One of the biggest realizations of the value of a business’ data I had was working on a project for a large retail organization figuring out how to best leverage their customer data to provide more value for both their vendors and their customers. Digital Advertising has provided us with a unique opportunity where we can not only affordably target the right consumers, at the right time, but we can also put advertisements in front of them that are extremely relevant.

Advertisements online are expected.

People have become knowledgable and understand that though Facebook is free, it must have some sort of ability to generate revenue so that it can pay its bills. (And profit). So knowing that customers generally understand that they will see advertisements, how amazing is it that we can easily put the right advertising in front of them?

If you aren’t a dog owner, you don’t need to see advertisements for dog food.

If you are a man you don’t need to see advertisements for tampons.

We can now identify those attributes and selectively target the right people with the right information.

If you know you are going to see advertisements, they might as well be advertisements relevant to bettering your life right?

We also know that data is being used to target us. When you go to amazon.com, browse through the products, add one to cart and then at the last minute decide not to purchase we notice that we see advertisements from Amazon for that specific product “Follow us” around the internet for the next 2 weeks. This is because Amazon’s digital marketing strategy realized convincing someone who already had interest was probably low hanging fruit in terms of getting a sale (conversion).

Every business that has a website has an awesome opportunity to utilize it’s data. If you have social media channels that relatively active and run online campaigns you are even better situated to use this data.

If you have vendors of any kind, or partner with companies to provide products or services you are in an extremely unique opportunity right now to utilize your data to provide sponsored content for them both supporting your business and theirs.

Here’s an example.

Your business sells motorcycles. Your primary brands are Harley Davidson and Triumph.

Your website has an active listing of all of your available motorcycles, and you put out high-quality video content across social media. Your social media channels have been integrated with your website and you know you reach thousands of potential motorcyclists per month looking for a new bike.

Using look-a-like audiences and your own first circle customer or visitor data you could create amazing value for potential customers and drive sales for both you and your vendors.

Here’s an idea, off the top of my head, specific to the above retail outlet.

You could partner with Triumph to give away 100 Triumph Motorcycle t-shirts. You could charge Triumph $5,000 to execute the campaign on your website + the cost of the shirts.

Why would Triumph want to partner with you?

You would put their logo and branding on all of the creative materials for the contest and on the contest landing page (on your website). They would also receive the email addresses of everyone who entered the contest so that they could reach out to them separately with their own valuable and relevant information.

You would utilize your website visitor data, social media data, customer database and others to highly granularly target people in your geographic area that are KNOWN motorcycle riders and who have already interacted with your brand. Triumph knows how often people switch bikes, and they would be able to put their brand in front of thousands of locals.

You would take $2,500 of that $5,000 and use it to run online advertisements promoting the contest, driving both existing, returning, and new customers to your website to enter the contest and learn more about your brand or company.

$2,500 would help you reach thousands upon thousands of local people in terms of impressions.

Do you see how that worked? Some time on your end, and the use of your data just brought you revenue + increased awareness for both you and Triumph. More importantly you were able to provide enthusiasts with value. Content and marketing that they probably won’t hate seeing.

This is just the beginning of the potential of repurposing your data for good. In the industry, we refer to this as shopper marketing. (More to come on that later).