'How can you make existing data work for this' and every time a creative is run weather this is a facebook ad or fully custom data-driven html5 banner campaign you need to think about how you can increase your connection with the digital consumer.

The main goal of using your data is to improve your targeting/retargeting. You also need to make sure you are capturing your user intent data which is mainly captured from the behavior of the users within the browser.

You want to be increasingly deepening the engagement which can only come about by growing the data with an approach to monitor, improve and optimize each time you run the creative.

With a successful approach to data-driven creative executions, digital advertisers can target the experience to the customer, expanding the customer relationships and grow a long term brand loyalty.

It's also important to note that with technology continually changing, the most stable strategies will see your data at the core and with this in mind it is important to make sure it's optimized and up to date as this shapes the way your ads behave and perform in all relevant advertising streams. As with all marketing, you need to measure what you do to know if it was successful.

Investing in the Right Approach

The return on investment ROI is the ultimate challenge and goal for today's marketer. The ongoing ability to justify budgets is always vitally important but the marketer always has the mission to understand what they hope to measure from the marketing activity as focusing on clicks doesn't account for how the audience is relating to the brand, so the evaluation of success is not always that simple. Not all campaigns have an end goal or conversion.

So to understand how you can effectively measure the ROI of digital advertising campaigns, goals must be set. Without a goal, how can success be measured?

A Suggested strategy to apply for setting goals is the SMART goal system. SMART, or Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely. Therefore, a SMART goal incorporates all of these criteria to help focus your efforts and increase the chances of achieving that goal.

Applying the smart system around a campaign idea and the inclusion of metrics you can use, a basic ROI will start to form. So keeping the smart goal system in mind will help you keep track of effort required at each stage regarding spending and help equate time spent against the campaign

The Future of Data-driven Advertising

With the landscape and technology rapidly changing how brands and advertisers interact with their audiences via data-driven advertising we can only see this trend grow. A target of total immersive advertising seems to be the only outcome of this growth and a level of 1 to 1 communication with the consumer from the beginning of the interaction until they are ready to engage is the default thinking.

This thinking will only be brought about with data transparency due to new stringent rules such as GDPR regarding the use of data and consumers becoming sensitive to what a brand or advertiser knows about them. So rather than 3rd party data being the main factor, fully consented 1st party data will play a more pivotal role in consumer marketing conversations.

Brands should also look to achieve a more balanced approach with their digital marketing. Rather than the ‘target at all costs’, they need to go back to basics and create messaging that engages. Mike Klinkhammer, Director of Advertising Sales EU at eBay, reiterates what makes a good ad: “It’s delivering the relevant message to the right user at the right point in time. That’s still the big vision for advertisers and publishers alike. There are two ingredients – the technology that delivers it and the data that informs it.”

So with data in hand, it's important to look at connecting audiences with brands in a personal, and emotional way. Emotional appeal in marketing helps make and inform purchasing decisions, a marketing campaign can be generated that has a strategic data approaches with an emotional /creative focus.

Also see our Chatbots and Dynamic Banners articles in POOLCASTS