5 Tools for Brands to Make Their Data Work Harder

Brands have many tools at their disposal to put ads and marketing content directly in front of the customers they seek to convert. CRMs, mailing lists, and social media followers generate reams of consumer data that can help pinpoint a demographic or segmentation that will help drive the best outcomes. But these 1st and 3rd party datasets are usually just a small cross-section of a brand's total audience. They come from limited samples of the total population, and profile limited attributes of that limited sample. Imagine looking through a telescope with another telescope: you can probably see a very clear picture, but there's so much happening around it that you're missing. Without layers of enrichment, proprietary data can only provide a partial look at who an audience really is.

With that in mind, here are 5 ways brands can enhance their data and make it work harder for them:

1. Unleash your proprietary segmentations

Proprietary segmentations are vital for understanding who's buying your product or visiting your websites. But by their nature, the profile they capture is incomplete. Appending segments to a nationally representative dataset can unleash a tidal wave of new insights about an audience, such as their attitudes toward environmentally friendly products, what shows they stream on which platforms, or even if they're buying products from your competitors. This intelligence can then inform new campaign strategies, creative direction, or product development.

For example, one client of ours - a direct-to-consumer brand that had just completed a custom survey about medication use - was satisfied with the segment they had built but alarmed to find they had no visibility into what media their respondents were using. After appending their audience to MRI-Simmons USA and looking at this target in the context of our 60,000+ variables, this brand could quickly identify the media channels where they could most effectively reach this target.

Did you know? You don’t have to be an ongoing MRI-Simmons subscriber to have your segments appended to our platform. If you have a segmentation you'd like integrated into a nationally representative dataset, contact us today.

2. Validate your internal datasets against a unified truth set

Many organizations have an existing consumer database - a CRM of loyalty card members or a newsletter mailing list - that offers some high level information about a given contact. These companies might not realize that this audience file is a potential gold mine of insights about their users - it just needs to be validated.

Case in point: a major US interest group, whose CRM list has millions of names and user info - age, location, gender, etc. – but not much else. To enhance this audience file, we pushed over 500 metrics from our national study to their third-party data processor which they could mine within their existing systems. With our consumer truth set validating their first-party data, they now have a much deeper understanding of their audience’s offline behaviors – and can tailor their messaging to find them where they are.

If your 1st party data is missing crucial attributes, contact us today to explore data enrichment options.

3. Field a (High-Quality) Custom Survey

Remember: we’re a survey research company. Surveys are our bread & butter. We firmly believe that the best way to learn something about an audience is to just ask them. Marketers, don’t sleep on surveys as a tool to plug the knowledge gaps about your audience. When done correctly, surveys can be enlightening.

It might be cost-effective to throw some questions into a free survey tool and entice your social media followers to take it, but the survey design will be lacking. It might be fastest to employ an online convenience panel service, but these services are easily defrauded and liable to produce bad data. Any findings from either will lack the sound data science that comes from a quality survey fielded to a probabilistic sample.

Faced with these choices, a major auto manufacturer in need of very specific insights chose our Turnkey Omnibus solution. TKO offers the same customization & ease of use as DIY survey tools paired with our nationally representative sample, with results available in as few as 3 weeks. This auto maker programmed a custom survey to learn how prospective car buyers were receiving their messaging. They crafted a custom study to capture very specific insights about brand perception, and walked away soon after with high-quality data to drive future marketing decisions.

Good news: the same representative sample and expert survey design we use to conduct MRI-Simmons USA is available to brands as well, with our team standing by to optimize custom surveys to meet a given goal. If you have a need for custom surveys, contact us today.

4. Carefully Analyze What the Data is Telling You

It's not uncommon for the same data to underpin contradictory or disparate conclusions. A story might appear on the surface that doesn't hold up to scrutiny, or is easily disproven by reading the data another way.

A savvy analyst will know which breadcrumbs to follow to uncover the most compelling story a dataset is telling - and know what pitfalls to guard against when hunting for insights. Proper analysis ensures that high-quality data doesn't lead to poor-quality action.

An online jewelry brand came to us in need deeper analysis of 3 segments. Our analyst team pulled data across categories to analyze the consumer behaviors and attributes of these segments and presented detailed 15-page reports on each segment to the client. The client was surprised to learn that one segment was older than expected compared to the others, which informed a much different media plan than they might have otherwise activated.

We offer custom analysis to help you dig into a dataset and uncover campaign-ready insights that will put your data to work. Contact us to learn more.

5. Activate the exact audience that you just spent all that time building

After an advertiser has taken the steps above and crafted an optimized campaign strategy based on a precise audience, it makes the most sense to activate that exact audience as opposed to a proxy or an off-the-shelf segmentation . Users that build targets in our Insights platform might be aware of our Activate Campaign Targets module, an available feature that takes those exact audience definitions to distribute to most DMPs, DSPs, and SSPs.

We worked with a major media company to drive more efficient for one of their advertisers. After building a custom audience using the Insights platform, they activated the campaign off that exact audience across all the client’s media channels. Compared to a demo-based buy, using ACT was 7x more effective on one-to-many linear TV and 6x more effective on connected TV platforms.

Insights users: our ACT tool is ready to deliver campaigns to your custom-built audiences. Contact us today to learn how to get started.

There's no sense in having a boatload of consumer data if it's not going to be put to work most efficiently. When marketers put thoughtful effort into making their proprietary data work harder by validating segments, collecting quality survey responses, and thoughtfully analyzing exactly what that data is saying, they can activate campaigns confidently knowing that the highest quality insights went into the decision making process.

MRI-Simmons offers a suite of solutions for any organization looking to optimize their datasets. Contact us to learn how we can help put your data to work.

Matt Petterson
Matt Petterson
Matt is the Digital Marketing Manager at MRI-Simmons, whose 10+ year career spans both media production and consumer research. He brings data-driven insights to life in any digital medium and helps thought leaders share actionable expertise across multiple platforms.
The owner of this website has made a commitment to accessibility and inclusion, please report any problems that you encounter using the contact form on this website. This site uses the WP ADA Compliance Check plugin to enhance accessibility.