Patience Is a Virtue… Except When It Comes to Data Onboarding

For marketers, the ability to onboard data from your offline sources, such as a CRM, is a critical step towards ensuring advertising campaigns are efficiently reaching their intended audience and driving conversion. However, if your brand’s chosen adtech vendor’s data onboarding and activation process takes too long, you run the risk of serving irrelevant ads and losing customers.

This prompts the question: How long should data onboarding take?

Well, if we look to competitor LiveRamp, you should expect the onboarding and activation process to take anywhere from five to seven days — sometimes even longer.

That amount of time is unacceptable in today’s people-based marketing environment. Consider a big-box retailer rewards program: With each purchase, shoppers earn points that can be put towards a future purchase. Sometimes rewards promotions expire within a matter of days, however, meaning retail marketers have a limited window to target this audience with ads reminding them to redeem their points. If the brand’s onboarding and activation process takes a week or more to complete, these targeted ads are served to shoppers whose points have already expired, making the campaign a failure and wasting valuable ad spend.

The Signal platform is significantly faster. Our pipeline is capable of onboarding and activating hundreds of audiences containing millions of individuals in 24 hours; smaller audience data sets can be onboarded in a few hours or less. These audiences, combined with other online data, can then be activated to configured destinations of your choosing (including social media and many major DSPs), all within the same platform.

In the event you do happen to find yourself waiting five to seven days until your data is onboarded and activated, here are a few things you could do to pass the time:

  • Read The Oxford Dictionary in Its Entirety… Twice
    Last October, 30 brave souls raised money for charity by reading through the entire dictionary — a journey that took them nearly 41 hours to accomplish. So, in the time that it takes to onboard your offline audience with another provider, you should be able to match their feat twice and win the Scripps National Spelling Bee.
  • Watch a Multi-Generational Family of Mayflies Grow Up Before Your Eyes
    Mayflies have an expected lifespan of 24 hours, so it is not out of the realm of possibility to assume that you could witness seven different generations live and die before your data onboarding and activation process is complete. (See, you learn something new every day — well, unless you are a mayfly.)
  • Get Married (and Divorced)
    Britney Spears was married and divorced within just 55 hours back in 2004. It would be a real shame if Britney’s hashed email was included in your brand’s newlywed-targeted ad campaign onboarded with another provider. I wouldn’t want to be responsible for targeting a newly-divorced Britney with irrelevant honeymoon advertisements — we’ve seen what she can do with an umbrella.
  • Sail Across the Atlantic Ocean
    Yacht racer Thomas Coville sailed from New York to the United Kingdom last summer in just four days and 11 hours. I’m planning to suggest this as a cost-efficient travel alternative for Signalites who visit Chicago from our London office.
  • Binge-Watch Every Episode of The Office on Netflix
    I imagine many of you have already seen every episode of The Office, but accomplishing this feat in one sitting would take just over four days and three hours. (And it could be done even faster if you skip Season 8 — apparently when you lose Michael Scott, you also lose 60 points off your Rotten Tomatoes rating.)
  • Road Trip Through All 48 Continental U.S. States
    Itching for a road trip, but can’t decide where to go? Why not everywhere? If you average 55 mph, with a few stops to fill up the gas tank and switch drivers, you could theoretically reach all 48 continental states in only 160 hours. (Save Hawaii for your honeymoon.)
  • Play a Lot of Video Games
    Australian gamer Okan Kaya once played Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 for 135 continuous hours, with only intermittent 10-minute breaks. This record will probably be broken soon by someone playing Fortnite; it’s unclear if you need to be playing in your mother’s basement to be eligible to set the new mark.

Don’t waste a week waiting for onboarding to complete. Rest easy knowing your data can be onboarded and activated within 24 hours (or the lifespan of a mayfly, if you prefer).

Originally published August 28, 2018

Evan Eising

Evan Eising was formerly a Product Analyst at Signal, focused on Signal's reporting and analytics capabilities. He received his degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, majoring in Finance.

Subscribe for Updates