07
May
2013

Big Data or Small Data – Make it Meaningful

05/07/2013
If you’ve been following technology trends, you are well aware of the term “Big Data.” It’s all the rage. From Facebook down to President Obama’s 2012 campaign team (who are starting their own private data analytics company), organizations are trying to mine the mountains of user data sitting on corporate servers. Given this audacious goal, small businesses can be forgiven for thinking that “Big Data” is relegated to, well, “Big” companies. But it isn’t. The fact is that the ability to extract powerful insights from your own data and from 3rd party data – be it for audience building, behavior targeting, or real-time offer management – holds incredible potential for your display advertising campaigns. These insights can be realized and made actionable regardless of the size of your organization. The question ultimately is how to manage these large amounts of data effectively. We speak often to the benefits of unstructured data and what the term means. Well, what does it mean? Unstructured data is data that is in its organic form, not grouped together with other like data elements. Data for data’s sake. Leaving data in this form allows you to derive real value from it. Treating each piece of data as its own individual element valuable on it’s own. For example, you may notice that users are clicking on your sunglasses display ad when you target them after viewing pages Real Time Biddingcontaining the keyword “designer sunglasses” but are not converting when you target them after viewing pages containing the keyword “prescription sunglasses”. In seeing these pages and conversions at the keyword level you can adjust your bid up for “designer sunglasses” and down (or completely remove the keyword) for the keyword “perscription sunglasses” – allocating dollars where they count. On the flip side, if this keyword or page data was grouped together into a segment you’d see nothing but the conversion rate for the group of keywords as a whole. Seems a bit off doesn’t it?  Our philosophy is simple – it makes a lot more sense to run campaigns target a set of behaviors while maintaining transparency into the volume, pricing, and performance of each individual behavior and/or site where the behavior is measured. This enables more spend to be allocated to the best performing behaviors for better ROI and better performance. Here are some ways our clients use unstructured data for targeting on our platform:
  • Keyword Level Search Retargeting – Search retargeting where keywords are not grouped into segments, but instead targeted at the individual keyword level. Campaigns can target over 100K individual keywords and maintain bidding, reporting, and optimizing at the keyword level for optimum performance.
  • Keyword Contextual Targeting – Create custom contextual categories defined by the keywords that are meaningful to your campaign. Bid, report and optimize at the keyword level based on which pages contain which keyword.
  • Element Level Site Retargeting – Instead of grouping visitors to a site into just a few audience segments, ads are targeted based on the individual incoming, or referring search terms, individual pages visited, and/or the products that have been put into shopping carts.
  • Element Level Behavioral Targeting – Campaigns target a set of behaviors while maintaining transparency into the volume, pricing, and performance of each individual behavior and/or site where the behavior is measured. This enables more spend to be allocated to the best performing behaviors.
Use data in its purest, unstructured form to inform your campaigns. Don’t accept less. Aggressively measure your existing display advertising campaigns through metrics that are meaningful to your goals. Work with a data management platform that gives you transparent access to your own data and lets you see it at granular levels to inform your campaigns. If you want to learn more, contact us.