The current environment for marketers is creating a number of dynamic challenges across all promotional channels. Supply chain issues combined with rising postage and paper costs have made direct mail more challenging. The deprecation of third-party cookies and mobile advertising IDs—along with evolving data privacy regulations—have contributed to a digital advertising landscape that feels like a constantly moving target.
These challenges are forcing marketers to be as creative and ingenious as ever when it comes to adapting their data and audience targeting strategies to achieve their marketing goals. While these circumstances often call for testing new innovations—we wholeheartedly support a “test and learn” philosophy—it also creates an opportunity for marketers to revisit proven methodologies to see how they can maximize their marketing efforts.
Cooperative database participation is one such opportunity. By way of quick review, when participating in a cooperative database, multiple brands and organizations contribute their first-party data assets into an aggregated second-party data environment. This data then provides the fuel that is analyzed by sophisticated predictive modeling systems to predict the most likely high-value customers, donors, or subscribers that will drive successful acquisition marketing campaigns for participating companies.
Cooperative databases are a long-standing and trusted data collaboration environment, as they have been utilized by marketers for 30 years. The concept of a cooperative database itself hasn’t changed too dramatically over this time. However, the breadth, depth, and detail level of data that a cooperative database can ingest has evolved significantly. The analytic techniques employed also continue to evolve as AI and other machine learning techniques make the data more meaningful and valuable. What’s more, while originally geared toward direct mail marketers, cooperative databases are rapidly transitioning to support audience targeting opportunities for advertisers using digital marketing channels including display, social, mobile, and CTV.
How Brands Benefit from Cooperative Database Participation
The core use cases for marketers leveraging cooperative databases still exist after all these years, and their participation has remained rooted in both tradition and innovation. While historic use cases continue to provide positive results, there are also new and unique ways that marketers can maximize cooperative database partnerships.
- The Best Prospect Audiences: Modeled Based on Past Purchase Behavior
Generating prospects for higher performance is the original use case for cooperative database participation. In this “give to get” model, marketers are able to reach people most likely to become high-value customers, donors, or subscribers based on a comprehensive set of spending and behavioral signals. First-party data is a powerful asset that a brand or organization can utilize for many strategic initiatives. Within a cooperative database, participants are benefiting from the collective first-party data of an immense number of diverse organizations in terms of size, theme, product range, and promotion velocity. When the aggregated dataset of a cooperative database is analyzed using predictive analytics, the data partner managing the platform discovers unique correlations between spending behaviors and other signals that accurately predict future spending behavior. Phil Wiland—the Chairman and CEO of Wiland, Inc.—also pioneered the concept of “dynamic interaction,” which also evaluates data from across categories as proxies for subscriber interest, charitable giving, or retail purchase activity. This “dynamic data” creates even more fuel to power the outcomes from the analytical engines.