Why Social Data Are Transformational

Where should marketers invest to yield high-quality data that they can translate into accurate insights?

To gain competitive advantage, successful marketers must use all of their data to learn faster and act smarter than ever before. However, not all data are created equal. Where should marketers invest to yield high-quality data that they can translate into accurate insights?

Among the most important sources are social advertising platforms. Here’s why:

  • Known audiences, tied to unique user IDs: People with social profiles volunteer data like age, gender, occupation, location, email, phone and affiliations, which are tied to privacy-safe, unique user IDs.
  • Observable behavior, tied to the same unique user IDs: Observable behavioral data like the websites people visit, key life events and the products they buy can also be linked to a known individual’s social profile.

These two characteristics mean that on social ad platforms, marketers have confidence that the audience segment they’re reaching is the segment they intended to reach. By contrast, most display advertising platforms—and conventional media channels like TV—infer audience characteristics according to device and browser-level activity or research panels that offer limited granularity.

Five benefits of social data

  1. More relevance: By acting on accurate data about who people are and what they care about, marketers are empowered to connect with their audience segments with greater relevance, based on their wants and needs as individuals.
  2. Cross-device capabilities: People log in to social platforms with the same identity across mobile and desktop, enabling more accurate cross-device targeting and measurement.
  3. Consumer insights: With so much rich data about audiences and creative, marketers can design learning agendas that answer questions like: What are my different consumer segments and how do they respond to different messaging? How do existing customers respond to different value propositions versus prospects?
  4. Sequential messaging: Social platforms provide marketers with a lot of control so they can specify which segments—and often individual users—see what content, and the order in which those messages are served. The result is that marketers can move from message transmission to cohesive storytelling.
  5. Offline measurement: Marketers can assess in-store sales lift for those exposed to advertising by matching IDs to offline-purchasing databases. Some platforms are also testing beacon technologies to match advertising to in-store foot traffic and more.

Harnessing data at scale has empowered companies like Visa, Capital One, Nestlé, Macy’s and Anheuser-Busch InBev to use their marketing budgets more efficiently and effectively in order to create more value and deeper consumer relationships.

John Terrana is general manager of advanced solutions at social ad technology and insights provider SocialCode.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.