Successful marketing has always included making regular connections between a business and its target audience. But thanks to advancements in technology we no longer have to send out hit-or-miss mailers or make cold calls, and even the days of blanket online ads are a thing of the past. Now, thanks to data collection services like Acxiom, we can get loads of facts about our customers and fine-tune ads just for them.

One of the things we like about Acxiom is they’re a fair company that encourages consumers to get involved in the data collection process. This involvement helps people understand that data collection isn’t about snooping but simply allows businesses to provide individualized ad experiences. At Spark Logix, we find when customers know what’s going on, they’re more willing to offer up additional data. This works out better for everyone, since individuals start seeing more ads they can relate to and businesses reach more people who are legitimately interested in their products or services.

If you’re considering using Acxiom as a marketing resource, here’s a quick review of what they do and where they get their data.

Where they Find Data

When we talk about data, we mean all the little tidbits of information businesses and marketers gather about consumers. This information can come from things like public records and from people’s online interactions and behaviors. For instance, Acxiom collects non-sensitive data from publicly available records, such as telephone and website directories, online postings, property assessor files, and government issued licenses. They also glean data from registrations, purchases, and online surveys or questionnaires. Some of this information may come from other commercial entities where online users have provided data and given permission for it to be used and shared.

Specifically, Acxiom collects two types of data: core data and derived (or modeled) insights.

Core data is general information, such as someone’s age, marital status, address, phone number, etc. In comparison, derived insights are things companies infer about people based on their core data and online behaviors. They sift through these details to target specific demographics and to find out what specific people are interested in. This info is then passed on to businesses, so they can deliver individualized marketing content. For instance, if Acxiom knows someone owns a home and they recently bought a rug from an online store, it may assume that person would like to see home décor ads. That’s an overly simple example, as Acxiom actually uses complex algorithms to derive data, yet it gives you an idea of how they look at details from multiple sources to gain insight into the minds of your potential customers.

How their Data Helps Both Businesses and Consumers

Although we’re looking at data collection from the business side, all of us are consumers too, so it’s easy for us to sympathize with people who worry about it intruding into their private lives. However, because we know exactly how this info is used, we recognize this collection process is simply a means of providing online users with more relevant ad content (not about violating privacy). It’s important we pass this message onto our customers, so they understand it’s truly a mutually beneficial relationship between businesses and consumers (i.e. they see more interesting ads, and we connect with more people who care about our brands).

Acxiom helps foster this relationship, as they explain to consumers what data collection is all about and encourages them to create an account with Acxiom where they can view and edit some of their personal information. Given the power to edit, online users begin to feel like they have control over the information gleaned about them, and Acxiom can pass on more accurate data to businesses — again, it’s a win-win.

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It’s 21st Century Marketing

Online ads have gotten a bad rap for being the things everybody tries to ignore. Yet, much of that stems from the fact that people are bombarded with meaningless advertisements. However, when we create content marketed towards specific people and the things they care about, we find folks start paying attention.

Obviously, direct marketing isn’t a new idea, but Acxiom’s technology has the power to take this time-tested strategy to the next level. These days everything from social media, to news content, to device layouts are becoming personalized, and we shouldn’t expect folks to accept any less from advertisements. With a service like Acxiom we can stop relying on inefficient mass marketing, learn more about our customers, and deliver ads (across all media) targeted towards their wants and needs. When that happens, business owners are able to get maximum value out of all their advertising dollars and ultimately earn more conversions.

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