Even with today’s vast amount of data available to marketers and small business owners, many are still reluctant to grasp the concept of using data to help make marketing decisions. Some may think they do, to the extent that they do a mass mailing to a given zip code because incomes levels for that zip is X, and consider that an intelligent use of data.
If you’re marketing cold you will be throwing over 99% of your marketing dollars in the trash. Your best case scenario is going to be 1%, usually less. Even if you purchase a list of suspects that are somewhat qualified for a particular product or service, it still is likely to be less than 1%. Unsolicited direct mailings are typically a single event. After you spent $3,000 or $50,000 and got very little or no return, most people are not quick to do another.
Doing direct mail is the only thing you know. So you do your mass mailing based on segmented data. You hope and pray for a good return with no actual goal in mind as to the outcome.
You’ve also been burned on pay-per-click, search engine optimization, and Facebook campaigns that didn?t make the phone ring. You feel these internet strategies are like hitting a moving target. You’re right – it is! These strategies take an ongoing commitment of time and investment, and may never produce due to things beyond your control. For example, I had a personalized calendar printing website that prints one-off calendars that are printed with personal photos and your custom dates. Families and individuals purchased to give as gifts to their families and friends. I optimized my site to a top spot through content and inbound links back in 2001-2006. If you searched Google or Yahoo during that time, I was consistently ranked on the top three organic sites. When Google decided to change its ranking algorithm to favor big advertisers, I was banished to page six! If I wanted to do a pay-per-click campaign, they expanded the search term personalized calendars to include promotional calendars to get businesses with big ad spends. The cost per click was bid up to over $5.00 per click. Not good business for me when my calendars sell for $19.95 and the typical order is under $50. My point is this is the stuff beyond our control and needs a constant investment in resources and may not be worth it.
Programmatic advertising, on the other hand, uses data to break through the typical segments and see each individual for the opportunity or not that they are. Not just zip code, income or three data points, but it could use hundreds if not thousands or millions of data points and score these buyers with a super-fast algorithm and with artificial intelligence. It determines if you?re actually in the market, what device you engage on, and the time of day to be marketed to or not to market to. Because it identifies on who to market to, it does not waste your marketing dollars like in our direct mail example or other internet options like social media, pay-per-click and search engine optimization. In fact, because it is a learning platform, it becomes more cost effective over time.