3 Ways You Can Use Data in Paid Media

How Does Data Strategy Relate to Media Buying?

Data strategy refers to the highly dynamic process of collecting, interpreting, analyzing, and leveraging data to help achieve desired business results. In a world of virtually limitless data, understanding data strategy is essential to competitive marketing.

Before exploring the 3 ways you can use data in paid media, let’s go over the types of data we’ll be talking about.

3 Ways You Can Use Data in Paid Media
  • Zero-Party data is information customers share with brands in exchange for customized experiences catered to their individual preferences, wants, and needs. Examples include: apparel size, how often you would like to be communicated with by a brand, and motivations.
  • First-Party data is information marketers collect directly from consumers using their own online and offline resources. Information may come from website and app analytics, CRMs, users’ social media profiles, subscription-based emails, customer feedback, and more.
  • Second-Party data refers to another company’s first-party data that a brand or agency has permission to use. Examples include: purchase behavior data, demographics, device data, and user engagement frequency.
  • Third-Party data is information purchased from large data aggregators who pull data from various platforms and websites and stitch it together to form segmented data sets.

Data is the foundation for media attribution–the process of tracking which channels, platforms, or media initiatives have made the biggest impact on customer engagement and return on ad spend (ROAS). They serve as pillars for successful media planning and buying, and advertising overall.

The cookie-less future is rapidly approaching. Though the timeline has been pushed back, Google Chrome will begin phasing out third party cookies midway through 2024. According to a study by Adobe earlier in 2023, 75% of marketers still rely heavily on third party cookies, so understanding how to pivot and develop your data strategy is the only way to stay ahead of the curve and competition.

So, how can you use data in your paid media plans?

Data Use #1: Collect Your Own Zero-Party Data

Zero-Party data doesn’t depreciate. Because consumers provide it willingly and proactively, Zero-Party data is an excellent, privacy-conscious tool that all savvy media agencies should use.

How does one collect Zero-Party data? Well, there are several options–and all of them involve creating interactive consumer experiences. Remember: consumers share Zero-Party data in exchange for customized experiences catered to their individual preferences, wants, and needs. For example, many streaming platforms ask viewers to pick their favorite genres. The streaming platforms then use this information to generate personalized TV and movie recommendations.

So how does collecting Zero-Party data relate back to media buying? Well, as industry regulations continue to tighten restrictions on cross-platform tracking, marketers must rely on data that consumers share proactively and consensually in order to deliver personalized, targeted campaigns. Collecting Zero-Party data is key to future-proofing your media strategies.

Data Use #2: Enlist Third-Parties for Data Purchasing

Third-Party data refers to information sourced from large data aggregators who pull data from email lists, browser cookies, data marketplaces, and more. Third-Party data aggregators then stitch collected data together forming consumer profiles that can help develop media strategies. Between 2017 and 2021, U.S marketers spent $13.3 billion on Third-Party audience data. 

Purchasing Third-Party data can be important to media buying agencies for several reasons. For one, it may fill in gaps within existing consumer profiles and audience segments. Marketers have thousands of target audience options including, but not limited to, age, location, and interests. In collaboration with Third-Party data providers, you can create further-customized segments based on your needs. On some advertising platforms, this includes advanced targeting options like contextual targeting (ads appearing in contextually relevant places, like a page on the same topic) and behavioral targeting (targeting users based on their online behavior and intent, like showing an ad for a car to someone who was researching new cars). The more sophisticated the targeting, the more important this data becomes, including media platforms like programmatic or Connected TV advertising.

Data Use #3: Using Client Data in Media Strategy Development

Knowing how to meaningfully integrate data into media strategy is essential to successful advertising. Collecting and analyzing data before, during, and after a campaign’s flight opens endless opportunities for optimization and benchmark-breaking results. By collecting and using data provided by the consumer, you not only ensure compliance with data privacy legislation, but also that you target the right audience, either directly or by using a lookalike audience. This means your campaigns will be future-proofed from cookie deprecation.

Marketing Doctor has been the agency of record for a multi-state regional brand for over 15 years where patient acquisition with increased profit remains the core goal. Zero- and First-Party data are key fuel for their paid media campaigns to generate high-quality, new customer leads and increase the volume of new business. 

Our team uses multiple attribution models to determine which platforms are driving conversions. In so doing, we optimize budget allocation and the collection of actionable insights for stronger campaign performance.

Marketing Doctor created a data infrastructure that marries the client’s CRM to specific platforms. When consumers interact with ads and submit First-Party data (in this case, form fills), the CRM begins tracking their journey. In turn, the CRM feeds platforms consumer data to create highly trackable, custom consumer experiences that drive conversions.

The flow of data between the CRM and advertising channels supports media attribution efforts and allows our team to conduct daily optimizations to generate high-powered results.

By using our client’s data to inform media strategy, Marketing Doctor’s methodology has helped this client expand into 20 locations and counting, increasing leads by 793% over the course of last two years alone.

Want Better Results?

In a world of endless data, knowing how to leverage it and deliver optimal marketing results is paramount. If you have a business goal, we have a plan to reach it AND track it. Let’s talk.

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