Commentary

The Power Of Purchase Data

With an ever-increasing number of shopping channels available, marketers and retailers today must continually evolve their data-driven marketing strategy -- or risk falling behind the competition. This requires continuous touchpoints with the audience to not only help drive them to their stores, but to help influence the purchasing decision while inside the store.

The driving force behind any data-driven marketing plan is first-party data, which is of incredible importance to every company -- especially those in the advertising space. Publishers and networks often have so much first-party data that the challenge lies in unifying this data, as opposed to having the data exist in disparate systems across their ecosystem.  (Technologies such as data management platforms (DMPs) clearly help here, and their importance is both immense and obvious.)

What about companies that don’t have much first-party data?  Consider CPG brands -- they may have Web sites and/or apps, but the traffic they see pales in comparison to the consumers who purchase their products in stores all over the world.  But that’s right -- they do have a ton of consumers. So we can get first-party data from their CRM or POS system, right?  Think again. Their products are sold in other companies’ stores, so they do not have access to this data unless they work with a third party. 

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Enter purchase-level data. Companies like Kantar work with grocery stores and retailers to gather SKU-level purchase data, which is then matched with online cookies, creating powerful anonymous online shopper profiles. Marketers can now target their messaging to reach an entire audience of consumers who have purchased one particular product. While this data is cool for a lot of companies, it is essential for those CPG brands that otherwise have no way to reach these consumers online. 

With access to this purchase level data, a CPG or Consumer Electronics brand can create a better customer relationship.  They can learn more about the shopping habits of their consumers, as well as consumers who purchased a competitor’s product over their own. They can begin to understand the buying patterns of their consumers and find true prospects whom would be interested in their products. They can even predict when prospects or consumers will be in-market to buy their products.

By combining this purchase data with other first- and third-party data available, brands can now target consumers across device/platform and media to better engage with them. They can serve display, video, mobile, and social ads to increase brand awareness and drive sales. They can personalize content. They can create customizable coupons and serve them to their customers. They can conduct a full, 360 degree view of their ROI -- seeing which consumers saw ads, in which context, and how it contributes to an increase in their buying pattern.  This is the Holy Grail -- a way for agencies and brands to prove the efficacy of different marketing channels, and a way to optimize advertising not only by forum, but also by target.

Talk about a game-changer -- this is it. Game over. Brands can now be far more efficient with their ad spends and far more effective in creating and maintaining a relationship with their consumers.

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