Is It Time to Say “Good-bye” to the Soccer Mom?

How many times have you cringed at a marketing or ad proposal that targets “moms who want to delight their children”? Or can there possibly be one more article on how to market to “today’s millennial”?

In marketing and advertising, personas help us define who we’re selling to and in turn, guide us in creating the right kind of messaging to reach our target audiences. But many personas are based on a handful of vague attributes like age and marital status. “Soccer mom” emerged during the 1996 presidential election when Bill Clinton was accused by his opponent, Bob Dole, of targeting busy moms who cart their children to their sports activities. But personas like this don’t really help us understand and connect with consumers on a deeper level.

It’s time to throw out personas we’ve been using for the last 20 years that are simply based on vague demographics like gender and number of children, and start fresh with personas that are more detailed, accurate and paint a more complete picture of the consumer.


Soccer-Mom-Blog-mini-InfographicWe’ve all been guilty of using generational personas. The whole idea that people born within a certain date range could have all of the same traits is a fairly new thing, perpetrated by advertising, marketing and media.

We often think of millennials as being uber tech savvy and loyal sharing economy consumers. We label baby boomers as being leery of online shopping and loyal consumers of traditional media. We think of Generation X, once referred to as “slackers,” as being heavily focused on finances as they juggle children headed to college and aging parents. And finally, there’s generation z, who has completely grown up with technology and is heavily guided by online influencers.

The danger in creating messages geared to a whole generation is that you ignore people in this same age bracket who don’t have the same traits. For example, the common misperception about millennials is that they’re all single, young, unmarried and only rent apartments. But this misses a whole segment of people who fit in this same generation but are actually married with children and own a home.

A consumer insights platform can serve as an important tool for agencies in developing a deeper understanding of their client’s customers. Resonate distills what we call the Human Element. This is a holistic understanding of a person that starts with what makes us the most human—our values and motivations.

Personas are brought to life with the Resonate Human Element. It helps agencies provide dimension to their personas and ensure engagement that delivers performance for clients. For example, let’s look at the person who buys North Face products, which are geared to “athletes and the modern-day explorer,” according to the company’s website. We can assume that the North Face consumer’s top hobbies are hiking, camping and other outdoorsy activity. But Resonate’s dynamic insights paint a different picture. This segment actually spends their free time trading stocks, visiting spas and resorts and going to the movies. And they’re only 12% more likely than the overall U.S. population to spend their time hiking and camping. So when you’re developing messaging for a brand that sells outdoor active gear, think twice about turning to the traditional “hiker” persona—these folks are more indoorsy than outdoorsy.

Now let’s look at the working mom. You might assume her personal decisions, including working outside of the home, are driven by a desire to prove her competence and skills and getting recognition from peers. But Resonate’s consumer insights show working moms care even less about those attributes than the average U.S. consumer. Their everyday decisions are actually driven by living an exciting life and creativity.



Modern personas are about connecting with consumers in more meaningful ways. Connecting with people starts with understanding them at a personal level. Creating more accurate personas based on these actual person-level insights brings tremendous value to agencies in a number of ways:

  • RELEVANT OUTREACH: With more detailed and accurate personas, you can develop more targeted messaging that resonates with your client’s target audiences. Agencies using the Resonate Platform have already seen significant reduction in CPA costs.
  • STRONG CLIENT PITCHES: Imagine pitching your client with a completely new take on their personas. Show them that their existing personas can be enriched and expanded based on continuously updated and more accurate insights. Plus, the time spent doing research for client pitches drops from weeks to hours using the Resonate Platform.
  • BETTER OUTCOMES: Taking a more personalized approach to target audiences rather than a broad brush based only on a few attributes will help you create unbreakable relationships between your clients and their customers. Agencies are seeing a 32% increase in return on advertising spend (ROAS) compared to alternative data sources.
  • EXPANDED STRATEGY AND BRANDING: When you know your client and what makes their customers tick, you can give better advice about everything from media strategy and creative to product packaging and its charitable mission.

Agencies are competing against more players like consulting firms and smaller, more nimble shops and dealing with major industry shifts like new pay structures and more privacy regulations. Being able to offer clients a new view of personas can be the key differentiator.


Resonate’s easy-to-use SaaS platform provides a unified view of the consumer. It’s continuously updated, so personas evolve to adapt to peoples’ dynamic lives.

With this level of accuracy and timeliness, agencies can build personas that consist of real-time attributes, rather than static demographics. The Resonate Platform also helps provide insights into the several layers that make up a human, from the top actions they take every day to their psychological drivers.

So yes, it’s not surprising that a working mom buys most of her groceries online to save time and prefers retailers with loyalty programs. But there’s a lot more to her shopping behaviors. For example, they’re also 32% more likely than the average consumer to shop online and then pick up in store. And they’re big Black Friday shoppers but stay away from Cyber Monday and Amazon’s Prime Day.

There are several layers to humans, making it vital to tap into the Human Element to help frame more relevant personas. So can we once and for all stop with the “soccer mom”? She’s moved on and we should too.

Hear more on relevant and fresh personas in my recent webinar with AdWeek: “Uncover the Human Element of Data Targeting: Go Beyond Cardboard Personas.”

Want to wow your clients at the next pitch meeting with a better understanding of their actual personas? Let us show you how.

Your Campaign Can Influence Voter Behavior by 30%. Here’s How.

In December 2017, Democratic candidate for Senate, Doug Jones, implemented a revolutionary targeting tactic that influenced the online behavior of tens of thousands of voters a week before the election.

During the lead up to the election, Resonate’s data science team identified 250k voters who predominately engaged with news and reporting from conservative sources. Collectively, the constellation of sites and publishers comprising this conservative media bubble proved to be a formidable shield, and prevented the Jones campaign from courting the non-traditional voters necessary to win in too-close-to-call elections.

That reality changed when the Jones campaign took action and leveraged Resonate data to infiltrate the conservative media bubble and deliver a message to voters that was otherwise completely absent from their digital lives. These voters were served a pro-Jones video in the week leading up to Election Day. Amongst the 80,000 video engagers, we observed a 30% increase in liberal news browsing relative to untargeted voters inside the media bubble.

Fast forward – we’re 4 weeks out from the midterms and Resonate data scientists have identified targetable media bubbles (conservative and liberal) in districts and states throughout the country. This is voter targeting 2.0. Launch a sophisticated targeting campaign with Resonate that puts your messaging right in front of these voters. Impact the recommendation algorithms of just 2% of voters and you can drastically influence the actions they take now and on November 6.

Let’s take a look at some real life examples of digital media bubbles in battleground Ohio. Specifically, we’ll look for voters trapped in these bubbles who are sympathetic to the opposition based on relevant insights in the Resonate platform.

Ohio Conservative Media Bubble
Full audience size: 1.9M online adults

  • Identify as Democrat: 19% (361,000)
  • Support raising the minimum wage: 37% (703,000)
  • Voted for Clinton: 19% (361,000)

Ohio Liberal Media Bubble
Full audience size: 1.2M online adults

  • Identify as Republican: 26% (312,000)
  • Oppose Obamacare: 39% (468,000)
  • Voted for Trump: 25% (300,000)

The above audiences identified, numbering in the hundreds of thousands, are receiving the majority of their election-related news from partisan sources that dominate their feeds. A sophisticated digital campaign that moves a small percentage of these voters could be a major difference maker in races throughout Ohio and other key states and districts this cycle.

Are you ready to incorporate this strategy into your voter targeting efforts and begin driving real, impactful changes? Contact our Campaign Hotline today. Our models are pre-built, dynamically updated, and ready to launch immediately.


How Today’s Auto Marketers Can Connect With Tomorrow’s Self-Driving Car Owners

Today’s automotive marketers face a unique challenge: They need to market cars to a growing audience of consumers who are eagerly anticipating the day that they no longer have to drive cars.

As more self-driving car pilot programs take to the streets, the promise of this category of vehicle is rapidly taking hold with many of today’s car shoppers—despite the fact that such automobiles have yet to become commercially available.

To connect with these forward-thinking consumers, automotive dealers and brands today need to be fundamentally repositioning themselves. They must seek a deeper understanding of the consumers they intend to attract.

They must harness the “why” behind their consumers’ buying behaviors—the values and motivations that influence their opinions and drive their purchases in the auto industry.

In a recent study, we tapped into our consumer intelligence marketing platform (covering more than 10,000 attributes across 185 million people in the U.S.) to better understand the values and motivations that drive today’s car buyers.

A key segment that emerged in this research was an audience defined by its inherent comfort with the concept of a  self-driving car. Here is an overview of the defining characteristics of this compelling group of consumers, as well as advice for connecting with them for current and future marketing and sales efforts.

Consumers comfortable with self-driving cars

Self-driving car consumers represent a promising group for car companies, with a wide age range between 18–44. They are also a wealthy group, many with a household income of more than $150,000. In addition, they’re willing to spend anywhere between $25,000 to $75,000 on their next car purchase.

When shopping for a car, they do so with an eye toward innovation. For these consumers, features such as Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and navigation aren’t just conveniences—they’re must-haves.

In addition, this eye toward innovation extends to their own purchasing habits, as many would consider making their next car purchase online.

Not surprisingly, these consumers say that self-driving cars would have versatile applications in their lives. These include getting to and from work, getting home after drinking alcohol, taking long trips, running errands, and taking their children to and from activities and daycare.

When making car purchases, these consumers look for cars that not only enable them to express their individuality, but also create memories with other people. Both of these desires must be taken into consideration by today’s dealers and auto brands.

When buying a car, these consumers are highly likely to be sharing their experiences online as they go. Perhaps the only noteworthy caveat about this wealthy, forward-thinking group is that it would also be willing to get rid of its cars if it were practical.

This is likely due in part to the relatively high level of environmental awareness among these consumers, because most say they feel guilty when considering the impact of their driving habits on the world around them.

How marketers can connect

Auto marketers looking to engage with tomorrow’s self-driving car owners should do so with messages of authenticity. These consumers value straightforward information over vague showmanship.

Likewise, marketing that focuses on a car’s role in allowing drivers to enjoy experiences with others is likely to resonate strongly. Messaging to this group should also focus on the underlying value of cars themselves, as many of these consumers would not own a car if they had the option.

Reminding them that personal car ownership can aid in their connections with those around them is a theme that will speak to these individuals.

In addition, because these consumers are so likely to share their car-buying stories online as they go, auto marketers must be exceptionally cognizant of the experiences they create for consumers. One bad encounter is likely to be broadcast well beyond that individual consumer.

The upside, however, is that when one of these consumers selects an automobile, he or she becomes a spokesperson for the dealer and brand to a broader sphere of potential car shoppers. Auto marketers would be wise to give these consumers some added assistance in telling their tales.

Note: The insights in this article are included in Resonate’s forthcoming “The State of Consumer Audiences” report, which provides an in-depth look at the consumer values and motivations that drive purchases in today’s most important vertical markets. The full report was released in late September. Please go to for more information.

This article was originally published on 

Your Plan for Conquesting Amazon’s 166M Customers

Merriam-Webster defines a “frenemy” as “one who pretends to be a friend but is actually an enemy.”  It may sound like something out of the movie, “Mean Girls,” but really it emerged in the 1950s to describe the complicated U.S.-Russia relationship.

Many retailers and apparel brands describe their relationship with Amazon on frenemy terms. For any B2C company, the adversarial relationship with Amazon is understandable—the online giant has been disrupting the retail industry for the last two decades. But to be fair, Amazon has also allowed brands to use them as another sales channel by creating branded stores within their ecosystem. Brands are stuck between loving the revenue that comes from selling through Amazon’s platform and hating the fact that Amazon is contributing to a reduction of foot traffic in their brick and mortar locations, as well as shrinking revenue per square foot.

The question then becomes: How do I conquest Amazon’s customers without cannibalizing the people who are buying my products on Amazon? The answer: Understand Amazon’s customers as well as they do.

Apparel Infographic

Snapshot of 20.5 million Amazon Essentials apparel customers.

Amazon sits on a treasure trove of consumer data that helps them retain customers by staying relevant. Nearly 166 million people have shopped on Amazon within the last six months, and 105.4 million of them are Prime members. Nearly 10 million people are Subscribe and Save users (2.5 million of which don’t have Prime); 9 million are Amazon Pantry users (2.3 million of which don’t have Prime); and there are 2.3 million Amazon Fresh users (900k of which don’t have Prime).

Amazon knows what products and brands people are buying on the site. Any brand that plans to go after Amazon’s customers without stealing customers from their own Amazon store should also know what products and brands people are buying from Amazon.

For example, let’s look at people who buy Amazon Essentials apparel—Amazon’s clothing brand. If you knew who was buying Amazon Essentials apparel and understood why they chose to buy this brand, you could create a strategy for how to conquest these consumers. By conquesting the people buying this apparel and not the people buying your brand’s products, you can ensure that you’re acquiring new customers and people already buying your products. With the right information, you can determine how to connect with these consumers on an emotional level and give them the offer that’s most likely to get them to engage and convert.

In looking more closely at people buying Amazon Essentials apparel, you’d expect bargain-basement shoppers who buy solely based on price. The data paints a different picture: They’re busy professionals who value convenience and saving time and enjoy wearing luxury apparel. These shoppers are predominantly women with children and 29% of them have an annual income above $100k. Unsurprisingly these professionals like directing people, being in charge and maintaining a good public image. They also want to be seen as an individual. If you’re looking to find them in the morning, they’re reading the New York Times. In the evenings, they’re watching The Late Show with Stephen Colbert and spending the rest of their free time on Instagram.

Want to learn more about Amazon’s customers? Or is there another competitor whose customers you’d like to conquest? Reach out for a demo of how our insights can help.

Learn how you can woo customers from Amazon and other retailers this holiday season. Check out our new Holiday Guide: 3 Trends Marketers Need to Know This Season.

We Felt The Need for Speed

Speed is everything in technology. The performance of enterprise tools effects everything from crucial business decisions and growth strategies to new product development and customer acquisition.

That’s why in the Fall of 2016, the Resonate engineering team started exploring how we could make our consumer insights platform much faster and more robust. We knew the platform at that time ran slow and limited the number of users at any given moment. Thankfully those days are over.

The engineering team spent the better part of a year revamping our analytics engine using Apache Geode, a distributed in-memory cache and query engine used in data management. It was a unique way of using Apache Geode’s technology, so my colleague, Sharif Ghazzawi, and I were chosen to present our approach at the recent SpringOne Conference in Washington, D.C. We’ll spare you the gritty tech details, but here is a quick summary of how we had transformed the Resonate Platform to make it even more robust and unique in the market. It was truly the most complicated and exciting engineering project of our careers.


The Resonate Platform computes 10,000+ attribute values for over 200 million cookies. That means we’re looking at 1.7 trillion individual records of someone hitting one of our client’s digital touchpoints. To provide the analytics on these interactions, we examine every single data point. Yes, it’s as daunting as it sounds.

To understand the old way we processed analytics for clients, picture a large spreadsheet with over 200 million records. Every answer would need to be found in that spreadsheet. For example, say you want to know how many men drive Subarus. In that monster spreadsheet, you’re having to go down 200 million rows to filter out all the males. And then you’re going down the row of car owners to filter out who drives a Subaru.

We went from that very manual and slow process to probabilistic counting, where you have a piece of data that resembles the parts of that spreadsheet. It doesn’t take up as much space and allows you to do the same operations but much faster. With the new approach, we’re able to have a data structure that represents the set of people who drive a Subaru. We also have another data structure that represents the set of people who are men. We then take the two data structures to create a third one with our answer. As you can imagine, it’s a lot more efficient than having to go through 200 million rows of data. With this probabilistic approach, we’re able to estimate these counts and control the amount of accuracy on our platform.


Before the move to Geode, the Resonate infrastructure was expensive to operate, with 40 nodes running to power the solution. Not to mention, it took far too long for a client to receive an answer to their query. Going from 40 machines to 10 means we can now provide the same precise answers but much faster to our clients. We can also support a higher number of customers—the user experience slowed down considerably in the old infrastructure when a certain number of people were using the platform at the same time.

Now our clients can run queries faster, which means they can run more queries than ever before. They’re also getting the most updated consumer insights now that we’re able to update the data in our platform nightly. One of the biggest challenges in the market is that data is stale by the time it gets to the marketer.

Using Apache Geode also lets us add more insights to the platform. We now have a system of bringing in new data, modeling it and representing it in our solution. So it’s much more scalable and allows us to provide more data points to our customers.


When embarking on a project of this scale, there was the early question of whether we buy or build this solution. We did explore the buy option but realized there was nothing out there to serve our needs. What we developed is a one of a kind solution to a one of a kind problem.

One of the most satisfying aspects of this project was how Resonate had all of the skills it required in-house. It involved engineers of different expertise, everything from critical thinking and database structures to design, data science and Java skills. No one person has all of these skills, so the completion of this project speaks to the willingness of the team to collaborate, bring in new perspectives and talk through the best solutions. Throughout the process, we were challenged with mysterious outages, multiple stress tests, working through weekends and exercises where we stayed in a room until all the problems were fixed. In the end, we have a platform that provides better numbers, faster than anyone else. Nobody has the data we have at the scale and scope that we have it. It was a real feat of engineering.

You should really see it in action. Reach out for a demo of what the Resonate Platform can do, specific to your industry.

Resonate’s State of the Consumer Report Highlights Five Key Growth Segments Among Today’s Consumers

Car Shoppers, Bank Switchers, Baby Boomers, Online Box Subscribers and Voice-Activated Shoppers Represent the Shifting Buying Habits and Motivations of Today’s Consumers

Get to Know 37M Organic Food Shoppers

Do you really know who your best consumer segments are? We do! Imagine having incredibly deep insights on who’s purchasing your products in various channels and why. This is what Resonate is doing at massive scale for our CPG clients.

One frustration I often hear from fast-moving consumer goods companies is the lack of easily accessible information and insights on WHY consumers do what they do. Most brands have plenty of sales, distribution, market share, brand health and consumption patterns data, but not much actionable information on the Human Element – the psychographics, motivations, daily habits and values on the people within their most important segments.

Companies that leverage relevant and actionable Human Element insights are 23x more likely to acquire new consumers and 6x more likely to gain new ones, according to McKinsey.

The best way to achieve similar results is to have the best consumer-centric insights at your fingertips. This empowers brands to create content and creative that makes a difference in consumers’ lives and begins to build a lasting and deeper relationship with their products and company.

Let’s look at some of the insights in Resonate’s consumer insights platform for guidance on the ever-changing organic consumer. The Resonate Platform has insights on 37 million people who buy organic food.

At a high level, we start to see an interesting picture of this consumer:

  • About half have kids, and over 60% are married
  • They buy food based on nutrition and incorporate fitness into their daily routine
  • They also reward themselves by visiting spas and enjoying art and music


By looking at their demographics in more detail, we see that 44% of organic consumers are between the age of 25 and 44. Diving deeper into these 16.4 million consumers reveals unique insights that help drive more meaningful segment level insights, ultimately leading to higher engagement, loyalty, consumer acquisition and sales.


One of the many unique insights revealed was that these consumers are significantly less likely to purchase based on price. This insight could have a significant impact on the brand’s trade strategy and save the company millions in unneeded price promotion.

Deeper Human Element insights are available to help organizations move beyond sales data or static custom research to a dynamic world of real-time consumer insights that help define the WHY behind consumer actions and dramatically increase engagement.

Want to learn deep insights on several other consumer segments? Check out our new State of the Consumer Report Q4 2018.

Ready to get started? Reach out for a demo.

Targeting Supreme Court Priorities

The Supreme Court nomination process has rocked the midterm elections. But if you were there in 2016, you’re prepared for late game surprises – the ones with the potential to swing elections and demand on-the-fly strategy changes.

At Resonate, we operate in real-time. We have immediately deployable models for online voter targeting, refreshed nightly to account for the shifts and issues of the day, we ensure campaigns stay relevant and armed with battle-tested data to win in the toughest political climates.

For example, two of the thousands of voter audiences refreshed in our platform last night are likely midterm voters who either support or oppose the appointment of fiscally and socially conservative judges to the Supreme Court. Here’s a quick look at where these two segments stand today.

Likely midterm voters who support appointing fiscally and socially conservative judges to the Supreme Court:

  • Audience size: 35.1 Million
  • Top 3 Supreme Court policies: protect gun rights, further pro-life issues, protect workers’ rights to opt out of a union
  • Driven by a devotion to God and sense of civility – value conformity and reputation
  • 50% more likely to vote based on an important societal or political issue this year
  • 96% more likely to be 65 years or older
  • 44% more likely to vote for a candidate based on their defense/military platform

Likely midterm voters who oppose appointing fiscally and socially conservative judges to the Supreme Court:

  • Audience size: 32.2 Million
  • Top 3 Supreme Court policies: enact gun control, further pro-choice policies, allow unions to collect dues from non-joining workers
  • Driven by expressing individuality and proving competence and skills
  • 133% more likely to have their vote influenced by the newspapers the read
  • 87% more likely to vote absentee
  • 117% more likely to be most passionate about promoting civil liberties

*insights compared to the average U.S. voter.

It’s real-time insights like these that provide a clear view of the voters on both sides of what has become the most important issue in the midterm elections in the final month. With each audience exceeding 30 million likely midterm voters, outreach and engagement strategies to sympathetic voters will prove critical from now until Election Day. If your campaign needs to immediately activate either of these audiences, or another critical voter segment, contact Resonate’s Campaign Hotline today.


Why Insurance Marketers Need to Connect with Smart Home Consumers

How did we survive before Fitbit, Alexa and Nest?

In just a few short years, connected devices and smart home products have moved from pipe dream to mainstream. It’s an incredible opportunity for the property and casualty insurance industry as data from connected devices can have a profound effect on everything from new insurance offerings to improved risk assessment. But only if insurance companies can reach current and future smart device consumers.

An analysis by McKinsey & Company reveals a 31% compound annual growth rate in household penetration, and Resonate has insights on 43.4 million smart device owners in the U.S. today. This includes people who own connected thermostats, lighting, moisture/flood detection devices and home security systems.The implications of connected homes for property and casualty insurance marketers is game-changing. According to Capgemini’s 2018 Insurance Outlook, “early adopters of connected devices in the P&C insurance industry have a compelling value proposition to demonstrate that data from connected devices can be leveraged to grow new business, improve risk assessment and proactively engage with customers in loss mitigation.” In other words, if a policyholder and their insurance company know when the hot water heater is about to fail and fix it before there’s a problem, they both win.

So how does an insurance marketer identify those smart device owners, understand their current insurance situation and what’s important to them, and then reach them with a compelling message that will drive leads to their agent network or online application? Let’s look at consumer insights within the Resonate Platform that reveal the demographics and daily lifestyles of smart device owners. Our insights also reveal their personal values, which help marketers understand the “why” behind their everyday decisions.

At a high level, most smart device owners:

  • Are married, affluent, college-educated men
  • Hold personal values that lean toward creativity, excitement and enjoying life’s pleasures
  • Lead healthy lifestyles based on their exercise and nutrition habits (good life insurance prospects, too!)

Insurance Smart Device platform

Drilling deeper into smart device owners and their relationship with property insurance providers, they’re 42% more likely than overall consumers to switch insurance providers in the next 3-12 months. The current top three property insurance providers for smart home device owners are Liberty Mutual, Allstate and State Farm. Liberty Mutual policyholders are 53% more likely to switch providers in the next three months. As a Liberty Mutual marketer, what could you do next?

  1. Protect Your Base: Drilling deeper into Resonate data will reveal the reasons why smart device owners who are current Liberty Mutual customers are thinking about switching insurance providers. Targeting this precise segment with relevant messaging on discounts, rewards and other incentives will help keep them in the fold.
  2. Poach The Competition: Delivering a compelling message to your competitors’ policy switchers tailored to their motivations and purchase drivers can help you efficiently convert this high-value audience.
  3. Find More Like Your Best Customers: Leveraging Resonate’s built-in, look-alike targeting helps you identify, target, message and measure how well you’re reaching people who share the same attributes as your current loyal smart home customers.

These are just a few of the hundreds of traits that Resonate captures for the financial services and insurance industry, refreshed daily. Learn about the deep consumer insights we reveal for other growing consumer segments in our just released State of the Consumer Report, Q4 2018.

Ready to get started? Reach out for a demo.

Today’s Loyal Consumer

Consumers have used loyalty programs to get rewards and perks from their favorite brands. But there are signs that the number of loyalty program members are starting to slip. It’s time for marketers to take their loyalty programs to the next level through a better understanding of what their customers want.

View the infographic below to learn about consumers who choose where to shop based on that retailer’s loyalty program.

Print your copy of the above infographic here or read the free marketers guide How Deep Consumer Insights Improve Loyalty Program Performance.