Engage:BDR Fuses In-Store Data With Online Retargeting

The West Hollywood-based ad tech firm uses consumer history, U.S Census data, and direct mail info to bridge the gap between offline success and online glory.

Brands looking to leverage their offline consumer data for geo- and other targeting purposes may turn to the digital advertising firm Engage:BDR, particularly to its solution AudB. The AudB technology and methodology was fashioned to enable advertisers to target specific audiences using demographic, geographic, and financial information that’s extrapolated by matching a user’s IP address with US Census data.

Ted Dhanik, Co-founder/ President of Engage:BDR
Ted Dhanik, Co-founder/ President of Engage:BDR

Most notably Engage:BDR’s services were used in Eric Garcetti’s successful mayoral campaign in Los Angeles last year, where they helped leverage offline voter file data for micro-targeting, but Ted Dhanik, CEO/president and co-founder of the West Hollywood-based firm, asserts that the technology can be applied by a retailer to reach its own goals, both off and online. 

Drilling Through Data  

“Let’s take Home Depot, for example,” Dhanik says, choosing a major retailer that has targeting needs for both its online and offline presence. “We could have a discussion with Home Depot and say, ‘Hey, get us all the [data on] users that bought a DeWalt drill from all your in-store locations. Provide us their names and billing addresses, etc. Once we have all that, we can find those users by leveraging that data through partnerships with merchant processors, like First Data.”

Dhanik goes on to explain that with the data in hand, merchant processors can match it with the consumers’ IP addresses. From there, Engage:BDR can target the users IP addresses. Naturally, the firm targets users with ads that their purchase history shows will be the most relevant.

“They might want to buy another battery for their drill, or they might want to buy drill bits or a tool box from DeWalt,” Dhanik says. “We can say [with the ad], ‘Hey, you walked into a Home Depot store, you bought a DeWalt drill, here’s what you need next.”

This type of targeting poses as a kind of bridge between online and offline targeting. As Dhanik notes,” In this case we’re targeting users that made a purchase in-store, but we’re retargeting them online.”

Engaging Location

For Engage:BDR, location data is valuable when looking to retarget a consumer online, but it also plays a substantial role in serving ads of any nature, particularly on mobile platforms.

Dhanik says that location was a vital ingredient in the Garcetti mayoral campaign. When users were within near range of voting area, Engage: BDR was able to serve ads that would nudge them to the polls. The same approach comes into play for Engage:BDR when working with retail brands, though here, consumer data and those ever-valuable IP addresses are key pieces of the puzzle.

“We’re storing users and user behavior with regard to the sites they are visiting and also the locations they’ve been to based on where the bid requests come from,” Dhanik says, suggesting that this ability gives the firm some predictive targeting powers. “I can say, ‘Hey, Toyota, I can serve a [Toyota] ad to everyone who has visited a car dealership in the past 30 days. We’ve established user behavioral segments based on landmarking based on location.”

From Street Address To IP Address

There’s no shortage of offline data out there, Dhanik suggests, and points to direct mail as prime source. What may be deemed an old-school marketing method, hardly fit for the booming tech world, Dhanik contends is actually a potential wellspring of offline consumer data.

“There are tons of direct mail advertisers out there that are focusing on physical mailboxes and they have a lot of data which is bought and sold quite a bit,” Dhanik says. “We could [buy] this data from the direct mail advertisers, see what they have, and then look that data up through merchant processors and other partnerships to get a current IP address. Once we have that IP address, we can target those people online.”

Direct mail data is “low-hanging fruit,” Dhanik says, because it’s so trackable, and because it’s still such a common advertising tool among brands. Still, not many people are doing this type of retargeting work, Dhanik claims. He reasons that this is partly because such methodology can only be effectively practiced with a large reach and a vast pool of IP addresses at one’s fingertips.

“Because our penetration was 97 percent of the US population in March, we have the ability to see more users than anyone else,” Dhanik says, adding, “The opportunity for us to serve an ad to that exact user is that much greater.”