With the impending demise of third party cookies the importance of having good quality data – and knowing how to keep it safe – is becoming increasingly critical for marketers.
While the death of the cookie isn’t on the cards for a couple of years, given Google’s announcement it would be delaying the implementation of its blocking for at least two years, it is going to happen.
Marketers know the importance of data tracking, so establishing a good data strategy to accumulate first party information will become even more vital to ensure a good digital media campaign.
And the rise of fake, invalid traffic which is giving inaccurate and inflated campaign analytics is also having a major impact on data quality. Click fraud affects every online advertiser. It’s predicted that advertisers’ loss to click fraud will reach $100 billion by 2023. Click fraud is now bigger than credit card fraud.
The output of your marketing analytics is only as good as the data you’re inputting.
If your analytics are wrong, how can you rely on it to make decisions about campaign strategy?
Developing a quality data strategy
According to Bernard Marr, a world-renowned thought leader in the fields of business and technology, there are millions of ways data can help a business but, broadly speaking, they fall into two categories:
- Using data to improve your existing business and how you make business decisions.
- Using data to transform your day-to-day business operations.
In practice, most companies start out wanting to improve their decision making and take it from there.
Get your marketing analytics right
With Gartner’s Marketing Data and Analytics Survey 2020 showing only 54% of marketing decisions are influenced by marketing analytics, it’s not surprising that many ad campaigns fail to hit their targets.
Marketing today involves managing and harnessing multiple digital channels across many devices, utilising a stack of marketing processes and technologies.
Without quality data, clear recommendations and actionable guidance, analytics can never drive change in any organisation.
Getting the key company players and decision makers involved will help you create a better data strategy overall, and getting their buy-in at this crucial early stage means they’re more likely to put all that data to good use later on.
Where should my quality data strategy start?
Counterintuitively as it may seem, it doesn’t start with data. Rather than looking at what data you might have, what you might be able to get access to or what you would love to have, begin with what your company objectives are.
There’s no point in collecting data which won’t ultimately help you achieve your business goals. Work out what your priorities are – increase customer acquisition, new product development, increase customer retention or lapsed customer conversion, and then look at what data you need to inform those decisions.
What data do you already hold?
Now establish the priority level of each of your goals and outline the data you need to achieve them.
Then look at what data you already have within your company and identify the gaps where additional data is required.
Creating first party databases is the best way of ensuring you’re not going to fall foul of any legislation over personal data privacy – especially given the potential financial impact of a breach of the EU’s GDPR.
Where can I collect good quality data?
The best source of first party data is from within your business. You already have a wealth of information from your own sources including:
- Data collected through marketing analytics such as website or app user behaviour, actions and demographics
- Contact data in your CRM
- Subscription data
- Social media analytics data
- Offline data such as customer surveys
In the 2019 study conducted by BCG, survey respondents were asked about the main sources of their first party data, with first party cookies, social media, website tags, email, search ads and banner ads all found to be the most used methods of first party data collection.
How to improve data quality
In order to improve data quality organisations must:
- Evaluate objective and subjective data quality metrics;
- Analyse the results and determine the reason behind any incongruities;
- Determine next steps for improvement.
When everyone in your business is working from the same data set, it makes formatting cohesive marketing strategies much simpler.
Merging datasets together, human error, and multiple contributors (like a large sales team), are all reasons why data can look different from one record to another. Some common places unstandardised data can appear include:
- First-letter capitalisation (e.g. mary vs. Mary);
- Job title (e.g. CEO vs. Chief Executive Officer);
- Revenue and employee count (e.g. picklist of options vs. absolute number);
- Address fields (e.g. West Yorks vs. West Yorkshire).
Therefore, validating contact data as it is collected is the most effective way to improve marketing data quality.
How adding click fraud protection improves your data
With digital ad fraud affecting between 10-60% of different types of digital advertising, it pays to detect and block as much of this fake traffic as you can to improve the accuracy of your campaign data, and more importantly to stop wasting significant amounts of advertising budget.
Beacon protects your paid search and social from fake clicks and bot ad impressions. It uses Digital Journey Tracking to collate all visitor actions and uses this data for individual visitor behavioural and network analysis, as well as looking at dozens of parameters to perform advanced OS / device fingerprinting.
Its click fraud protection ensures that when a bot is detected, the device fingerprint is added to the Beacon unique bot protection database. This database is used to block bot impressions (for CPM) and clicks (for CPC) on your paid campaigns.
Beacon uses this to build regularly-updated, custom blended bot exclusion lists specifically for your business, to give you the maximum reduction in click fraud over time.
Get started with Beacon by calculating how much you might be losing on your paid media campaigns to click fraud with our new click fraud calculator.