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How to Maximize Your Data Activation Investment for Targeting

  • LiveRamp
  • 4 min read

For every technology, there is a maturity curve for use cases. For data activation, marketers who move up the maturity curve in their digital targeting can realize a quicker, stronger return on their initial investment. Still, we realize that it’s not easy to jump from established to emerging and emerging to leading-edge.

To help you land those jumps and get more out of data activation, we’ve laid out three digital targeting use cases and how they build on each other: targeting offline audiences online (crawl), frequency management (walk), and using second-party data (run).

Targeting offline audiences online

In its most basic form, data activation, or onboarding, is taking offline data such as email, name and postal, phone number, and other personally identifiable information (PII), and connecting it with the online world of cookies and mobile IDs.

How to: At the basic end of the spectrum, activation allows you to target audiences directly on a single platform, such as Facebook or Google. This can result in limited reach, as you’re only targeting within one channel or platform. To maximize reach of offline audiences online, you can work with a data connectivity platform that has the scale to activate audiences across a variety of DSPs, DMPs, and other ad platforms. Using a data connectivity platform in conjunction with a DMP reveals additional opportunities to increase scale and improve targeting of ads by appending third-party data.

Benefits: This increases audience reach and is more cost-effective, as digital advertising is comparatively cheaper than offline methods.

Sample use case: Target audiences who haven’t shopped in store for a few months with new promotions on social media. If you’re an auto dealership, try targeting car owners with an ad for service notifications in their favorite online publication.

What’s next: Digital targeting can occur in one channel or platform, but lots of advertisers will conduct cross-channel, sequential targeting that mirrors the way customers behave. With all these new affordable targeting capabilities across platforms and publishers, you’ll need to be wary of not overwhelming your audience. The ad fatigue struggle is real!

Frequency management

Now that you have the ability to target your offline customers online, you have to get smarter about how often they hear from you. Limiting the number of ad exposures to a customer is especially important if you’re also using offline marketing tactics—having an omnichannel view of your customers is key for frequency management.

How to: While frequency management can be executed via many DSPs, it’s most effective when it’s done cross-channel. This requires a third-party ad server—otherwise you’d have disparate silos of frequency management, which could turn into a nightmare. Many ad servers have robust capabilities with targeting specific audience segments, but this is only based on data from ads that are tracked by the ad server. Integrating an ad server and a DMP helps ad servers make better decisions on when to refrain from serving ads.

Benefits: Improve the customer experience by not overwhelming people with redundant messages, thereby reducing marketing waste.

Sample use case: Increase ad frequency to people who have recently signed up to join a loyalty program. An electronics retailer can decrease ad frequency for customers who recently bought a big-ticket item in-store, such as a TV.

What’s next: Frequency management, like any other tactic, ranges from simple to complex. It can be done in one channel or platform, but advertisers can also use an ad server and employ sophisticated measurement to conduct frequency capping across all channels and platforms. It’s imperative that advertisers maximize the data they have, but many advertisers have gaps in their data and must find a way to supplement their databases. If only there was a way to fill those gaps.

Using data collaboration

Good news—there is! Data collaboration gives advertisers ample opportunities to augment their first-party data with first-party data collected by a trusted partner. In a world where data is becoming scarce, and a complete view of the customer is impossible to achieve alone, data partnerships are a path forward for companies that want to create better, more enduring customer relationships.

Benefits: Working with a trusted and reputable company offers an advertiser security and transparency in using second-party data. With access to new attributes and data from a partner, advertisers can improve customer and prospect targeting.

How to: DMPs have traditionally been the hosts of second-party data sharing, but this type of data-sharing is limited to the online world of cookies, since DMPs don’t handle PII. This is when it’s critical to use a data connectivity platform that has the technology to handle identity translation and data access through strict permissioning, controls, and administrative access. LiveRamp Safe Haven connects permissioned data in a privacy-conscious manner, enabling you to collaborate with trusted partners to build a more complete view of the customer.

Use case examples: An airline and a hotel can uncover the overlap between their CRMs and cross-sell/upsell to this audience. A clothing retailer who starts an infant apparel line can partner with a baby food brand to share relevant data and reach new audiences.

Wherever you are in your data activation journey, there’s a lot you’ll be able to use to improve your marketing. To learn more, check out our e-book, Turbo-Charge Your Media Plan with Data Activation.