First to the Party

See how we turned our client’s own data 

See how we turned

our client’s own data

into new business opportunities.

into new business


The backstory

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.

Agency services:

  • Digital & Traditional Advertising
  • Connected Video
  • Social Media
  • Audience Development & Segmentation
  • Digital Privacy Compliance
  • Digital & Traditional Advertising
  • Connected Video
  • Social Media
  • Audience Development & Segmentation
  • Digital Privacy Compliance

Primary, Secondary, Tertiary Audiences, Oh My!

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.

Anonymous, Party of One

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.

Control Freak

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.

The Results

Metrics for the custom audiences were, on average,

70% better

than for the control groups when comparing click-through rate (CTR), time on site (TOS), bounce rate, and page consumption.

When we target known brand shoppers with targeted messaging, they respond in greater numbers than if we target people based on the assumption that they will shop your brand if they are aware you exist.
Looking at the custom audiences across social media,

users were

75% more likely

to like, comment, or share the content.

Those same audiences, across the web, were ​

50% more likely

to click on an ad.​

We help you use your data in the most efficient way to reach customers, drive web actions, measure activity, and report results. That’s how that cookie crumbles.​

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

extra chairs.

needing extra chairs.

  • Public relations
  • Content marketing
  • Video production
  • Organic and paid social strategy and execution
  • Experiential marketing

You want advertising that doesn’t

You want advertising

that doesn’t sound like

sound like “advertising.” So, let’s

“advertising.” So,

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.

  • Digital and traditional advertising
  • Building market awareness
  • Audience targeting
  • Campaign testing, measurement, and data analytics

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