Supercharge Your Audience Database


Time, Inc. recently announced a brilliantly simple and smart deal with a company called Audience Partners just in time for the 2016 election season. Simply stated, it is overlaying its massive consumer database with voting data from Audience Partners that has created a National Online Voter File database.

Yes, just in time for the elections, Time can now offer political campaigns access to its audience, but now with the ability to target not only by Time’s demographic data, but also by political party affiliation. And lest I leave you with the impression that Audience Partners only offers simple party registration data, let me be clear: there’s much more. The National Online Voter File allows targeting by voting frequency, donor history, types of elections the voter typically participates in and more.

Hopefully, your head is already spinning with the possibilities for your own audience database. In the B2B world, a voter overlay wouldn’t be my first choice because that’s a volume game: you need a huge audience to be attractive. But let your mind wander to other possibilities a bit closer to home. Is there public domain or even licensed data that you could overlay on your own audience database to create new high-value marketing opportunities? All this added intelligence about your audience is also something you can leverage internally as well, getting smarter about who you are talking to and what content they engage with.

None of this is a new concept. I remember back to the good old days of pressure sensitive labels and postal mail. Even back then, mailing list compilers were slamming together lists of mail order buyers to identify coveted “multi-buyers.” And “master files” of names, sometimes with hundreds of possible demographic and behavioral selections were readily available.

As a B2B example, I often offer up the example of Randall-Reilly, which has publications serving the trucking industry. It overlaid its basic audience data with a rich public domain database that allowed to it append truck ownership data. Suddenly, it went from offering modestly value truck driver contact information to hugely valuable market intelligence and targeting capabilities as it now knows the exact make, model and year of the trucks its subscribers operate.

This is perhaps the simplest and fastest way to supercharge your audience database. Think of what data you and your advertisers would kill for, then rather than trying to acquire it yourself, see how you might acquire it through one or more overlays. This has been a good business for 30 years; it’s even better today.