Meet Our Partners: Q&A with SMS, Vice President of Business Development, anna feely

BLOG POST 11/29/2022

TruAudience® solutions enable the marketing ecosystem to leverage data and identity with trust. In this series, we will introduce the partners who are critical to our success.

Can you tell me more about SMS and what your role is there?
Specialists Marketing Services Inc. (SMS) is a data-driven, multichannel marketing company that provides data solutions and customer acquisition services to leading brands, agencies and Fortune 500 companies. SMS started many years ago in the direct mail business, supporting hundreds of brands with their list planning and direct mail prospecting efforts — which is still a big part of what we do today. Many years later, we recognized the need for more high-quality third-party data, and built our own proprietary datasets for multiple use cases, including multichannel targeting and house file analytics. Today, we have a proven track record (in both direct mail and digital channels) offering high-quality consumer segments at scale for advanced targeting, data enrichment, profiling, analytics and measurement across multiple channels.
I’ve been with Specialists Marketing Services, Inc. for over 20 years and have worked in many areas of our business across the enterprise. My current role is in business development and data partnerships; working with brands, agencies and ad-tech partners in providing various offline and online data solutions that help support marketing needs.

What verticals do SMS audiences specialize in? How are they leveraged via the TruAudience Data Marketplace?
SMS covers over 240 million US consumers and 170 million households, with 1,800+ syndicated audiences available in the TruAudience® Data Marketplace. Marketers can select from hundreds of consumer attributes, including strong demographics, home profiles, life events, lifestyle interests, occupation, and many other specialty segments like our highly responsive new mover segment. Our audiences are deterministic and relevant across multiple verticals, such as retail, insurance, financial, consumer services, CPG, telecom, cable and automotive.

What trends are you seeing with third-party data usage in Connected TV (CTV)?
In recent years, we’ve seen an increase in demand not only for deterministic and authenticated audiences versus modeled or probabilistic segments, but in the obvious need to ensure targeting methods are compliant. We already know third-party data is greatly beneficial not only in targeting and audience building, but in helping marketers understand more about their customers. Customer profiling and data enrichment, for example, can provide enhanced insights into consumer behaviors that help support more refined CRM and marketing strategies, ultimately helping attract new customers. While Advanced TV has paved the way for more data-driven, addressable advertising, privacy-related changes continue to impact the way marketers leverage both first- and third-party data in CTV, OTT, streaming audio — and in all other aspects of marketing and analytics. Maintaining these high standards while achieving scale has become increasingly difficult, but it is achievable if marketers align themselves with diligent and compliant data providers.

What do you think is most important when it comes to data targeting on CTV?
Key items to consider when targeting on CTV is defining your goals and audiences, and ensuring you’re addressing them accurately and compliantly. Be sure you’re working with a reliable data provider that’s not only up to date in privacy — but also regularly and methodically refreshes signals, ids and behaviors. Our data is built offline, multisourced verified, updated monthly and 100% deterministic. We onboard our PII to online identifiers using a 1:1 deterministic match. Given the high degree of accuracy and matching methodology, brands can be confident they’re targeting the right audiences in OTT/CTV media.

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