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Stop focusing on the data that everyone else has and try to find insights using new data sources

BY CEO & Founder Steve White January 25

A massive amount of data is now available on every potential car buyer, with a multitude of ways to use it. And, when it comes to targeting your audience, most ad platforms try to make it easier for you. The thought process is usually something along the lines of, the more detailed you are in your targeting, the more likely that your ads, messages, video, etc., will be shown to the right people – or at least for the most part.

But what about what you don’t know?

I recently read an interesting article on Business2Community which had me thinking about this very point. According to the article, there are four types of data: Facts we know, information we don’t have but know how to find, gut feeling, and things we don’t know we don’t know.

I love the last one because it makes sense and made me start to wonder how exactly DO we get information that we aren’t even looking for? Maybe we simply don’t know to look for it because nobody ever has. Perhaps we don’t look for it because, on the surface, it appears irrelevant. The trick, however, is this: all your competitors are attempting to target people utilizing the first two types of data – things we know (demographics, location, etc.) and information we don’t have but know how to find (such as targeting through AdWords, Facebook, etc.)

If everyone else is doing the same thing, targeting in similar ways and then sitting back in their chairs high-fiving themselves, what does that mean for the customer? It means that, while everyone is congratulating themselves about how great their marketing is, the customer is bombarded with noise from all these sources. While the intent of these sources may be to be relevant, when bombarded and over-saturated with messages, the customer reacts to everyone’s message as if it is irrelevant and just more noise.

Think about it, what would happen if you visited a website and each ad was for the same product or service, the only difference being that each ad was from different companies? You’d quickly ignore them all. Even if they’re relevant.

Perhaps then, a better strategy would be to stop focusing on the data that everyone else has and try to find insights using the two other types of data: gut feeling and things we don’t know we don’t know. According to the article, this can help you discover things about your audience that your competitor doesn’t know. Then you gain an advantage both in ad delivery and marketing spend. Why? Because if you use your gut, or dig deep through your data to find trends and commonalities that you aren’t used to looking for, you’d be able to bid less for display and paid search, simply because there will be less people bidding against you.

So how do you find these insights? Using data you probably aren’t tracking right now. For example, let’s simplify it to data gathered from a website. The article suggests utilizing tools such as heat-mapping and text tracking widgets to really understand that the customer visited this or that page on your website and what they actually looked at, read or engaged with. Having this information can provide valuable insight and the opportunity to learn things about your customers that you never did before.

Start thinking outside-the-box and analyze data you may never have deemed important before. You could find yourself with a competitive marketing advantage and, at the end of the day, have more money left in the bank.


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