Not long ago marketers rejoiced to the report of likes, follows, clicks and even search bar entries of their product or brand. Now that things have progressed though many are finding that that first-party data can be deceiving. Unfortunately, those IP addresses and that audience is usually who many marketers are advertising to. Without really knowing who is behind that IP or hashed email address marketers are often over-anxious to reach those who engage no matter what.

Take for instance – our “imaginary” millennial “Zachary” who has been browsing automotive web sites looking at fully loaded BMW’s, and the latest Lexus and luxury & sport models because his cousin has one. Taking only his online information such as IP, Latitude & Longitude and browser history and you would think he is definitely in-market. But if you take that a bit farther and try to match it to an identity you will find he is my son and won’t be driving until June (meaning he is under age), his income is zero and based on mine and I can tell you for a fact his first car will be neither of those listed.  But congratulations you’ve just spent part of your marketing budget on him and he has the direct mail pieces all over his bedroom walls to let me know I am failing as a provider for him as part of the family. While this example may seem extreme it is typical of what is found under the hood of many data-driven marketing campaigns. In order to reach the audience that is really in-market and that you really want it takes a process that most marketers only take the first few steps into.

To truly find the audience you want – the process begins by building a keyword audience like the one described above. Who has been visiting websites with your brand or product mentioned on the page more than once and who has visited those sites more than a few times each week. There are platforms now using AI that can call this cookie data and show patterns in behavior making this data more deterministic and likely less “bot” than what you will get using traditional methods. Once that audience is built you then take it to a third party source to validate and append the data. Meaning all the online data you can get will be analyzed by data point and the matching process begins using levels of confidence. Confidence levels will be higher if a hashed encrypted email is present over say Latitude and Longitude or IP. Once the data is matched back to a consumer profile file you can then start to apply demographic criteria you know is representative of your core audience. Things like “over 30”, “income of $50k or more”, “credit rating of 580 or higher”, etc. to weed out those who might be reading up as part of their vision board research. Once you have narrowed the audience down you can then build look-alike audiences if you have some additional budget and need more scale. But what most marketers forget is this approach may be more expensive and the process a bit longer, but the conversion rates and ability to target actual in-market consumers is often 3-4x that of traditional models.Once it is done you will have an audience that can be shared by all the silos of your marketing organization to tackle that omnichannel campaign for direct marketing, e-mail, mobile and programmatic display campaigns. So while it may seem like a lot, the results should be much better. The disclaimer again being you are only as good as your data provider and over all campaign. Even the best delivery method and data can not overcome poor campaign design or creatives.

The point here – is exactly that….the point. The data points used to find your audience will help to save you budget in the long run. It may narrow your scale, but it will increase your engagement and budget efficiency. Making sure you have the right data points that are up to date, verified and have had hygiene done on them will save you t headaches later time, budget and headaches later. In the end, it may also make you look like a hero.

Datastream’s OneDB records are all opted in, and consumers can be targeted offline by postal and telemarketing efforts, and online by keyword, interest, and intent. Audiences can be targeted by intent to purchase categories, IP Address (B2B & B2C), and by a device (desktop, tablet, and smartphone). Data can be licensed for append purposes, marketing purposes, and hygiene & verification uses. Datastream will also enhance and enrich a company’s existing records through their OneDB platform.

Datastream has a competitive edge licensing their data because there is a large appetite in the current market for a marriage of digital identities to households. The Consumer Master File is built from active online consumer and business audiences and can be traced back to a postal address. You can also find our data on platforms like LiveRamp datastore, Lotame, and others. For custom requests, contact us to build audiences for you using keyword and or location data. We specialize in that. (bryan@datastreamgroup.com)