Over the past decade, digital marketers have chipped away at these questions through the analysis of more and more metrics. The resulting insights—which have been slowly growing more useful over time as metrics and analytics tools mature—have been used to run and target digital campaigns.
Now enter 2017. This is the year that we expect analytics to take a sudden quantum step forward, providing not only a more granular and actionable view about how campaigns perform, but offering deeper insights about target audiences.
Big Data Gets Bigger
2016 was a landmark year both in terms of the sheer explosion of data overall, and in terms of being able to capture data that is specifically critical for the digital world (e.g., location data).
And, correspondingly, it’s likely that all programmatic marketing platforms have been increasing the volume of data they capture. But it’s important to understand that while most programmatic platforms can only handle structured data, specifically the audience segment, Simpli.fi, in contrast, captures unstructured data. Unstructured data is data in its raw form, before it is packaged up into segments or tagged with a label. It comprises most of the data consumers produce in the digital world, and is what Simpli.fi considers its secret sauce for creating the best performing campaigns for our clients.
IDC estimates that 90 percent of what we call “Big Data” is unstructured data. Think about that – the sheer volume of that amount of data makes it incredibly challenging to work with unless your platform (like Simpli.fi’s) was created from the ground up to work with it. To give some idea of numbers, Simpli.fi analyzes and utilizes 1,000X to 10,000X the audience data that is used by a typical segment based platform.
Not only has the sheer volume of data increased, so too has the quality and sophistication of the analytics’ underlying algorithms.
That’s why we believe 2017 will be the year that people will be able to understand and take action on programmatic data at an entirely different level.
Let’s look at an example. Company X sells headphones.
The company has long been targeting concert-goers with its array of products. But for the past several months, the company’s marketing department had been sensing that something was off and began questioning who their core buyer really was. So the company launched two different location-based programmatic campaigns to test its audience. The first campaign put a geo-fence around various concerts and delivered ads to the mobile devices of live-music lovers in attendance. The marketing team was stunned to find that the ads did not promote sales and click-throughs were significantly lower than they expected. They ran a second campaign, also utilizing geo-fencing technology and the same ad, but this time they targeted record stores. The outcome? The ads drove traffic to the company’s website and the marketing team could track sales directly to the record store geo-fenced campaigns. The team learned that their buying audience wasn’t live-music fans; it was music buyers.
What does this mean to advertisers? Quite simply that digital advertising should be the pinnacle of your ad program – and potentially your overall marketing initiatives. Because programmatic platforms like Simpli.fi can perform real-time analysis of campaign performance and viewer information, they play an increasingly important role in helping marketers stay on top of the curve to better target their audiences. These additional insights, and the targeting that they enable, in turn, will support moving additional budgets to digital advertising so that the resulting insights can inform other marketing channels.