How advertisers are leveraging offline data and transparent reporting to power campaigns

Laura Goldstone, senior director, communications and branding strategy, AdDaptive Intelligence

As the digital advertising industry navigates opportunities and challenges, from introducing new creative types to evolving regulatory practices and shifting standards, going back to basics is helping ensure a strong foundation on which to build a lucrative future.

Among the advertising basics to which teams are turning is the data used to target key accounts, customers or devices. However, owning the data is no longer the main differentiator for successful campaigns. Instead, the way a company uses data can fuel a competitive advantage that is defensible, sustainable and unique.

Agencies and brands are putting vendor technology under the microscope

The way data is used alongside vendor’s technology is now of the utmost importance to agencies and brands.

Since different ad tech vendors often tap into the same pool of data providers to meet their targeting needs, how they leverage data and pair it with proprietary technology makes a world of difference to their clients’ outcomes. 

When advertisers are deciding which technology vendors to work with, as vital as it is for agencies and brands to have accurate information, they’re also realizing data can no longer stand alone. A tech vendor’s data sources must be paired with powerful proprietary technology to make a strong enough business case for the advertiser to work with that vendor. 

Cookies are costing advertisers accuracy and ad spend

Advertisers need to ensure the data they are using is correct. 

For example, cookies initially seemed like a helpful way to group users based on their browsing history for campaign segmentation, but they have proven to be inaccurate. Cookies place people in several segments simultaneously (such as different income brackets, age ranges and professions), and people’s preferences change faster than cookies can keep up. The result is that cookies cost advertisers money as impressions are wasted on people who do not qualify as their target audience and with whom their message will not resonate.

When strategically aligned and parallel in power, data and technology create a goldmine for advertisers, but accuracy is paramount.

Making offline data actionable online for accurate targeting

As the industry moves away from cookies, other data sources and targeting approaches can better meet the needs of advertisers. 

Offline data is one avenue that has proven beneficial for agencies and brands. It pulls validated information from real-world sources such as business registrations, SEC filings, public directories, census data, building permits, loyalty cards and more. This data is more accurate than cookies because it comes directly from the source. 

For instance, a business registration is not inferred and does not change based on browser behavior; it is a legal document filed by the business and is, therefore, accurate and reliable. As an example, on a consumer level, census data is filed by the individual and does not leave anything up to chance. 

Targeting campaigns that use offline data like these examples reduce wasted budget and ensure accuracy.

The next step is crucial — powering reliable data with technology. Once advertisers leverage offline data, they must confirm their tech partner can use that data to suit their needs. Technology that can map validated offline data to unique online identifiers will make those data points actionable for digital advertising. 

Validated offline data points are impressive, but they only matter if they can be matched to online identifiers such as IP addresses, mobile signals, device IDs or location coordinates. That way, offline data doesn’t stay offline — it becomes actionable by being brought online and can be used to target critical audiences accurately and at scale.

Transparent analytics drive more effective campaigns for advertisers

Lastly, agencies and brands should look for tech vendors that provide transparent reporting that describes the efforts taken and the effectiveness of each. 

The value of technology that powers transparent analytics cannot be understated. Even if analytics reports start downstream from the targeting conversation, their importance in providing insights into advertisers’ audiences, engagement, targeting parameters, messaging, creatives and optimization strategies is undeniable. 

If the technology can’t prove the effectiveness of the data, advertisers risk falling into the dangerous trap of inferring information and wasting ad spend. To mitigate that risk, advertisers are evaluating how transparent vendors’ analytics reports are and how to use those insights to fuel better results continuously.

Agencies that work with vendors who leverage reliable, validated data, such as offline data rather than cookies; power that data with proprietary technology that enables accuracy and scale; and provide transparent reporting to prove the effectiveness of these efforts and fuel strategic conversations for subsequent campaigns will reap the benefits of positive business outcomes and long-lasting industry partnerships.

Sponsored by AdDaptive Intelligence

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