How To Maximize Paid Media Performance With Data

Today’s marketers are getting squeezed on all sides – budget cuts on spend, tighter data restrictions, and lower ROAS within popular paid channels are just some of the challenges that are causing brands to tighten the pressure on marketing activity and the ROI it’s generating. Marketers are becoming more focused on incrementality with their paid media efforts and trying a variety of channels. With less focus on a single ad network, now is the time to figure out what works best when and where – and the data it will take to get there.


Double Down on Data…But Carefully

With the elimination of third-party cookies on the horizon, and the Apple privacy crackdown of data, marketers are increasingly trying to improve their paid efforts and expand their reach through different channels and targeting methods. Now is the time to lean into first and zero-party data to leverage your data to create your audiences through a variety of end channels.

“Third-party data deprecation is only going to continue,” says Ben Dutter, SVP of Strategy at Power Digital. “After cookies, it’ll be IP. After IP, it’ll be unified identifiers. The only reliable way forward is to create enough value in the data exchange that the end user VOLUNTEERS their data over to the business.”

But in the complex world of data, without the tools or resources to access, aggregate, analyze, and organize your customers’ data, creating lookalike, suppression, and retargeting models with real-time data becomes impossible. Here are some common mistakes and pitfalls to watch out for:

  • Most businesses manually upload CSVs with customer data to create lookalike and suppression audiences,  to each paid channel. By doing this manually, the customer data is immediately out of date, and brands need to continuously upload CSVs to update the customer list with new data.
  • CSV files have limited overall customer data because they are being pulled from siloed sources (i.e., Shopify website, email engagement, SMS, etc.). And getting a combined effort of data requires data manipulation and IT to get involved to combine the data into a usable CSV. Avoiding this can eliminate days from your workload.
  • When suppressing ads, marketers will cast the net too wide. One example is hiding all ads from past purchasers instead of using ads to cross-sell other products. If your company sells bedding materials, someone who recently bought a pillow shouldn’t be excluded from pillowcase ads.


A Single Source of Truth: How CDPs can take the lift out of data in paid media

“The better a business understands their customer, the better they’re able to make smart marketing decisions,” says Dutter. “Building a valuable data exchange between the customer and the business means that those decisions have to benefit the customer in some way – better experience, better targeting, better recommendations, etc.”

A Customer Data Platform (CDP) can remove the friction between data and media deployments, enabling that link between better data and customer experience. Simon Data is built on Snowflake’s cloud data warehouse, enabling real-time activation of the most up-to-date data from every source, effectively eliminating those blocking data silos. This removes the need for manual CSV uploads, easily integrating directly with ad channels to create audiences using Simon’s segmentation tool, then creating a trigger to upload these audiences to paid channels in real-time. 

This feature also removes contacts from audiences if they meet specific criteria. Use triggered-based actions to develop your audiences (i.e., abandons cart and hasn’t subscribed to any channels, send to FB) within Simon’s orchestration tool and automatically send customer data based on the action criteria. Simon allows you to better understand your customers by segmenting based on LTV, churn propensity, and product recommendations through our Simon Predict ML models.

Finally, you can also use Simon ID+ to turn anonymous users into known, and send them to preferred ad channels to retarget them after abandoning a cart (i.e., coupons, promotion codes, limited time offers).


Paid Media Tips to Maximize Data Impact

“There’s only two ways to make revenue: more customers or more valuable customers. Integrating first and zero-party data on your customer list is the most reliable way to maximize the value of each customer, purchase, and cohort,” says Dutter. “While paid is traditionally an acquisition effort, it can also be used to carefully upsell, and message existing or lapsed customers to maximize their LTV.”

Here are some ways Simon Data can help your paid media and paid social strategies in all three use cases:


  • Use lookalike models based on activity to help lower customer acquisition costs. For example, add people who recently abandoned a cart or return customers who are likely to purchase higher-cost items.
  • Improve ROAS by suppressing your known users from acquisition campaigns. This ensures you’re not wasting your budget on marketing to already-loyal customers and not offering new customer deals and discounts to those who don’t need them.
  • Sometimes, potential customers simply need to learn how others use your product in ways they haven’t considered. Use customer testimonials that show the success of others using your product to spark interest for targeted abandonment and lookalike campaigns to those who have browsed specific pages and items.


  • Reward those who reward you. Ask for new customer referrals in exchange for discounts and gifts by encouraging feedback on social media or your website with your highest LTV customers. 
  • Send a push notification for new, popular social posts to drive engagement. Then create lookalike models for people who received and clicked the notification.
  • For customers that made their first purchase, create a lookalike audience, encouraging them to join your loyalty program and get a certain amount of points for signing up in a specific time frame.
  • Send pre-targeted ads to inactive lookalike audiences before you reach out to them via email. This way, once they receive your sales team’s email, they’re already re-acquainted with your product.
  • If you plan to have an event or sponsorship near a specific area, create audiences with that specific location and a sign-up sheet to encourage customers to go.


  • Create segments of lapsed users based on their engagement data and reach out to them via social or owned channels with tailored content, supporting more frequent—and deeper—engagement. Customize these messages with information about each user’s historical activity and purchases to highlight their previous usage.
  • For customers that have left a complaint or written a bad review recently, suppress them from your advertising campaigns and nurture campaigns through their preferred channels with personalized content to win back their trust. 
  • Leverage the user data at your disposal to lure back lapsed users by sending personalized re-engagement messages based on their past engagement. Use owned messaging channels and social advertising to reach them where they’re active, and consider using promotion codes to provide clear value and drive future conversions.


Better Customer Data = Better Customer Experiences

The most important thing to remember is that your data is the foundation for all your campaigns. If you’re not using the right data segments, sources, and models, it doesn’t matter how much effort and spend you put into your paid media strategies; you’re not going to see the results you want. Tools like CDPs can take the burden off of not only marketing teams but the IT and data teams who support them. By putting accurate customer data at the heart of your strategy, your outcomes will not only be higher revenue results but happier customer experiences.

Join us to learn more about what you can do to maximize your paid media strategies. Hear from the experts at Power Digital Marketing and Simon Data at our webinar. Register here!

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