Using Data to Target Your Next Ad Campaign – Wimgo

Using Data to Target Your Next Ad Campaign

In today’s digital landscape, running successful ad campaigns requires much more than just guesswork and basic targeting. With ever-increasing competition for consumer attention online, brands and marketers need to take a data-driven approach to effectively reach, engage, and convert their target audiences. Proper leveraging of historical campaign performance data, audience research, competitive intelligence, and real-time optimization is key to developing well-targeted, high-converting ad campaigns.  

In this comprehensive guide, we will explore how to use data at each stage of planning and executing your next ad campaign for optimal results. Whether you are focused on Facebook and Instagram ads, Google Ads, or leveraging ad retargeting, a focus on data analysis and optimization should underpin your efforts. Let’s dive in!

Leveraging Historical Campaign Data 

The best place to start when planning a new ad campaign is to look at past performance data from your previous efforts. Take time to thoroughly evaluate the results – beyond just high-level metrics like impressions and clicks – to uncover what truly drove the most valuable outcomes for your business.

Specifically, dig into conversion metrics like cost per acquisition, purchase rate for your products, lead generation and signup rates for services. Identify which user actions and conversions you need to maximize, then work backwards to analyze the key drivers. 

Look at which specific ad sets, audiences, placements, creatives, and other elements led to your best performing ads.   Even analyzing previous email campaigns and attempts to increase email sender reputation aimed at improving ads could help gain some valuable data.

If you ran A/B tests on different versions of creative or copy, compare the results. Uncovering these optimization insights will allow you to double down on what worked previously.

Analyze bidding strategies and budgets across campaigns to determine ideal costs per click (CPC) and cost per conversion for your goals. If you have robust historical performance data, leverage lookalike modeling to find new audiences similar to past converters and high-value customers.

By thoroughly analyzing past campaign performance and determining strengths to build upon, you set yourself up for significantly improved results. Resist the urge to reinvent the wheel and instead identify optimizations through data.

Collecting Relevant Audience Data

Beyond marketing data from your own customer base, leveraging external audience data is crucial for building targeted, relevant ad campaigns. Robust audience profiles and personas cannot rely solely on your first-party data – integrating data from multiple sources gives a 360-degree view of your ideal customers.

Your own website analytics provide key insights into visitor demographics, interests, behaviors and intent. Conversion tracking and UTM campaign tagging allow you to see which channels drive conversions. Integrate analytics with your CRM to connect consumer data with customer profiles. 

Surveys and customer interviews can gather additional info on pain points, motivations and interests. Combining declared and observed data builds a clearer picture.

For filling in data gaps, leverage third-party data providers for characteristics like B2B firmographics, purchase intent, or behavioral and lifestyle data. Look for segment options that align with your product or service.

Bring together customer insights from first-party, third-party, declared and observed sources to build detailed audience profiles. Develop single customer views to then model prospective lookalike audiences.

Ongoing audience research and data collection allows you to continuously refine targeting and improve ad relevance. Test new segments against past converters to find additional high-potential customers.

Analyzing Your Competition

While analyzing your own historical performance is crucial, evaluating competitors’ ad strategies and campaigns can provide additional opportunities. Research how competitors are targeting audiences, positioning their brand and products, and converting leads.

Compare creatives and ad copy used across various platforms like native ads, Google Ads and social media. How effectively do they capture attention and communicate value? Look for gaps or weaknesses you can improve upon.

Evaluate competitors’ landing pages and conversion funnels. Do they create friction or optimize for conversions? Identify opportunities to better nurture leads and customers with your ads. 

Conducting competitive intelligence helps guide your points of differentiation and targeting. Avoid competing solely on bid prices or impression share. Instead focus your campaigns on conveying unique value and streamlining conversion.

Monitoring and Optimizing in Real-Time

The work doesn’t stop once your latest ad campaign is live. Effective advertisers continually monitor performance data, run experiments and make rapid optimizations.

Track real-time metrics within your ads manager platform(s) and analytics. Look beyond vanity metrics like clicks and impressions at outcomes like cost per conversion. Set up alerts for sudden performance changes.

Conduct ongoing market research to identify new audience segments, interests and behaviors to target. Stay on top of trends with tools like social listening.

Develop a process for A/B testing ad creative, copy, placements, landing pages and audiences. Start with minor variables then expand testing. Let data guide optimization.  

Adjust bids and budgets in underperforming ad sets. Pause any elements significantly missing goals. Automate these processes via rules-based automation. 

Nimbly optimizing and adapting your ads based on real-time data will maintain momentum and improve ROI over campaign lifetimes. Expectations for set-it-and-forget-it advertising must be left behind.

Retargeting For Improved Conversions

Beyond new customer acquisition, retargeting to past website visitors or customers represents major upside potential. Serving customized ads based on where contacts are within your funnel can turn more awareness into conversions.

Set up pixels and tags to enable retargeting audiences across channels like Facebook, Instagram, Google and more. Track user behaviors like content downloads, purchases and more.

Customize creative, offers and messaging for each stage of your funnel. Turn window shoppers into buyers with promotions. Upsell repeat customers. 

Focus retargeting on users who recently abandoned carts, browsed products or completed lead gen forms. Follow up quickly before momentum is lost. 

Continuously monitor the performance of your retargeting campaigns. Look for opportunities to improve re-engagement via stronger creatives or incentives.

Well-planned retargeting helps turn valuable prospects into happy, loyal customers. Each stage of the journey presents chances to guide contacts closer to conversion.


In today’s increasingly competitive digital advertising landscape, taking a data-driven approach is essential for running successful ad campaigns. By thoroughly analyzing historical performance data, researching target audiences, monitoring competitors and continuously optimizing based on real-time insights, brands can get significantly improved ROI from ads.

Avoid guessing when it comes to determining the right targeting, placements, creatives and landing pages. Let data guide your optimization at each campaign stage, from planning to ongoing management. Retargeting past customers and prospects represents major untapped potential for many brands.

The platforms, tools and sheer amount of data available can seem overwhelming. Focus your analysis on uncovering actionable insights tied directly to campaign goals and KPIs. With a solid data-focused process in place, your ad campaigns will convert and help grow your business.