Ever wonder what kind of information determines the ads you see or the offers you receive? You’ve come to the right place. About The Data brings you answers to questions about the data that fuels marketing and helps ensure you see offers on things that mean the most to you and your family.

Why is data about me important to companies?

Today, more than any time in history, data and technology fuels most of our day-to-day lives. We have come to expect companies will make their interactions with us personal. We no longer want to receive mass marketing – getting bombarded with ads that have no relevancy to our lives – because it’s intrusive and wastes our time. That’s why companies want to use data about you to personalize and shape your experiences with them. Direct marketing has used data for a long time to try to achieve these goals. In the past, data was used for marketing by mail or phone. Technology now enables companies to improve on these tried-and-true practices to make sure that you’re getting relevant offers by using data across all the media you interact with, both personally and anonymously.

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How do companies get data about me and what do they do with it?

Marketing data is collected about us every day by many entities. Most businesses collect some data about you to support their marketing efforts. It can come from commercial brands gathering information on their clients. These practices are typically described in their privacy policy. Data can come from publicly available sources such as city or state records or census data, or it can come from companies like Acxiom who collect and aggregate it from surveys, registrations, purchases, postings, etc. For organizations to make relevant offers to you, they need data to identify products and services you might be interested in.

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What types of data do companies use about me?

Companies use lots of different kinds of data about you such as your age, whether you are married, single or divorced, what kind of vehicle you drive, whether you own your home or rent, etc. Generally speaking, data about you falls into two categories: core data and derived or modeled insights. Core data includes things like your address, phone number, age, etc. Derived and modeled insights are the result of analytical processes that use your core data to infer things about you such as whether or not you like sports cars or enjoy cooking. Both types of information are valuable to companies because it’s often the only way that they can understand which products or services you may be interested in or need – or which ones are not for you. That prevents them from bombarding you with ads for bicycles if you are a Ferrari aficionado.

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