Why Match Rates Matter and How to Improve Them


Customer data comes in many shapes and sizes, but first-party data is king in terms of marketing value. Your first party data may be your most reliable source of information about your target audience, because it comes directly from your customers. However, first-party data is only as powerful as your ability to collect it, analyze it and make it actionable.

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Today’s consumers expect brands to provide a personalized, omni-channel customer experience with every interaction and touchpoint. To meet the rising demands of the multi-channel customer, brands need to adopt new tools for managing and activating your data.

For brands looking to plan highly targeted people-based marketing campaigns, data management tools are key to unlocking the full potential of first party data. However, advertisers need to pay close attention to match rates.


Defining Match Rate

A match rate is the percentage of individuals in a data set who can be successfully matched with the members of a data set on another platform during an onboarding process.

It’s an indication of your ability to target the right audience, because a high match rate means you’re sharing more customer profiles with your downstream data partners. It will also increase the targeted scale available across your media buys. If you’re brand executes targeted media campaigns, here are five tips to help you get the most out of your first party data by improving match rates.

Five Tips for Securing High Match Rates 

1. Create a standard data management process for your entire organization.

Every employee from the bottom to the top of your organization should follow the same procedure to maintain consistency. Be clear about what data you collect, what systems you use to store the data, how departments share data, how you maintain data security, and the level of access that each department and employee has.


2. Perform data hygiene regularly.

Create a maintenance schedule for updating records and removing duplicates to ensure your data is always current. This is a great opportunity to study trends over time. Look for recurring issues with data quality that you can solve by improving your data management process. Get in front of problems with match rate or data quality by routinely keeping an eye on your processes, from onboarding to activation.


3. Ask providers for a match test and make sure you understand your match rates

Match rates vary greatly from one data management platform (DMP) provider to another and can change often, so simply asking for an average match rate isn’t enough. A provider might reference what sounds like an impressive match rate, but it’s important to take a closer look. Let’s say you’re shopping for a DMP, and one provider boasts that they have a 92% match rate with a single data partner in their network.

That sounds like a promising match rate, but it’s also important to know their other match rates, such as onboarding match rates or device ID match rates. It’s essential for you to ask for a match test and get clarification as to what type of data they’re matching before committing to a data provider.


4. Consolidate data silos.

Marketers discuss online customer engagement so often they forget about their offline data, such as in-store transactions and call center records. You must first break down the silos between your offline and online data before you can match your customer data with new data sources. 

An Audience Management Platform (AMP) collects first-party data from different systems and consolidates them into single customer profiles. In other words, an AMP removes internal customer data silos such as offline contact data and online response metrics, which it then centralizes into a single platform.

The platform should also comply with data privacy laws and regulations when handling your sensitive personally identifiable information (PII). That means your audience targeting solution should securely anonymize any PII by assigning universal anonymous identifiers before you onboard your data into a DMP and match it with third-party data sets.

Wingman Media’s proprietary Audience Management Platform, haloAMP™ is a great option for brands looking to maximize match rates. haloAMP™ can help you prepare for onboarding your customer profiles with other data platforms. Bonus: You can integrate haloAMP™ with nearly any software or platform provider in your marketing stack.


5. Select data management tools that can be fully integrated across all systems.

Brands looking to improve match rates can do so by taking a closer look at your data management systems and how well they integrate with one another. The interconnection of networks and platforms that process data for advanced media planning is sometimes called a daisy chain. Match rates decline with each successive link of the daisy chain during the data management process. The image below illustrates how you can lose data when the systems that make that data actionable aren’t well-integrated with each another.

The illustration shows how match rates can decline when data sets cannot be matched across systems and platforms. During the process, 70% of the records were lost to a decline in match rate. In other words, only 30% of the original records were useful for executing media.

To improve your match rates, be sure to evaluate the systems used to manage your data and how well they integrate with one another. Our free evaluation checklist for selecting the right data management tools is a valuable resource for analyzing and selecting the best data management tools for your business.

Summing Up Match Rates

A match rate is a measurement of your ability to match data about your audience for targeting your media buys. Maximizing your match rates is critical for , which requires you to provide your customers with a consistent experience across all communication channels. You can improve your match rates by managing your data carefully and by doing your homework when shopping for  data management tools and data providers.

Ready to improve your match rates? Contact Wingman Media today to find out how we can help you!