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Digital Data Enhancement: Gain Insights from Anonymous Audiences


For decades, marketers have used third-party data to enhance personally identifiable information (PII) data and obtain a clearer, more accurate portrait of consumers. Now that the lion’s share of ad spend has shifted to digital channels, however, marketers – now knee-deep in anonymous touch points (cookies, mobile and device IDs, etc.) that are not immediately addressable – have an even greater need to augment consumer data.

Enter Digital Data Enhancement – a new way to append attribute data to a consumer record when only an anonymous identifier is available. With a long history of providing data enhancement services for PII such as email addresses or postal codes, Acxiom can now extend these capabilities to the anonymous, digital world. As a result, media platforms, brands and publishers can gain the insights they need to inform marketing decisions and deliver data-driven marketing everywhere.

How Digital Data Enhancement Works

When marketers only have access to an anonymous ID – such as a media platform or publisher with mobile IDs from anonymous users of their apps, or a brand with cookies from anonymous visitors to its website – they can submit these identifiers to Acxiom.

Acxiom matches the anonymous IDs with its own data on anonymous consumers and appends this data using its integration with LiveRamp’s identity resolution service, IdentityLink. Marketers receive a file of their anonymous records with additional attributes that they have requested, such as lifestyle, demographic and behavioral insights. These can be used for a wide range of purposes, including audience analysis and insight, measurement, and audience segments to use and suppress for digital marketing.

Importantly, as part of Acxiom’s commitment to the ethical use of data, all digital data enhancement is done in a privacy-by-design, Safe Haven environment, ensuring data privacy compliance. Acxiom maintains the anonymous state of the data and never associates PII data with the marketer’s anonymous ID.

Here are a few major use cases for digital data enhancement for brands, publishers and media platforms:

Understand what motivates anonymous audiences

Brands can use digital data enhancement services to analyze anonymous visitors to their website in order to build a more holistic understanding of their audiences. This can allow them to answer key questions like:

  • Who is coming to my website?
  • Who is engaging but not converting?
  • Who is buying?
  • Who is abandoning a cart?
  • Who is looking at what content?

For instance, enhancement of cookie data could reveal that females 18-29 whose preferred social media channel is Pinterest spend the most time on the site. This can help inform the brand’s digital targeting efforts and social media spend. In addition to being used for analytical purposes, digital data enhancement can support measurement efforts and determine whether marketing is driving the correct audiences to the website.

Similarly, media platforms can also append insights to anonymous app users (i.e., do not log in to access the app) to better understand which new products they should build to serve these audiences.

Personalize website content for anonymous web experiences

Brands and platforms alike want to be able to answer the question: What should I show website visitors if I don’t know who they are? Digital data enhancement can play a pivotal role in enabling website personalization.

For example, a large brand with multiple product categories can take a meaningful first step toward true site personalization by enhancing digital data in order to determine which products to show anonymous visitors on the front page of its website. Acxiom’s analysis may reveal certain audiences have propensity for movies, while other have a liking toward gaming. Based on these audience insights, the brand can deliver more relevant content based on its audiences’ preferences.

Aid in selling advertising or personalize the website advertising experience

This use case is particularly beneficial to publishers, which need to share meaningful audience qualities with potential advertisers. For example, a publisher who wants to drive incremental revenue can leverage digital data enhancement to better understand its anonymous website visitors.

With just a single touchpoint, Acxiom can build an audience portrait to shed light on the characteristics and motivations of these anonymous consumers. This gives publishers the ability to link advertisers to their best prospects by arming their ad sales teams with definitive data about their digital audiences.

Maintaining Privacy and Data Compliance with Digital Data Enhancement

Interested in digital data enhancement? Before jumping in, marketers should ensure their privacy policies are designed to leverage this capability. Organizations need to offer consumers proper notice and choice and obtain affirmative consent so that they understand fully how the information they provide will be used for enhancement purposes.

As they should when exploring new use cases that involve consumer data, marketers should conduct a privacy impact assessment (PIA) to ensure data enhancement aligns with consumer expectations and ethical use. Acxiom can help conduct these assessments and provide strategic guidance on privacy practices to help marketers take advantage of these capabilities.

It’s amazing what is now possible to learn about anonymous audiences with only a single touchpoint. Find out more information about Digital Data Enhancement from Acxiom.

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