How matching online & offline data helps businesses find the right customers

How does online/offline data matching help to find the right customers?

The enormous growth and influence of digital media has driven an increase in the number of channels and devices in which brands can engage their audience. This audience fragmentation means getting your message to the right person in the right context is increasingly difficult and complex.

Thankfully there are now ways to use offline information about customers to make online advertising more relevant, contextual and effective at reaching the people most likely to need your products and services. Through combining a range of offline and online data sources, companies can engage in a deep level of audience profiling that allows them to target the right customers with the right product or service message.

How does online/offline data matching work?

Data matching takes information about customers obtained offline, such as through direct mail and surveys, and uses this information online to match the right advertising to the customers most likely to respond to it.

This gives you the ability to build a consumer group demographic profile based on the audience’s online behaviour, which allows for advertising that is more likely to generate engagement due to its increased relevance.

This can be done in one of two ways, either through targeted or programmatic display, technologies that can help companies to personalise customer offers, reduce bounce rates and improve returns from their marketing investment.

What are targeted and programmatic display?

Targeted display advertising shows online advertisements based on information about consumers and households obtained from both online and offline sources. Market research produces a lot of data on how certain groups spend based on surveys and reports.

This information is then matched with online data about customers to target the right advertising at the user.

For example, when someone signs up for a Yahoo email account or for a subscription to the Sydney Morning Herald, that information is stored and used to offer a better and more relevant online experience incorporating multiple channels and devices.

Programmatic display uses behavioural information, mainly based on the customers' use of online devices such as smartphones, to pin-point their location and utilise this data to market to them more effectively.

Previously this type of information, known as geo-location, only went as deep as the level of the customer's postcode. However, marketing services companies like Equifax are already developing new ways to provide more contextual information about the customer - to find out who they are and what they want.

In the background and in less than a second, checks can be made to test the veracity of data presented, including a fraud check against the Shared Fraud Database from Equifax, an electronic verification check (ID check) and a bureau check determining if they are an existing or previous customer*.

Once a consumer profile is built, companies can use it to provide visitors to their website, mobile site or email users with a fully personalised experience. Many financial companies already use data to know more about the traffic and to figure out which ones they want to engage with.

"In the background and in less than a second, checks can be made to test the veracity of data presented"

Data is revolutionising the way businesses are engaging with customers and this means companies who do not leverage this data may find they no longer have the competitive edge to market to the right audience.

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