Back To Basics: Own Your Database

By Ella Paine

Content Specialist

May 2024

A few months ago, we talked about what a customer database is, and why it matters in your marketing efforts. If you missed it, find the full article here.

This month, we’d like to talk about something that is rapidly becoming integral to successful marketing – owned databases. An owned database describes any set of data about a customer or customer group that is collected by a business through their own channels.

A common example of this is any time you sign up for an e-newsletter or online updates from a company – your email and any other details you shared while signing up are now part of their owned database. 

The more details a company can collect from their customers, the more accurately they can communicate about products, services and anything that may potentially interest the customer. 

For instance, a company selling pet food sends updates about cat food to cat owners and updates about dog toys to dog owners. Everybody’s happy, and nobody’s hitting the ‘spam’ button. Pretty basic stuff, right? 

Now, why does this matter? Let’s take a little detour to talk about paid advertising…

Big Brother


For many years, marketing has leaned on platforms such as Google and Meta to reach new customers and re-target existing customers. By paying the piper (companies like these two, which exist primarily to sell ads and collect data from users), marketers can tick the boxes on what type of customer they want to reach, and let the internet do the rest.

In the early days of online advertising, this was highly successful for growing a business. Times have changed, however, and people have become more resistant to the constant bombardment of irrelevant ads. 

Device security has also become more and more protective of personal data, which effectively muddies the water for targeted advertising. It’s also become much harder to target a specific group of people because of how many people are online. 

While it might sound promising to have access to millions of potential customers, once you find out <1% of them would be interested in your business, an expensive ad campaign seems like money down the drain.

Plan B


If you’re feeling disheartened about the demise of your Google Ads, fear not! Owned databases might just be the answer to your marketing conundrum.

Here at CoBright, we work with industry-specific broadcasters, media groups and publications to ensure that advertising content is placed in the right place at the right time for a particular audience. 

We can leverage these databases to benefit our clients, focusing on quality rather than quantity when it comes to reaching customers. With marketing experience across a broad range of industries, we have a comprehensive approach to finding the best channel for your particular brand and message.

Shifting focus from big ad platforms to smaller, more relevant channels is an effective way to hone in on niche customer groups. Taking the plunge can be challenging, but with the right guidance your advertising campaigns can be optimised for your ideal audience.

Bigger ≠ Better


If you’re still not convinced that ‘downsizing’ your ads is the way forward, let’s examine Australia’s agricultural industry. This sector offers a prime example of why it’s imperative to know your customers and speak directly to their needs.

In answer to this, a range of ag-centric platforms have tailored their ad space and communications to ensure they reach the people who will actually engage with it. Some of these platforms include:

  • Auctions Plus – with over 900,000 visits each month, this online hub for all things agriculture reaches 27.5% of farmer owners across Australia. It produces highly personalised content for its 93,000 subscribers, with a broad range of marketing options including display ads, sponsorships, EDMs, social media and a tier model of content access. Auctions Plus is built to deliver information effectively, and grants businesses access to an engaged and consistently active audience.
  • Grain Central – boasting over 4,000 email subscribers, this digital publication offers access to many niche audiences. Providing regular updates on all aspects of production, research, markets, growing trends, and future forecasts, marketers have a wide variety of topics to align their content with. This trusted source of information offers an authentic way to reach a targeted audience of grain growers.
  • Australian Community Media (ACM) –  publishing over 100 brands, ACM maintains a strong online and print presence. Digitally, your content can be targeted to any segment within the 4 million strong audience ACM has garnered. Advertising on specific ACM digital mastheads, for example, barley growers in Queensland’s southeast, is another way to achieve a focused and regional approach. Leveraging this database ensures that marketing efforts are precisely aligned with the interests and locations of potential customers.
  • KG2 – meticulous research has developed the Australian Farmer Database over the past 30 years, based on data collected from 20,000 – 30,000 farmers annually. KG2’s database offers highly segmented marketing services, incorporating farm size, location and production niche. If a business is aiming to reach canola growers in the Esperance region, KG2 can easily identify and reach this specific audience. They have also collaborated with government departments, R&D corporations, and universities, supporting national research projects through comprehensive data and insights collection. 

CoBright has worked with many agricultural companies, and we have consistently seen the link between finding the right audience and positive business growth.

The right audience does not mean ‘as many people as possible’. More often, it means the specific group of customers who need and will use your product or service.

If you’re wondering where to start, give us a bell to chat about what CoBright can do for you. 

To recap:

owned databases are increasingly valuable to small and regional businesses with a niche target audience. Tapping into these databases through tailored marketing campaigns is a powerful strategy that can have long-term benefits for your brand and budget. Reframe your approach to reaching customers and build strong, informed relationships with the people who need your business the most.

If you're looking to shift your marketing approach, talk to our team.


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