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Innovative Uses of Third-Party Data

Last year, companies spent over $10 billion on third-party audience data for advertising and marketing purposes. It’s clear that third-party data remains a vital tool in marketers’ arsenals to help them better understand and target their best customers and find more like them.

As consumers continue to generate unprecedented amounts of data, leveraging third-party data is becoming even more valuable, expanding the realm of possibilities with audience segmentation, modeling and personalization. Use cases for audience data continue to expand, providing fertile ground for marketers to supplement their rapidly growing first-party data sets to guide marketing strategy.

Let’s examine three use cases in particular that represent innovative ways to maximize value from third-party data.

Use third-party data to deliver second-party data insights

As more organizations seek to transform data into value, second-party data sharing arrangements are gaining traction. Third-party data can add significant value for brands that directly exchange data with select partners in these exclusive arrangements.

Take financial services – industry providers have traditionally relied on third-party data to send pre-approved offers to consumers. Today, savvy marketers in this industry are extending use of non-bureau-based data to assist in delivering second-party data insights. Say a credit card issuer wants to drive sign-ups for its co-branded card with retail partners – it can purchase transaction data to identify frequent shoppers in the retailer’s stores and combine this with its first-party data to identify which consumers do not have a co-branded card. It can then share this data with the retail partner under the terms of their agreement and together deliver more relevant co-marketing to these loyal customers.

Use third-party data to enhance geo-targeting

Now that most consumers have a connected device with them at all times, location data has rapidly increased in scale and value. Best-in-class third-party data providers integrate with location data providers to provide marketers with a comprehensive, actionable set of audience insights.

Digital data enhancement, which makes it possible to append audience data to a single anonymous identifier, is one way marketers can leverage third-party data to enhance geo-targeting. For instance, a retailer could work with a third-party data provider to append location and transaction data to its device IDs to create a new audience segment comprised of consumers who have made a purchase at its competitors’ stores in the past 30 days.

Leveraging location data in tandem with third-party data also unlocks opportunities to be more nimble and take advantage of market opportunities to gain market share. For example, if a retailer is closing a store, its competitor can purchase audience data to discover consumers within a 10-mile radius of the closed store and learn whom to target first based on a scoring model that reveals who resembles their best customers. Alternatively, retailers closing stores can purchase audience data to target customers who they can no longer serve at physical locations and entice them to migrate to their e-commerce site.

Beyond using this data for marketing purposes, it can also be used to inform business decisions by providing valuable insights into consumer behavior in a specific market. For example, if audience data shows limited purchasing activity at a competitor’s store and low brand affinity, it could signal that a retailer should expand its operations there (and vice versa).

Use third-party data to create customized audiences  

As marketers seek to engage consumers at different stages of the funnel, they have a greater need to reach consumers before they take action. This requires them to go beyond standardized data lists and invest in customized audience segments.

These types of segments can be acquired via offerings like Amex Advance, which combines spending insights from American Express’ network with Acxiom and first-party customer data to predict purchase intent. Marketers can leverage this offering to engage consumers with relevant offers when they are most ready to buy, increasing their marketing effectiveness by engaging at the most optimal time in the buyer journey. For example, a home décor brand can access segments to find families who recently moved and are in-market for a kitchen remodel.

As marketing has evolved, so too have the ways marketers can deploy third-party data to their benefit. Expect even more compelling and innovative use cases for audience data to emerge as marketing increases in sophistication in the coming years.

Learn more about how to gain audience insights with third-party data services from Acxiom.

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