Read This If You Like Hot Dogs, Baseball, or First-party Data Targeting

group of 20-somethings having a summer barbecue learning about first-party data targeting If you’re like most of us, during the summer months you become especially nostalgic for an old-fashioned hot dog, a well-played baseball game, and any kind of deal that saves a few bucks. The National Hot Dog and Sausage Council estimates Americans consume 20 billion hot dogs a year, which works out to about 17 hot dogs per person each summer. As advertisers in every industry (including those selling frankfurters) slash prices to take advantage of summertime excitement, we’re here to share three tips to maximize your first-party data targeting and enhance your seasonal ad strategy.

1. Track Every Interaction

Regardless of where your customer data comes from – offline addresses, online cookies, or just about anywhere else – it’s data you own and can activate on to improve your media investment returns. It starts by tracking every interaction and connecting the dots between your customer’s offline and online identities. Every day people search and browse for a wide variety of products online, for instance gourmet hotdogs. The challenge, of course, is that consumers are often switching between desktops, mobile devices, and retail stores throughout their buying journey. This means in order to advertise to the right hot-dog-loving consumers when they are the hungriest, marketers must be able to identify their customers on every channel. This is where companies with identity resolution solutions and CRM onboarding capabilities, like LiveRamp, Amazon, and Facebook, come in. They have huge databases of people with their cookies, devices IDs, social handles, and other online data saved in one place. These giant databases allow you to easily and quickly match the IDs from an online source (@FanaticForFranks) to a catering order in an offline source (New York Dog House) in a privacy safe setting. Once you’ve matched your customer identities, personalizing your message for sausage aficionados becomes a snap. Of course, you might not want to hit everyone who has already bought your product. Eliminate wasted spend by excluding those folks from your ad campaign right from the start. As an added bonus, this also means you won’t annoy loyal customers with ads that they don’t need.

2. Target the Doppelgangers

Marketers have long relied on their first-party data to connect with their best customers, but now you can use that same data to identify and target new potential customers just like your best buyers. Since you already know who is interacting with your brand, it takes the guesswork out of finding new audiences to target. By onboarding your data to a platform with identity resolution capabilities, you can map common characteristics and trends across millions of your customers at once. Then, you’re able to use that information to build look-alike audiences and target people just like them. These are the types of people you want more of – your customers’ doppelgangers who will buy from you again and again too. Think about it like this: When a theme park buys a generic third-party segment like “thrill seekers,” some folks will naturally be in their ideal customer category. But because the segment is pretty broad, there will be a decent portion of users who aren’t a very good match. When you identify segments that mirror characteristics in your own first-party data, you are able to better guarantee matches and more accurately grow your audience. For instance, when recently working with a theme park client to identify high-potential segments like their current customers, we discovered that minor league baseball fans were a more unique and high-potential match than thrill seekers. What a fun addition to their first-party data targeting efforts! Get in the first-party data game by setting up a look-alike model or extension campaign in your ad serving platform to go after your like-minded consumers. For even better results, you can layer in knowledge gained from your media reports to target this segment with top-performing ad types.

3. Retarget Shopping Cart Abandoners

Smart marketers don’t just focus on the results that are contributing to the bottom line. They also look to remove roadblocks to completing the sale. Think about all those customers who saw your ad, logged into your site, and filled up an online cart but didn’t check out. This first-party customer data is invaluable because it automatically tells you who is almost ready to buy. Supplement this with research from eMarketer reports that say 86% of shoppers place an item in their shopping cart but end up abandoning it simply due to the cost of shipping, and you have an unstoppable first-party data targeting opportunity. Segment your shopping cart abandoners into a banner ad retargeting campaign, which allows you to serve ads only to those users. If your retargeting campaign features a free shipping message, it can re-engage hesitant shoppers and give them the extra push needed to convert. Then for even more tailored outreach, you can utilize dynamic retargeting ads that feature the products each user abandoned. Looking for more advice on how to improve your digital results from Memorial Day to Labor Day and beyond? Reach out to us today to find out about our latest people-based marketing capabilities to take your first-party data targeting to the next level.