With the on-going evolution of digital marketing, the ability to target users has become more and more sophisticated. I remember having a conversation about this with a friend who has been in the game since the pre-digital era. He said “It’s crazy what you’re able to know now and how granular you are able to target. It[marketing] used to be that you just cast a net and see what you pick up.” Of course there were always sophisticated ways to cast a net even pre-digital, direct mail namely was probably the most sophisticated. Did the catalog REALLY help drive purchases? By scoring data then mailing half of an audience and seeing what happens over the next 6, 12, 18 months you could measure incremental lift and begin to understand the value per catalog.
Today’s digital ecosystem is actually very similar to this model. The difference is the amount of data we have now and the sources we can target users in with that data.
The difference from pre-digital to post-digital isn’t that we’re not casting nets anymore. It’s just that now, we know what ponds to cast nets over first AND we can learn quickly how big of a net to cast
Consider Facebook, I like to talk about Facebook because they have more extensive targeting abilities than most sources. When I setup an ad account for a business on Facebook, I’m looking at these different targeting capabilities:
- Page Fans (all those people who chose to follow you)
- Friends of Fans (the people who know those people following you)
- CRM data (your email list uploaded and matched back against Facebook emails)
- Website traffic (pixel your site, now target anyone on Facebook who visited your site)
- Target all the people who didn’t convert
- Target all the people who did and convert them as page fans
- exclude your existing fans so you’re not annoying them
- Target people who converted 30 days ago and have not since
- Lookalike modeling (model the attributes of specific users to find more of them)
- People who look like your CRM data
- People who look like your website traffic
- People who look like your website converters
- Combination of demographic, behavior and interests data
- This is the rich data attributes Facebook has on users because we have all said what we like, where we live, where we shop, etc. (creepy maybe, valuable definitely).
Look at that list. The first five ways to target all come from your existing data. All you have to do is segment your data and then leverage it creatively. Create different ads that resonate with those users specifically. This is what I mean when I say hyper-targeting. Aside from page fans, most of these targeting capabilities exist in search engines and display advertising as well.
The difference from pre-digital to post-digital isn’t that we’re not casting nets anymore. It’s just that now, we know what ponds to cast nets over first AND we can learn quickly how big of a net to cast.
How are you leveraging your data? What creative ways have you used data to target users? I’d love to hear about your experiences, shoot us an email, find us on social or comment below.