PreciseTarget and Equifax recently announced the expansion of a strategic data partnership that will focus on the personal taste of shoppers.
Beginning in early November, the partnership will offer new products that give retailers the ability to personalize content and messages based on the individual shopper's tastes.
The PreciseTarget platform relies on machine learning. Consumer decisions are driven by personal taste, the focus of the platform. It groups people, products, and brands based on consumer taste.
“This yields a 50% to 100% improvement in ad performance and purchase conversion,” wrote Rob McGovern, founder and CEO of PreciseTarget, in an email to Digital News Daily.
The partnership combines PreciseTargets Product Taste audience segmentation with the Equifax Discretionary spend segments.
The first version is available only in the U.S, where PreciseTargets support more than 99% of the market. For the first time, retailers will be able to purchase an acquisition audience that incorporates information about the consumer’s purchasing capability.
Digital News Daily caught up with McGovern to talk about the partnership. What follows are excerpts from the discussion.
Digital News Daily: How long has PreciseTarget been working with Equifax?
McGovern: We’ve been working on the project for about one year. Both companies realize the importance of customer acquisition for retailers. Thus, rather than rushing a product to the market, we conducted significant R&D in the development process.
DND: What type of metrics is being used and how does it integrate into PreciseTarget's platform?
McGovern: We’re very focused on improving conversion. In our retrospective testing, we’ve seen dramatic improvements in our ability to predict customer purchases. I believe retailers will be very impressed when they see the significant improvements driven by this new data set.
DND: How is the data being used?
McGovern: The data is delivered as off-the-shelf audiences for the retailers. It will be available in the major data stores, including LiveRamp and ODC. Additionally, the data will be available at all the major DSP platforms including Trade Desk and Google DV 360.
DND: What type of new metrics is the company developing for brands?
McGovern: We have created off-the-shelf profile data on each consumer.
Now, for the first time, retailers can know and understand their customers in a cross-merchant context. Before retailers only knew the customer by one or two purchased items. Now, they have a complete profile, helping them target customers for acquisition and expansion.
DND: What businesses have you created and how does each play into the other?
McGovern: I previously founded CareerBuilder.com, which helped over 100 million people upgrade their jobs. I have a passion for difficult data problems and view the Amazon threat to retailers as an epic data challenge.
Consumers want choices. Helping ensure the survival of non-Amazon retailers has captured my attention. I believe the future is in programmatic retail, where retailers have more data scientists than merchandisers.
DND: What is the best piece of advice you ever received, why, and from whom did you receive it?
McGovern: Don’t focus on the technology -- focus on the customer’s problem. Tech people are too quick to focus on a whiz-bang solution, rather than truly understanding the problem to be solved.
DND: What industry challenges keep Rob up at night?
McGovern: There are two disruptive mega trends happening in retail.
First is fast fashion, best described as a rapidly shortened catalog. In the "old days," which is only five years ago, retailers were living on a 14-week catalog season. Now, catalogs are turning much more quickly, with Zara taking the lead with a new assortment every two weeks.
Second is programmatic advertising. Customer targeting is increasingly dependent on AI engines to programmatically target ads. Our customers are demanding data at a quickening pace to rapidly market their new fast fashion products.
My data scientists have learned that "next week" is never an acceptable answer to the digital marketer.