Know Your Digital Data

Know Your Digital Data
January 17, 2019
Reid Vineis

Every time you see an ad online, there is data powering the targeting behind it.

The type of data used varies from platform to platform, impacting how you reach your targeted audience. Whether you are running ads on social media, general display, or mobile ads, it is important to know your digital data to ensure you are hitting the right people. 

Facebook 
The power of Facebook comes from the rich data that its users voluntarily provide. 

When a user creates a profile, they give up incredibly rich data points including name, location and their likes/dislikes. They provide this data in exchange for Facebook’s free use of the platform. Facebook then monetizes the data by selling it for advertisers for use in targeting. 

One of the most popular methods of targeting is uploading a list of first-party data (data you own), and matching those names to Facebook profiles. The data Facebook users have given up makes this possible. 

This type of direct match using personally identifiable information is rare in digital advertising and makes Facebook a powerful tool. 

Display 
General display advertisements are most frequently targeted by content, the information you are consuming online. This could include the news you read, videos you watch, or games you play. 

Publishers and networks such as Google take this data on content consumption and build audience segments. The segments are anonymous groups of people who are consuming similar content. For example, people who watch FoxNews and watch Brietbart on YouTube are likely conservatives. This is one of the ways websites and apps monetize data. 

This contextual targeting is good to use when you want to match your product or service to people who exhibit a particular interest in a subject. For instance, it would be a good idea to sell ocean cruise line tickets to people who read travel and tourism blogs. 

Majority Strategies Mobile 
The richness of mobile advertising comes from location data. Since our phones travel with us, they are constantly passing back information about our locations to advertisers through GPS, Bluetooth and WiFi. 

Location data tells us where people live, work and play. This is incredibly useful when physical location is the variable we want to target on. 

For instance, finding state legislators among the general population can be a bit like finding a needle in a haystack. Yet, they all share the fact that they work in the same physical location – state capitol buildings. We see those devices and the frequency that they appear. This allows us to target and deliver advertising to those legislators. 

Majority Strategies Mobile sees over 200 million mobile devices on average 6 times a day. We also have the ability to layer on voter or consumer data over location data to create hyper unique audiences. For example, we can find all the devices who have been to sporting goods stores who also support the 2nd Amendment to create a pro-gun audience. Or we can find people who have been to exotic car dealerships and have incomes over $250,000 to target luxury car shoppers. 

Bottom Line

Always ask where your data is coming from and how is it sourced.

Then, make sure the type of data you are using is the best for achieving your goal online.

The difference between using the right and wrong data can make or break a digital campaign. 

There’s More to Learn:

Print & Digital Go Hand-in-Hand 

Digital by Definition 

Digital’s Big Growth Spurt