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84.51° - Lauren Littlejohn & Kate Cullen on optimizing audiences

84.51° - Lauren Littlejohn & Kate Cullen on optimizing audiences

 September 05, 2019

84.51° Director Lauren Littlejohn and Lead Consultant Kate Cullen are doing important work and research when it comes to marketing, data and technology. In a special whitepaper, the duo discuss Taking the Guesswork out of Audience Targeting.

Where Women Work takes a look at some of the whitepaper's key elements.

Mountains of data are swirling in the industry

"The era of using primary research and contextual signals alone to identify target audiences is over. With a continually evolving tech stack and mountains of data swirling in the industry, as marketers, we are in a unique position to critically reevaluate audience creation and use performance data to improve relevancy. No longer will data be used only to retroactively see how a campaign performed. It will be used to determine who should receive that campaign in the first place by predicting which channels and brand messages are most relevant to a customer," write Lauren and Kate.

"These predictions will ultimately drive greater sales lift than traditional targeting tactics — grounding our targeting in purchase behavior, propensity to engage, and science that pulls all customer dimensions together for consideration to take out the guesswork. At the launch of the Kroger Plus Card in 2001, Kroger began to use shopper data in new ways to improve the customer experience. However, it wasn’t until the launch of Kroger Precision Marketing in October 2017 that 84.51° began harnessing the power of longitudinal data and machine learning to optimize marketing campaigns at scale.

"Over a year and a half, we have compiled a historical performance database and used that data, alongside behavioral data, to build target audiences. By leveraging machine learning and data models, KPM campaigns uniquely consider advertiser objectives, UPCs, time of communication, budget, and past performance by household within each marketing channel to prioritize customers based on predicted lift. In short: audiences are now pre-optimized to meet advertiser objectives."

Lauren and Kate advise, however, that anyone not sitting on mountains of data does not need to be disheartened. With a greater focus on how to leverage data to sharpen marketing communications, the pair offer five steps to help people target customers more effectively over time. 

Five steps for leveraging data to sharpen marketing

  • begin to build a data repository 
  • analyze your customer base and learn everything you can about them 
  • choose a machine learning model and begin feeding data into it 
  • optimize and fine tune based on your model observations 
  • withhold a control group and measure 

To explore these five tips in more detail, click here to read the full white page.

Explore new ways of harnessing data

Lauren and Kate conclude "Our work should not stop at understanding customer segments within market research – that is just one dimension to consider. Our work should continue by partnering with Data Scientists to determine how we connect the mass of data at our fingertips and allow it to show us how to make our marketing more effective. I invite you to dispel the way targeting has always been done and explore a new way of harnessing data to remove the guesswork in targeting."

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Disclosure: Where Women Work researches and publishes insightful evidence about how its paid member organizations support women's equality.

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