How smart use of data is driving digital effectiveness

Posted on Monday 13 March 2023 | Ben Kartzman - Chief Operating Officer at Mediaocean

As well as measuring success, data and metrics are an essential part of optimising digital advertising activities for every stage of the funnel, writes Mediaocean’s Ben Kartzman

Digital marketing is, by its nature, always evolving and advertisers need to be in tune with any new platforms or formats that capture consumer attention. Last year, we saw the introduction of new social media channels like BeReal, increased buzz around AI chatbots and graphic design platforms, and a surge in TikTok marketing. In addition, 2022 saw streaming giants like Netflix offering advertising and Disney+ expanding its cross-channel measurement capabilities. 

This year, we’ll see more of a focus on personalisation and empathy, with the customisation of advertising designed to build trust, prove value, and boost retention. With third-party cookies being phased out, 2023 will also see advertisers seeking out new ways to attribute conversions and retarget site visitors. Marketing in the metaverse is another trend to keep an eye on along with the use of AR and VR to drive brand engagement.  

To be sure, 2023 will bring new challenges for advertisers, with the increasing pressure of macroeconomic disruption and the ongoing cost of living crisis impacting spending decisions for customers, wherever they sit in the marketing funnel. 

The importance of data in digital advertising  

One constant through this evolution, and an important factor in navigating significant market changes, is the use of data. With media consumption and shopping behaviour constantly in flux, data can be the key to remaining agile, distinguishing short-term trends from bigger industry shifts, and truly understanding the needs of customers. 

Data and metrics can be the difference between making predictions and truly knowing what customers want to see when it comes to digital advertising. Metrics pulled from social media, websites, blog content, email marketing, form fills, mobile downloads and more not only tell us what kinds of content customers engage with and when – they also help to predict upcoming consumer trends and future demand, a vital capability in times of change. And by being able to easily measure performance, data enables efficient budgeting and budget reallocation.  

Utilising data throughout the marketing funnel 

As well as measuring success, data and metrics are an essential part of optimising digital advertising activities for every stage of the funnel. 

At the awareness level, or top of the funnel, metrics like impressions, visitors, reach, and views are indispensable in helping to build out an ideal customer profile. Customer data can also be segmented to advertise to only the most highly engaged and high-value individuals. Intent metrics like keyword data can also be used to see how potential customers search for information related to a company’s product or service. These keywords and topics can then be used to create search ads, display ads, or any other top-of-funnel format. In addition to gauging what potential customers are searching for, these data points offer insights around when people are searching and how often, building a greater picture of the customer’s wants and needs.   

The consideration level is where customers get to know brands a bit better, often through video and display ads. To better target this content to customers, it’s beneficial to continuously A/B test based on data like bounce rates, views, and engagement.  

In the conversion stage, data can be used to personalise campaigns based on actions that customers have (or haven’t) made. This might mean analysing customer journeys, testing usability, or evaluating cart abandonment. A key digital advertising technique for conversion-stage customers is email, which allows for more granular customer segmentation and personalisation based on metrics like open rate. 

For the retention stage, metrics like recurring revenue, customer lifetime value, and satisfaction score can help to classify existing customers – are they business champions? Do they need more nurturing? Or are they at risk of being lost? From there brands can retarget the customers that are most likely to re-engage. Metrics like return-on-ad spend (ROAS) and advertising cost-of-sales (ACOS) are invaluable when it comes to budgeting for the next campaign.  

Just as digital advertising should be utilised within every stage of the marketing funnel, so should data-led insights. A metrics-driven strategy makes it far easier to personalise campaigns to the latest marketing trends and the precise and evolving needs of the consumer, making the journey through the marketing funnel seamless – and profitable. 

Written by

Ben Kartzman

Chief Operating Officer at Mediaocean


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