In the years since “big data” became a term, the scope of what data can do to enhance your business has changed and evolved. If you own a business, you likely are paying for some kind of online advertising. Google Ads, social media advertising, and any other online targeted ads are now considered to be best practice for growing your business. But how can you optimize your advertising dollars? Enhancing your ads with data can give you a competitive advantage.

While many of the large advertising platforms provide basic demographic data, like age, gender, location and income, more detailed data can provide you with a better return on your investment.

For example, if you are advertising based on your current customer data, using outside data can further narrow your targeted audience. If you know that your business makes more sales to families, you could use data to further segment your data to households with children. This can be accomplished with retargeting ads. This is a very basic example, which could easily be expanded upon to get the most traction for your company.

Targeting by location is a popular tactic, but how do you know which location to choose? If you spend time analyzing what you know about your top customers—age, location, employment, etc.—you could then paint a picture of what that person looks like in terms of their demographics. Using that analysis, you could set location-based advertising for areas with similar demographics. We can accomplish this through Panorama, the AGS segmentation database. If your current customer fits in with Panorama segment 22, “Up and Coming Suburban Diversity”, we can find areas of the country where those neighborhoods are, and you can create location targets for your ads. This is common practice for site location, but works well for online advertising as well. Targeting ads by location is nothing new. Using data to choose those locations puts you at a competitive advantage, and is more cost-effective in the long run, since you should have a higher return on investment.

There are so many ways, and opportunities, to use data to optimize your online advertisements. If you are currently running your ads on basic demographics provided by the host, it may be time to improve your strategy.