Maximizing ROI with Programmatic Data: Best Practices for Advertisers

Digital media buyers constantly seek ways to maximize return on investment (ROI) for their clients' digital advertising campaigns. But, achieving this goal is often easier said than done, as numerous factors can influence the results of a digital campaign.

Nevertheless, there is a powerful tool that can level the playing field – programmatic data. Below I explore best practices for using persona-based audience data to improve ROI and drive optimal digital campaign results.

Understanding Programmatic Data

Before we dive into best practices, let's take a moment to define programmatic data. Programmatic data is the foundation of programmatic advertising, which is the process of buying and selling advertising space in real time using automated systems. This data can include everything from basic demographics like age and gender to more complex data points like interests, behaviors and purchase intent.

Programmatic data enables advertisers to target their ads to specific audiences automatically so advertisers only spend money on what’s working instead of buying in bulk and having inventory left over. This precision ups the odds of reaching the right people on their preferred devices at the right times. But advertisers need access to high-quality, persona-based audience data to make the most of programmatic advertising.

What is Persona-Based Audience Data?

Persona-based audience data is a type of programmatic data that uses customer personas to help advertisers target their ads to specific audiences. A persona is a fictional representation of your ideal customer based on real data and insights. Persona-based audience data helps advertisers get beyond mere data points to how people actually live and be more intentional in their ad targeting. Doing so not only maximizes ad spend but also creates a better experience for the ad receipt because they aren’t served an irrelevant ad.

Programmatic Data Best Practices

Using persona-based audience data can help you create more relevant ads, improve targeting, and drive better campaign results. Here are some best practices for using persona-based audience data to maximize ROI:

Use Audience Segmentation to Improve Targeting

One of the key benefits of persona-based audience data is that it allows you to segment your audience into smaller, more specific groups. This can help you create more targeted ads tailored to each group's specific interests and behaviors.

For example, if you're advertising a new athletic apparel line, you might create different ads for people interested in running, yoga, or weightlifting. By targeting your ads to specific interest groups, you can create more relevant ads that are more likely to resonate with your audience.

Test and Refine Your Audience Segments

Once you've created your audience segments, it's important to test and refine them over time. This means tracking the performance of your ads for each segment and adjusting as needed.

For example, you might find that your ads perform better for certain age groups or that certain ethnic groups are more responsive to your ads. By tracking your performance data and adjusting your audience segments, you can continue improving your ads' targeting and effectiveness.

Use Lookalike Audiences to Expand Your Reach

In addition to targeting specific audience segments, you can use persona-based audience data to create lookalike audiences. Lookalike audiences are groups of people who share similar characteristics to your existing customers, allowing you to expand your reach to new, qualified audiences.

For example, if you have a group of customers interested in hiking, you might create a lookalike audience based on their interests and behaviors. By targeting this lookalike audience, you can expand your reach to new people likely to be interested in your product.

Use Zero-Party Data to Improve Personalization

Zero-party data is data that customers intentionally and proactively provide to a company, such as preferences, opinions, and purchase intentions. This permission-based data is highly valuable because it allows advertisers to create more personalized experiences for their customers.

Using persona-based audience data combined with zero-party data, advertisers can create personalized ads with a look and feel that resonate with consumers. For example, if a customer has indicated a preference for eco-friendly products, you might use that information to create ads featuring your company's sustainability initiatives.

Using zero-party data also allows you to build stronger relationships with your customers by showing that you care about their preferences and needs. By providing personalized experiences, you can increase customer loyalty and improve customer lifetime value.

Measure and Analyze Your Results

Finally, it's essential to measure and analyze the results of your campaigns to determine what's working and what's not, and programmatic puts all those metrics in one place for easy tracking. By tracking metrics like impressions, click-through rates and conversion rates, you can identify areas for improvement and make data-driven decisions about your future campaigns.

Persona-based audience data is a powerful tool for maximizing ROI with programmatic advertising. By using audience segmentation, lookalike audiences, dynamic creative optimization, and data analysis, advertisers can optimize their targeting and creative elements to create more personalized and effective ads that yield better results and achieve desired business outcomes.

This blog post was originally published on MediaPost.

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A Simple and Effective Guide to Segmenting Your Hispanic Market Research Sample

Conducting market research in the Hispanic market can be challenging, especially for researchers unfamiliar with the community or living in another country. Here is a quick guide to building a representative sample and obtaining accurate results.

Define the study objectives: Before you begin, establish clear research objectives. Determine the information you need and the questions you want to answer. This will help you focus the study and determine the aspects of the Hispanic community you want to investigate.

Segment the Hispanic market: The Hispanic community is diverse with varying cultural, linguistic, and geographical characteristics. To better understand their needs and preferences, consider segmenting the Hispanic market into more specific groups based on factors like country of origin, generation, income level and geographic location. This segmentation will allow for a more comprehensive analysis of each segment.

Hispanics are geographically distributed throughout the country, with certain areas experiencing higher concentrations:

  1. Southwest: California, Texas, Arizona, and New Mexico have significant Hispanic populations. In California, cities such as Los Angeles, San Diego, and San Francisco have substantial Hispanic communities. In Texas, San Antonio, Houston, and El Paso have sizable Hispanic populations.
  2. Southeast: Florida is home to a large Hispanic population, particularly in the Miami and Hialeah areas. Additionally, cities like Orlando and Tampa also have significant Hispanic communities.
  3. Northeast: In the northeastern United States, cities such as New York, Philadelphia, and Boston have considerable Hispanic populations. New York, in particular, boasts one of the country's largest and most diverse Hispanic populations.
  4. Midwest: Although to a lesser extent than other regions, the Midwest also has noteworthy Hispanic communities. Chicago, Illinois, and Milwaukee, Wisconsin, for example, have considerable Hispanic populations

Design the questionnaire: Create a questionnaire that aligns with your research objectives and is tailored to the Hispanic audience. Use clear and understandable language, avoiding jargon or complex concepts. Translate the questionnaire into Spanish for those who prefer to respond in their native language.

Consider Hispanic culture: Culture plays a vital role in the Hispanic community's attitudes, behaviors, and preferences. When conducting your research, consider relevant cultural aspects like family, traditions, values, and festivities. Doing so will help you understand how these cultural nuances influence Hispanic consumer purchasing decisions and behavior. At ThinkNow, we have an acculturation algorithm that allows us to profile our panelists based on the number of years lived in the United States, language spoken at home, the language selected in media consumption, and self-identification giving us visibility into how these panelists see themselves, consume media and live their lives.

Use multiple data collection channels: To ensure a representative sample of the Hispanic community, it is important to analyze the ideal data collection channels. At ThinkNow , we primarily conduct online surveys when engaging our Hispanic panelists. We also conduct telephone interviews, focus groups, and in-person interviews to allow us to cater to diverse segments within the Hispanic community and individuals with different communications preferences.

Consider linguistic diversity: English and Spanish proficiency among Hispanics varies. If relevant to your study, offer bilingual response options or allow participants to respond in their preferred language. Through our ThinkNow panel, we can profile respondents based on acculturation level: High, Medium, and Low. High acculturation levels indicate predominantly English-speaking individuals and medium levels denote balanced bilingualism where individuals speak Spanish and English equally. Low levels of acculturation represent non-acculturated individuals who do not speak or adopt the English language.

Analyze the results: Once data is collected, analyze it appropriately. Conduct comparative analyses among different segments of the Hispanic community, and compare them with other relevant demographic groups. Look for patterns, trends, and significant differences to obtain valuable insights.

Remember that each market research study is unique and may require specific approaches. Adapting your research methods and questions to the Hispanic community will help you obtain more relevant and valuable data, enabling informed decision-making in your marketing strategy.

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Creating Personalized Marketing Experiences with Multicultural Data

As digital marketing continues to evolve, creating personalized marketing experiences for consumers has become critical to successful marketing strategy. In the past, marketers relied on tools like third-party cookies to personalize the customer journey. But with cookies going away in 2024, it’s more important than ever to collect zero-party data to create those personalized marketing experiences while respecting consumer privacy.

Equally as important, however, is the use of multicultural data. The U.S. is becoming increasingly diverse, with much of that growth driven by young consumers. Using multicultural insights helps to personalize their experiences, thus creating stronger bonds that ultimately improve business outcomes.

Diversity is driving personalized marketing.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, multicultural consumers currently represent approximately 40% of the U.S. population and are projected to account for 55% of population growth over the next five years. Therefore, brands looking to succeed in the U.S. market must understand the needs and preferences of these consumers. It’s important to remember that people change, societies evolve, and cultures shift. Brands that stay attuned to national population trends and behavioral pivots and make efforts to understand the cultural drivers influencing them are in the best position to engage this consumer market successfully.

Zero-Party Data is permission-based.

Personalized marketing experiences are no longer a ‘nice to have’ but a necessity. Consumers today expect to receive messages relevant to their interests and needs, and marketers who fail to deliver such experiences will be left behind. One of the keys to creating personalized marketing experiences is the use of zero-party data. Zero-party data is data that consumers intentionally and proactively share with companies. This type of data is valuable because it provides insights into what consumers want. As third-party tracking tools retire, zero-party data is becoming one of the most sought-after permission-based tools for engaging consumers more effectively.

Multicultural data aids cultural competence.

Zero-party data, however, is just one piece of the puzzle. Another key component of personalized marketing is the use of multicultural data. ThinkNow research shows that multicultural consumers have unique needs and preferences, and understanding these nuances is crucial for creating effective marketing campaigns. For example, diverse cultures may have different values, beliefs, and traditions that can influence their purchasing decisions. By understanding these differences, marketers can tailor their messaging to resonate more strongly with multicultural audiences.

Multicultural data can also help brands avoid cultural missteps that could damage their reputation. ThinkNow research has shown that multicultural consumers are more likely to engage with brands that prioritize diversity and inclusion in their marketing efforts and are willing to stop frequenting a store that does not. From campaign strategy to execution, multicultural data can help brands build a deeper connection with multicultural consumers by helping them market in-culture, avoiding common mistakes that could prove very costly.

To effectively use multicultural data, it's important to ensure that it is collected and analyzed ethically and responsibly. Brands must take care to avoid stereotypes and assumptions when analyzing multicultural data and should work to understand the nuances and complexities of diverse cultures. Additionally, brands should be transparent about their data collection practices and ensure that consumers know how their data is being used.

In Summary

Using zero-party and multicultural data to personalize marketing experiences has become a business imperative. Multicultural consumers are a diverse and rapidly growing segment of the population, and brands that don't consider their needs and preferences risk alienating a significant portion of their potential customer base. Cookies are on their way out, so the demand for zero-party data will only increase.

By using these types of data in an ethical and responsible manner, brands can create more authentic and meaningful connections with their audiences and drive business success.

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The Ethics of Zero-Party Data: Balancing Consumer Privacy and Business Needs

Businesses are increasingly relying on consumer data to succeed in today's digital age. Growing demand for personalized marketing has led companies to explore different types of data to gain insights into their customers' preferences and behaviors. One type of data that has been gaining traction in recent years is zero-party data, particularly among advertisers.

In exploring the use of zero-party data within their DSPs, digital media buyers must consider the ethics of collecting and using this data while balancing consumer privacy concerns.

Zero-Party Data: Definition and Significance

Zero-party data is information consumers intentionally and proactively share with a business, including preferences, interests, and other personal data, unlike first-party data that companies collect. Consumers are increasingly concerned about privacy and are demanding more control over their data, making zero-party data attractive, especially when incentivized.

However, using zero-party data raises ethical questions about how businesses collect, store, and use this data. Digital media buyers must consider the ethical implications and design systems that protect consumer rights and privacy.

Ethics Concerns with Zero-Party Data

Ethics are crucial in collecting and using zero-party data as it helps mitigate concerns and ensures responsible data practices. One key concern is around obtaining consumer consent, as individuals should have the freedom to choose whether to share their data with businesses. Companies must be transparent about the data they collect and how it will be used and provide clear options for consumers to opt-out or revoke consent at any time. Another important ethical consideration is protecting consumer data, as businesses must implement proper security measures to prevent data breaches and misuse.

Despite these concerns, zero-party data is more ethical than other data types, as consumers agree to share their data, ensuring it is obtained through transparent and ethical means.

Zero-party data also complies with GDPR and CCPA regulations, which protect consumer privacy and ensure that businesses are transparent about their data collection and use. This makes zero-party data a more ethical option for companies seeking to optimize their marketing and advertising efforts while prioritizing ethical considerations.

A Balancing Act

Using zero-party data responsibly and ethically is essential for digital media buyers seeking to incorporate this data into their DSPs. Businesses must balance their needs with consumer privacy and prioritize transparency in data collection and use.

More specifically, digital media buyers must take ethical considerations into account, implement proper security measures to safeguard consumer data, and ensure compliance with GDPR and CCPA regulations to effectively leverage the benefits of zero-party data while prioritizing the consumer experience. When done well, it's a win-win.

This blog post was originally published on MediaPost.

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What is the future of programmatic advertising?

Data and programmatic advertising: What's next?

Programmatic advertising has established itself as a leading method of buying and selling digital advertising space in recent years and continues to grow in popularity. In 2022, over 90% of all digital display ad dollars transacted programmatically. Automation and data-driven decision-making have revolutionized how advertising is bought and sold, and they will play a critical role in the future of programmatic advertising. In this blog post, we will examine the future of programmatic advertising, the importance of data and the role that zero-party data and multicultural consumer insights will play.

What is programmatic advertising?

Powered by algorithms and data, programmatic advertising automates buying and selling digital advertising space. As a result, buyers and sellers benefit from a more efficient and cost-effective process. Several key trends are influencing the future of programmatic advertising, including increased automation, the use of artificial intelligence and machine learning and the emergence of new programmatic channels.

Zero-party data

Data is the backbone of programmatic advertising. It informs ad targeting, optimization and measurement resulting in better client results. Data also enables digital media buyers to demonstrate their campaign's return on ad spend, build trust with clients and ensure the transparency and accountability of programmatic advertising.

With the phase-out of third-party identifiers, new forms of data have emerged. Zero-party data is a relatively new concept in the world of data privacy, and it is rapidly gaining traction. Consumers voluntarily provide zero-party data without any need for cookies or tracking. Click To Tweet
Data of this type is more accurate and relevant and delivers more personalized consumer experiences. By leveraging zero-party data, digital media buyers can maximize client results while maintaining data privacy.

Programmatic advertising, diversity and multiculturalism

Another important factor driving the need for data in programmatic advertising is consumers' increasing diversity and multiculturalism. Advertisers aiming to reach and engage diverse and multicultural audiences must first understand them. Leveraging data, advertisers can identify consumer behaviors, preferences and purchasing patterns to personalize advertising campaigns and develop culturally relevant messaging.

Data is essential in enabling advertisers to personalize ads and deliver culturally relevant messaging to diverse audiences. Click To Tweet
By leveraging data, advertisers can identify consumer behavior patterns, preferences and purchasing patterns, which are essential to developing successful advertising campaigns. Understanding these insights enables advertisers to deliver more personalized advertising experiences that connect with consumers, making them more likely to engage with ads and act.

Programmatic advertising can serve timely, relevant ads to an increasingly diverse and multicultural consumer market, which is critical for reaching audiences effectively. Advertisers can leverage data to ensure that they are connecting with diverse audiences in meaningful ways that are culturally relevant and resonate with consumers. In this way, programmatic advertising is evolving to meet the needs of diverse and multicultural audiences, delivering better outcomes for both advertisers and consumers.

The role of data

The future of programmatic advertising is exciting and rapidly evolving, and data will play an integral role in ensuring its success. Whether through zero-party data, multicultural consumer behavior or ad targeting and optimization, data underpins the growth of programmatic advertising and its ability to serve timely, relevant ads to an increasingly diverse and multicultural U.S. consumer market. Digital media buyers who stay informed and invest in their understanding of data and programmatic advertising will be well-positioned to deliver better client results and stay ahead of the curve.

This blog post was originally published on Quirk's Media.

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Why Zero-Party Is The Future Of Digital Media Buying

While the demise of cookies may have expedited the shift to zero-party data, consumer demand is driving its adoption. Privacy and personalization are key concerns for consumers, and zero-party data delivers both.

Typically obtained through interactive experiences, opt-in forms, or consumer surveys, zero-party data comes directly from consumers. It can include explicit information, such as purchase history and preferences, and implicit information inferred through behaviors and interactions.

As zero-party data is provided voluntarily, it affords marketers an unrestricted view of consumer needs and preferences, facilitating long-term relationships and loyalty.

Zero-Party Data Optimizes DSP Performance

For digital media buyers using programmatic demand-side platforms (DSPs) such as MediaMath, The Trade Desk, and Google DV360, zero-party data is a game changer. These platforms rely on data to inform targeting and optimization decisions, and zero-party data provides a more nuanced and relevant understanding of consumers.

For example, a digital media buyer using a DSP may target a specific audience segment based on third-party data indicating a certain affinity level for a particular product or service. Zero-party data, however, offers a self-reported accounting of an individual's interests and preferences, allowing the buyer to create more personalized and effective campaigns.

Alternative to Third-Party Cookies

In addition to its benefits for targeting and optimization, zero-party data can also help digital marketers overcome the challenges posed by the phasing out of third-party cookies by 2024. Businesses must find alternative ways to gather and use audience data. Since zero-party data is obtained directly from consumers and can be used with their explicit consent, it provides a more privacy-sensitive and sustainable solution than its predecessor.

Zero-Party Data Collection

Digital media buyers can leverage zero-party data in various ways, such as creating interactive experiences or opt-in forms on their websites or social media channels. Through these tools, explicit information like purchase history and preferences can be collected, as well as implicit information inferred from behaviors and interactions.

Another option is to use marketing automation tools that allow businesses to collect zero-party data through email opt-ins and other direct communication with customers. Marketers can use these tools to segment and analyze zero-party data to better understand their audience and tailor their marketing efforts accordingly.

Zero-party data is the future. By putting consumers back into the equation instead of just focusing on their digital breadcrumbs, digital media buyers and marketers can usher in a new era of personalization resulting in more effective campaigns and increased brand loyalty. In the wake of the highly anticipated end of cookies, embracing zero-party data now and incorporating it into targeting and optimization strategies gives digital media buyers the tools to position themselves for success in a post-cookie world.

This blog post was originally published on MediaPost.

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Hispanic Gen Z Breaking Stereotypes and Driving Change

The U.S. celebrates National Hispanic Heritage Month each year to recognize the influence, culture, and contributions of Hispanic Americans. One generation is blazing a trail and breaking convention – Gen Z. An area in which we see a tremendous impact by this demographic is employment. The U.S. labor force is shifting toward younger workers who favor the trending "work from anywhere" concept. But it's not just their job philosophy that differs from traditional ideologies. Gen Z's consumption habits differ from other generations and will likely evolve as they age. ThinkNow surveyed more than 1,400 Hispanic Gen Z to determine where these differences lie.

About 8.3% of respondents stated earning a salary between $50K-$60K, with 6.7% stating they make between $40K-$50K. Nearly a quarter of respondents are still in their undergraduate careers, so it's no surprise that 40% said they live with their parents/family.

Gen Z is likely listening to the radio while driving to work. Fifty percent of Gen Z listen to AM/FM radio, with 63% listening on traditional radios (not streaming services like Sirius XM, iHeart, or Pandora). For advertisers, this presents a cost-effective opportunity to reach this demographic through a channel competitors may be ignoring.

When they are not listening to the radio, they watch their favorite programs. Sixty-six percent of Gen Z responded that they spend 0-4 hours per week watching Spanish-language TV programming. Nearly 70% of respondents stated they watch Netflix programming. As a bonus for advertisers, 60% of respondents stated they don't listen to top Spanish or Latino podcasts. Redirect that spend to channels more native to this generation.

Finally, we often see Gen Z calling out injustices around the world. But a surprising 83% state they're optimistic about the future. Perhaps that's because they feel empowered to be the change they want to see in the world. Three-quarters stated being satisfied with their current life, and less than one in five responded feeling their life is at least somewhat worse off than their parents'.

Gen Z is on track to fundamentally change the work environment and social norms.

Want more Gen Z facts? Get on-demand audience insights with ThinkNow ConneKt.

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