Point Of View | Published April 21, 2017

How to use data to reach your most profitable prospects

By: Austin Pratt

Supervisor, Channel Buying


In today’s business environment, it’s vital to use all relevant first-, second- and third-party data available to you in order to target your most profitable prospects – those who will have the greatest impact on your business goals and bottom line. Here are five steps to start targeting these individuals.

  1. Organize, combine and analyze all of your first-party data.
    • Whether your data is from a customer relationship management (CRM) platform or housed internally on a different data management platform, it’s important to break down any departmental barriers so you can take a full inventory of the information at your fingertips.
  2. Use the demographic traits and behaviors common to your most profitable customers to identify unique audience segments.
    • It’s imperative to look beyond basic demographic data – such as age, gender or household income – to understand the psychographic factors that determine motivating behaviors. These may include lifestyle habits, interests, values or personality traits.
    • Additionally, when evaluating the profitability of a customer, look beyond the conversion to other business metrics such as average customer life cycle, referrals-per-account and cost-to-support, which will better show you who your most valuable customers are.
  3. Leverage your first-party data to create look-alike segments to activate against within your marketing plan.
    • You’ll likely need tens of thousands of unique pieces of data to accurately and efficiently build these models with directional accuracy. This is why employing look-alike segments (in lieu of a large amount of data) can be a great way to target the prospects who are most similar to your profitable customers.
  4. Identify unique traits and behaviors through third-party data by using the look-alike segments you created in your first-party data analysis, further propelling your targeting capabilities.
    • Complementing your first-party data targeting with third-party data provides a more effective targeting approach, ensuring cost-efficiency and that profitable prospects aren’t falling through the cracks.
    • This is also a powerful solution for when you want to leverage your first-party data for more profitable targeting, but may not have a data set large enough to build a look-alike model.
  5. Test and optimize to invest more heavily in the segments that are driving stronger results.
    • Testing and optimizing regularly ensures optimal marketing efficiency by allowing for greater fluidity in your budget. A demand-side platform – such as the one we use at Meers – provides added flexibility to granularly target, test and adjust our bidding strategies in real time. This lets us weigh budgets appropriately to drive the most efficient business results for our clients.

By leveraging your data to identify profitable traits in your customers, using third-party data to ensure that your targeting is as efficient and effective as possible, and optimizing against top-performing segments, you can better identify and convert your more-profitable leads into new business.

For more information on how to use data to drive your marketing return, contact Sam Meers (SamM@meers.com).