That little AddThis button publishers affix to content that gives marketers share counts turned into a massive data collection tool. On Wednesday the company will announce the launch of Purchase Graph, a data set aimed at improving the ability to identify and target Web audiences during the purchase cycle.
AddThis' strategy to support paid, owned and earned media by building tools to connect consumers and advertisers will help it maintain one of the largest social and interest graphs on the open Web outside of Google and Facebook, with the ability to collect data on 1.3 billion Web users and about 250 million targetable profiles.
Behind the strategy sits AddThis President and CEO Ramsey McGrory, former head of Yahoo's Right Media.
The purchase-based audiences are created through a combination of offline purchase behavior third-party data and AddThis proprietary online search, behavior and social data. Collectively, the data comes from more than 1,200 offline retailers and 50 million households.
The segments and analytics provide marketers with access to targeted audiences to create paid, owned and earned media strategies, according to Paul Moore, AddThis SVP of Data Science. "About 90% of purchases still occur offline in retail locations and big box stores," he said. "And as we move into the Q4, it will become more important for retailers."
Until now data research firms like Nielsen, comScore and Experian Hitwise have spearheaded the ability to combine offline with online data to target ads and follow purchase paths. The AddThis tools close the gap between data signals and behavior and purchase intent through about 20 segments for seasonal campaigns, from toys and women's apparel to gadgets and winter travel.
"We have the data from publishers that use the AddThis button, so it's like looking at the night sky with all its stars and identifying for the offline buyer the single bright one they should focus on online," Moore said.