Today’s advertising environment has become increasingly complex, with more data available now than ever before. Identifying your ideal consumer requires more than traditional demographic and psychographic data provides.

Relying on historical customer purchase data tells you who purchased your product and services in the past; it doesn’t tell you who you need to reach now in order to grow sales. Consumer web search patterns and mobile device location history have become necessary additions to legacy techniques for brand advertising. These in-market signals are required to adapt advertising to how consumers shop. Someone looking to purchase new running shoes, for example, may price-compare and read reviews online before heading to a brick and mortar location to try on shoes and make a purchase.

Only the largest brands can afford to invest in all of the data, people, and technology to achieve their marketing objectives. Investment in experienced analysts and software are necessary to successfully blend the online, offline and proprietary data that drive return on advertising dollars spent.

As more brands realize that proprietary customer data alone does not produce expected results, they are turning to partners with extensive data investments, modern analytics software and experienced analysts who know how to use data to achieve each brand’s key performance indicators.

These analysts know the “spray and pray” approach to advertising is a thing of the past. Relying solely on consumer proximity to store location is no longer valid in most cases. Instead, analysts use software to synthesize billions of mobile device signals each day to determine not only who is visiting a brand’s retail locations, but also where those consumers travel throughout their day to identify patterns. Identifying travel patterns allows analysts to build media plans that efficiently deliver advertising to consumers using their preferred media at specific times and places. Sophisticated analysts optimize media plans using machine learning techniques to meet specific brand and marketing objectives.

The ultimate goal of any advertising campaign is to activate consumers to buy your products. It sounds simple, but the explosion of available data in the last few years has made it increasingly necessary to partner with an expert to do it right.