If you’ve ever heard the phrase, “The death of the cookie is coming,” fear not—your small, flat, baked treats are safe! However, this phrase has been top of mind in the digital marketing world for a number of years and is still hanging around in 2023. Think of Hansel and Gretel when trying to understand what a digital cookie is. It’s the breadcrumb left behind in your browser showing where you’ve been and the types of things you’ve done online.
Digital marketers have been actively planning for a world where cookies aren’t dominating the digital landscape and perhaps are even muerto. While the cookie has yet to be put out to pasture, we at FARM lean into our clients’ owned data—your data—as much as possible. Third-party data, generated by cookies or otherwise, will always be relevant, but guiding clients on how to use the information they already have is an area of importance we emphasize and specialize in.
Tops is a grocery brand we have supported for a decade with graphic design, video production, audio production, media buying, and many other marketing services. Tops is well known in the areas it serves but still needs to ensure its advertising messaging reaches its most loyal customers along with those who shop less frequently, or not at all. Given the broad appeal of grocery stores, reducing the scale of messaging to those most likely to purchase is an ongoing task. In the ever-elusive land of unlimited budgets, we would just throw more money at the problem and achieve scale that way. We don’t live in that land, so we dove into their first-party (owned) data to deliver efficient audience engagement to their least frequent shoppers.
For Tops, one of their strongest data plays is the purchase data of their loyalty card members. We segmented this data into several buckets, and focused on what we dubbed “secondary shoppers”—those who shop but with far less frequency than those in the “primary shopper” bucket.
Secondary, or even tertiary, shoppers represent an opportunity for growth. They’re already making purchases each week; why not compel them to shop Tops? If we can get one more trip a month out of these shoppers, it’s a huge revenue win.
The first step in leveraging your data is to convert the information into digital IDs. We take user privacy very seriously and would never jeopardize the relationship you, or our clients, have with their customers. Once the Tops file of CRM data was ready for deployment, a third-party vendor from our tech stack matched records to digital IDs and delivered customized audience segments that campaigns could be targeted to.
Yet having data doesn’t mean you’re guaranteed to leverage it fully, or effectively. We’ve done the hard work to do just that, having built relationships to grow the capabilities in our tech stack.
Like any good data analysts, we ran our first campaigns against control groups to measure the effectiveness. These control groups were based on known behavioral profiles we’ve used many times before, such as A25+, couponer, and grocery shoppers. We can’t have the creative team stealing all the thunder and saying it was the super cute kitten in the ads that created the engagement!
Not only did we test the custom audiences against control groups with similar behaviors, but we did so across social and programmatic tactics to give a robust data pool.
75% more likely
50% more likely
Do you have a great story to tell,
Do you have a great
story to tell, but
but your audience isn’t exactly
your audience isn’t
exactly perched on the
perched on the edge of their seats?
edge of their seats?
Stick with us and you
Stick with us and you may end up
may end up needing
needing extra chairs.
You want advertising that doesn’t
You want advertising
that doesn’t sound like
sound like “advertising.” So, let’s
let’s create a campaign
create a campaign that engages your
that engages your
audience on a rational level they
audience on a rational
level they expect—and
expect—and an emotional one
an emotional one
they never saw coming.