What is the foundation of all effective marketing?
Most people’s favorite part of building a marketing campaign are the visuals. While how your marketing looks is important, who you are sending it to, and how you are sending it should be the first step with any marketing. Those two things inform everyone’s favorite part of marketing: results.
It’s like a luxury car…looks beautiful and sure makes an impression, but if there’s no gas in the tank, it won’t go anywhere. Going (hopefully fast) is the goal!
So, how do you know what the best fuel is for your marketing campaign?
The right fuel is determined by who your audience is, what your campaign objectives are, and the best ways to reach your audience.
Which comes back to the two most common questions we get asked:
- What data do I need for marketing?
- How do I reach my customers?
What data do I need for marketing?
Really the first question is: what data is available? Viant had a great illustration about the different types of marketing data.
Data Types (Explained with Cows)
You own a cow. You know the cow’s name, what it eats and where it sleeps. These are your customers; you have their contact information in your CRM. They know you have their information.
You rent some cows from a friend for a fee but you don’t necessarily know the cow’s name, what it eats, or where it sleeps. You have to pay your friend each time you need some milk. Second-party data is first-party data sold to another company for a specific use. For example, say you own a company and you looking to expand into a new market. You can buy a list of first-party customer data from a company in the new market you are tapping into and market to them for an agreed-upon number of times. However, with the increased privacy and data laws using second-party data can sometimes be problematic.
There’s a village full of cows that were bought, rented, or found. The cows with similar traits are herded together and sold to you. You don’t know where the cows came from or sometimes if this is even a real cow. Traditional list data and many digital audiences call into this category. Which is one reason it’s so important to get data from a good source! You need to be able to trust that you aren’t buying fake cows or ones that don’t match the traits you need. Another thing to remember about 3rd party data is that it is the most impacted by the cookie and privacy laws! Relying too much on traditional 3rd party data can set you up for failure in the future.
Looking into the future with post cookie advertising, traditional 2nd and 3rd party data channels are going to change. The ways to gather consumer data have already changed in a lot of ways. For example, Connected TV doesn’t support cookies and instead relies on IP targeting. This is data you can use for marketing but doesn’t have the same types of information you would get with traditional list data. You are going to get demographic data and location data but probably not names or a specific address. Using IP targeting is a great way to maintain your same flow of data-driven campaigns while still working within updated privacy laws.
This is often called people-based data. When you use people-based data you know you are reaching real people in real households.
What data do you actually need?
The data you need is based on two things: What do you know about the people you are trying to reach? What is your goal with this campaign? What you know about who you are trying to reach impacts your demographics and helps informs decisions about methods and channels. Your campaign goal also helps you figure out what channels to use as well as campaign scale and message.
Questions you can ask to help learn about your customers:
- What are their basic demographics?
What gender to they identify as? How old are they? Where do they live? What is their relationship status? Are they educated?
- What do they do for work?
What’s their job title and description? But more than that, are they a decision maker? What do they influence at work?
- What are their interests?
Do they have hobbies or interests? What do they do in their free time? Are they part of a community?
- What do they want and why can’t they have?
This a big thing for figuring out what you can do to help them! What are their goals and dreams? What are their pain points? Like, what keeps them up at night?
- Why wouldn’t they buy from you?
What’s stopping them from buying from you? What objections may they have?
- What ways would they prefer to interact with you?
Do they use social media? Do like a particular social media? Is a phone call the best way to reach them?
Learning about your customers and the best way to communicate with them is the foundation of effective marketing! Effective marketing = results!