Get the most out of data with data activation



It’s on everyone’s minds these days. It’s a highly valuable resource that’s at the core of every modern marketing professional’s playbook.

Data is a key driver in the creation of efficient marketing and advertising activities as it enables marketing professionals to connect more effectively with their target audiences when and where it matters most. However, as the format of raw data is highly complicated, in order for it to be truly useful in informing marketing and advertising activities, data must be activated.

Data activation is the concept of deriving value from valuable consumer data through the development of insights—and then turning those insights into action. Data activation can be applied to 1st-, 2nd-, and 3rd-party data.

RELATED: Turning Data Into Action: 2017 Data Management & Activation Guidebook

Through data activation, marketing professionals unlock a number of benefits for their campaigns such as:

  • Extended audience reach
  • Message and frequency control
  • Improved optimization

To take advantage of these benefits and implement data activation, follow these four steps: enrich, amplify, execute, and measure.

The 4 steps of data activation

1. Enrich

Data enrichment is the process of connecting disparate data sources together and appending additional, accurate attributes to the seed data set. This enables marketing professionals to access a single, accurate, and nuanced view of the ideal customer. Once this view is created, link the augmented customer profiles to all devices that can be connected back to that consumer, at the individual user level.

The enrichment process gives marketing professionals a highly in-depth view of their customers. This enables deeper strategy planning and more effective campaigns that are based on key customer attributes.

2. Amplify

Once the enriched, linked customer profile is created, marketing professionals should leverage that knowledge to discover additional audiences that match their ideal customer profile. This extended audience, created through modeling, can then be used to amplify the reach of a campaign or strategy, thus increasing awareness and engagement.

Data modeling (also known as lookalike modeling) is the method of using benchmark attributes of customers in a marketer’s 1st-party data set to find other people who also have those attributes. By amplifying reach based on these key attributes, marketing professionals are more likely to find and reach the right consumers when and where it will make the biggest impact.

3. Execute

Armed with an amplified and enriched audience, the next step is to execute against the audience. The ability to execute against a single audience across multiple ID types is crucial when it comes to maximizing the value of a specific data set. However, in order to complete this step, data is shipped from a CRM or DMP to the activation side and is typically sent in multiple forms (such as cookies, Mobile Ad ID (MAIDs), subscriber IDs, or emails). The desired single view of the consumer, therefore, becomes split.

To solve this challenge, marketing professionals should look to activation and marketing execution platforms, such as a DSP with cross-device technology, that can re-link the various data types. By completing this step, marketing professionals can ensure that the activation experience is consistent across channels.

Once a single view of the consumer has been secured across all devices, it becomes easier to track and plan against an individual’s path to purchase.

4. Measure

The final step in fully activating data is analyzing data sets in a way that provides insights. These insights can then be used for better segmentation, audience curation, value measurement, and activation strategies.

A strong framework for measuring data is critical when it comes to determining if a data strategy is working. Implementing a formal “test & learn” framework where new data-driven hypotheses are brought to the table, tested, evaluated, and scaled/deprecated based on performance is a powerful way to ensure results.

Put data to use

Once data is activated, it becomes an incredibly powerful tool that can be used in a variety of marketing strategies. Interested in learning how you can make data work for you? Check out our guidebook Turning Data Into Action and arm yourself with some valuable tips for your client’s next campaign.


Turning Data Into Dollars | White Paper