3 Different Ways Top Brand Marketers Choose Digital Suppression Segments to Save Millions in Ad Spend

Marketing Innovation

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3 Different Ways Top Brand Marketers Choose Digital Suppression Segments to Save Millions in Ad Spend

Marketing Innovation

As defined in our previous post, suppression is the tactic of removing specific consumer segments from a marketing campaign audience.

With the advent of data onboarding, postal and email audiences can be used for ad suppression in digital channels.

By connecting offline data to online channels for suppression, we see marketers saving millions in digital ad spend and decreasing new customer acquisition costs by up to 65%.

How does onboarding for ad suppression achieve results of this magnitude?

Read on for three ways our customers successfully use the tactic:

1). Suppression based on customer attributes

Let’s say a brand’s digital audience for a seasonal campaign consists of their entire customer records population. They could decide to suppress a core segment of customers that don’t need the messaging of this campaign for a number of reasons.

For example, a seasonal campaign doesn’t need to reach customers who frequent the retailer already and will see offers in store.

Similarly, a trial sign-up ad for a newly introduced service should not display for customers already subscribed to a higher tier service from the retailer.

2). Prior-exposure and purchase based suppression

In any marketer’s digital audience, there may be customers who have already seen the offer and/or purchased the product in the ad. By onboarding prior customers to their ad platforms, marketers can suppress these consumers from irrelevant campaigns for products they already own.

Onboarding also enhances the ability of marketing platforms to cap and limit exposure to a campaign across channels. Platforms are capable of suppressing based on prior exposure only in the channel that a platform delivers in, but data onboarding can integrate exposure data from offline channels.

Erica DePalma, VP, Digital Marketing at Media Horizons, shares an example of this with Schwan’s Home Service.

Schwan’s was a perfect candidate,” she explains, “for channel integration as they not only convert new customers online, but also through ‘at-the-door’ fundraising and grassroots efforts.

As a result of these offline acquisition tactics, digital platforms could not suppress all customers with prior exposure, but with integrated data through LiveRamp onboarding, Schwan’s improved their digital intelligence and media efficiency “by enabling suppression for the audiences that were exposed offline.”

Schwan’s was able to save 65% in new customer acquisition as a result. This mode of cross-channel suppression is only possible through onboarding.

Brands can also onboard 3rd party data to improve digital marketing campaigns, which brings us to a third suppression use case:

3). Using 3rd party data to identify customers that do not fit the campaign

According to Donna Hamilton, VP, Sales and Business Development at Alliant, the data and analytics company’s core business is “building custom models for optimization and targeting.”

A typical use case for their models, Hamilton tells us, is “to improve overall campaign profitability by suppressing underperforming consumer records.”

Beyond basic demographic data, 3rd party data vendors provide many data attributes that could inform a suppression strategy:

  • Geographic data – this can be used to suppress customers who are not from the region where the campaign or product is relevant
  • Profession data – this can be used to suppress ads for products meant for specific industry professionals, when those ads would have been served to students researching the industry
  • Shopper portraits – this data can be used to suppress consumers with a lack of engagement or purchase history for the product being offered

Brand marketers already benefit from these strategies

“Using data onboarding for current customer suppression has proven to be a successful tactic in display, social, and email programs.”  – Erica DePalma, VP, Digital Marketing at Media Horizons


At LiveRamp, we have seen brands saving millions of dollars by eliminating wasted impressions within media and marketing platforms such as 4info, Dstillery, Millennial Media, and RadiumOne.

We have seen highly advanced digital marketing teams like Schwan’s benefit from these strategies.

The only way that this is possible across the digital marketing ecosystem is through data onboarding.

To learn more, we invite you to download our “15 Minute Guide to Data Onboarding“.