Digital Media Simplified: Part 1 – Understanding Data

The new marketing ecosystem is as vast as it is complex. I liken it to a carnival funhouse where there are hundreds of mirrors everywhere and seemingly infinite distorted reflections of yourself that span as far as your eye can see. When you enter that room, do you know that initial feeling of not having the right perception to move forward?

That same overwhelming feeling happens to companies and stakeholders when it comes to utilizing Marketing Technology (MarTech) and Ad Technology (AdTech) to plan, execute, measure, and communicate the results of your digital media. That feeling of being stuck with infinite choices is what cripples businesses of every size when it comes to maximizing ROI for their acquisition, engagement, and retention strategies.

The ability to simplify is one of our core values here at Delphic. When we think about trying to simplify the infinite directions you could go with a digital media strategy, we break it down into 3 key abilities. If you break each of these abilities down to make even one decision guided by your objectives and goals, then you are making progress.  

In the first of a three part series we’ll break down each key ability:

Understandinfg the data

  1. Data
  2. Decisions
  3. Differentiate

Understanding Data and Truly Keeping It Simple

If only it were easier to understand the amount and context of the data out there though, right? Well, some are diving in and most are throwing spaghetti at the wall, waiting to see what sticks, and moving on. According to Jennifer Belissent Ph.D., a principal analyst at Forrester, “73 percent of companies aspire to be data-driven, just 29 percent confirm that they are turning data into action.”  

So, if less than a third of companies are turning data into action, what is everyone else doing? I put them into 3 buckets of spaghetti throwing:

phases of spaghetti throwing

Our estimation is that there are approximately 10,000 data points about any one user online at any given time. In fact, I probably have a better idea of when your car lease is up than you do. This can be a little scary for consumers, and overwhelming for companies trying to make sense of all of this data. Really what it comes down to is context. Using data just provides context for better targeting, and when you understand that, you can ask yourself the real question; What behaviors does my target audience exhibit at each stage of their digital journey?

After you identify those behaviors you can narrow down which data providers would make the best  to partners for your business. But don’t be fooled–the data journey doesn’t end there. As marketers, we just want to be able to show consumers a relevant piece of content wherever they are. You can create a more relevant conversation using any type of media you think is appropriate: standard display ads, native content, video, or maybe even audio.

Better Data Means More Context

Meet Bob.

meet bob

Bob is a 45-65 year old married technology enthusiast who has just finished remodeling his home. He is a winter sports fan (specifically, Bob loves hockey), but he also likes to vacation in warm weather destinations. So, just using standard 3rd party data you would probably serve Bob this ad, along with everyone else that seemed to behave like Bob, right?

Bob & fellow winter sports enthusiast audience

winter sports enthusiasts


You’ve just served Bob an ad that he most likely didn’t even notice. By using the 3rd party data in conjunction with your 1st party data, you can create a better targeted audience, and create a better experience for Bob, and the rest of the people you are targeting. Your audience targeting looks more like this:

Right Person, Right Time, Right Message:

right person right message right time

This is the first step towards delivering on the marketing promise of your brand. Right person, right time, right message. In the next part of this 3 part blog series we’ll review the right time/place. Really, it all comes down to taking advantage of the programmatic technology and tools that are available, to make sure you are making the most of your media dollars.

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