Deterministic and Probabilistic Face Off in the Ultimate Data Challenge

Email Data

Two types of data face off on the ice. Which will be victorious for your marketing?

Marketers and advertisers need reliable, accurate audience data for cross-device campaigns—like ad targeting, retargeting, marketing automation, email, and more. Traditionally, marketers have used cookies to learn about prospects online. But cookies are only attributed to a single desktop device, leaving marketers scratching their heads about mobile and tablets.

Today, thanks to data technology you can connect the dots between devices. Ads can follow users from their phones to their desktop computers and tablets. Social media profiles can be mined for valuable insights in email marketing. Quality data represents the serious potential to drive revenues across devices. Be aware, though, that not all data is the same.

On the ice today, we have probabilistic data and deterministic data squaring off for your marketing dollars. Which one will win? Let’s meet the contenders:

Probabilistic (Modeled) Data

Probabilistic data is modeled data that uses technology to analyze patterns in data and makes the best guess. It uses behavioral identifiers, look-a-likes, and household information, to create an assumption about your audience. It allows marketers to target large audiences, despite lots of unknowns in the list. Probabilistic data falls short, however, when it comes to accuracy and individual insights are limited. While probabilistic data does allow you to gain audience scale, data quality is sacrificed in exchange for scale.  

Deterministic (Non-Modeled) Data

Deterministic data is non-modeled data reported or declared from the individual. It can include demographic, food and shopping preferences, lifestyle choices, hobbies, past purchase information. , and other information that an individual has voluntarily reported from surveys, applications, or transactions. Deterministic data is considered the most accurate and reliable marketing data available. It allows you to target smaller, more precise audiences based on the known and self-identified information. While you might sacrifice larger scale with deterministic data, you might be surprised by your campaign success by using more accurate information assigned to a more precise audience.

What does this mean on a practical level?

If you sell candy bars, for example, probabilistic data might work for you. It provides a large audience and, even if your offer reaches a few wrong individuals, you might still see high ROI because your product has wide appeal.

Many businesses, however, operate strategically targeted or niche campaigns and demand a greater degree of accuracy. If, for example, you sell baby toys at a retail location, your most likely prospects are parents and grandparents of children under a year old. Deterministic data can pinpoint these individuals and drill down based on factors like geography and household income to find your ideal customer. This accuracy will also allow you to tailor your messaging and offers to increase campaign relevancy and ROI.

If you use probabilistic data in the baby scenario, your mobile ads and emails will reach some of your ideal targets. However, your offers might also go to singles with no children, elderly with no grandkids, or couples with older children. Using probabilistic data means your messages won’t be as relevant and your brand loses credibility. People will be most likely be annoyed, and less likely to click and purchase. As a result, your campaign ROI will likely be lower than targeting a more accurate and precise audience.

The Winner Is…

Deterministic data delivers the win because it’s reliable and accurate. It allows you to precisely target individuals with relevant offers based on a host of factors—including financial info, vehicle make and model, demographics, political affiliation, interests and hobbies, household composition, and many more. All this self-identified information means you can create relevant messaging that drives opens, clicks, and sales.

How to get started

Webbula Insightdata offers 100% authoritative, self-reported, deterministic data to better target your audience. We aggregate data from over 110 sources, including publishers, transactional events, social media, surveys, and more. To ensure you have the cleanest, most up-to-date data available, we also apply CloudHygiene to remove any threats and mitigate fraud.

Contact us today to discuss how enhancing your list with deterministic data can take your cross-device marketing to the next level.