Geek looking at data

An Advertisers’ Quest: The Quantity and Quality of Eyeballs

Published Oct 27, 2020, 01:41 PM by Perry Hassen and Andrea Longman
How CPG brand marketers can align segmentation and target audiences in a much more efficient way.


It is simply not feasible for advertisers and media agencies to talk to everyone, everywhere. Instead, you need to reach for as many qualified prospects as possible. And to do this, advertisers and media agencies must align their segmentation and rethink how we activate against our target audience. 

Tight marketing budgets and an ever-expanding number of ways to connect across digital and traditional media platforms dictate that media dollars need to be spent efficiently. Factor in the demand for change as compliance and privacy officers ask for more transparency in digital media targeting and it is easy to see why advertisers, media agencies and planners feel like their targeting tool kit is shrinking.
To overcome these obstacles, advertisers need to focus on ensuring that segmentation work carries through sales and marketing execution and stop relying entirely on cookie data when trying to reach audiences most likely to respond to your brand message.

Where advertisers win and lose with segmentation

As a methodology, segmentation has been around for years and is an effective way to identify and quantify your target audience. Often, segmentation studies rooted in primary research, categorize the market into consumer groups with similar behavioural, attitudinal and demographic characteristics. They also consider interest and engagement with the brand and category. Marketers use segmentation data to create a detailed profile of the ideal customer, which becomes the keystone for building marketing and media plans. Is this example of an ideal customer profile familiar to you? 

Laura is an affluent mother with a toddler who is concerned about buying environmentally friendly products for her child's health. Laura is an avid label-checker because she feels the quality of food her family consumes is important for their growth and development.

While segmentation provides a rich definition of the ideal consumer, many times the target customer's essence is lost through a loose and crude match to sales and marketing execution. Often, when it comes time to build the media plan target profiles are reduced to broad demographics or observed online behaviour. In our example, “Laura” becomes “women aged 25-54 in specific markets” which presents a problem if the goal is to find more Lauras. Media agencies then use this watered-down consumer definition to select media channels, formats, and titles, across traditional and digital media, with little direction on how to execute at retail, banners or the stores to focus on to achieve sales goals.  

Aligning your segmentation work 

The issue lies in the methodology for matching up key segments to the various activation channels; something often referred to as “segmentation alignment”. A strong alignment can be achieved by using a method of data layering across all known demographic, behavioural, and attitudinal markers and connecting into an existing media ecosystem that is hyper-targeted. For example, if your segmentation is largely defined based on behaviours and attitudes, it does not make sense for them to be matched to media targeting on demographics alone.

Maintaining the essence of your ideal consumers' behaviours and attitudes are the defining characteristics that need to remain intact and segmentation alignment is how you achieve this. 


Feel like your targeting toolbox is shrinking? 

Digital media targeting is fast approaching a fundamental and unavoidable change. In fact, change has already begun with the diminished use of 3rd party cookies and compliance and privacy offices demanding more transparency in data used on the advertisers’ behalf. This includes the collection of source permissions for device targeting.
Advertisers must rethink how we activate against a target audience. The days are numbered for building ‘lookalike’ audiences using first and third-party digital data, modelled with black-box algorithms and driving audience definitions and targeting from cookie data. 
Cookies show devices that are already interacting with your brand or demonstrating the desired behaviour online. They are likely already exposed to your brand. If your goal is acquisition, targeting at the 6-digit postal-code level provides much more reach to your desired audience.

Rethinking how we activate against the target audience

The ability to layer in privacy-compliant EA data has our clients, who are advertisers, excited. It allows for common audience definitions across media channels – print, television, out of home (OOH), digital and connected television and the opportunity to cast a much wider net to reach new audiences. In their latest study, MiQ identified that an “Omnichannel [approach] will also allow marketers to target more people more efficiently and on more platforms and, potentially, improve cross-platform measurement and attribution.” 
Media partners can now identify and target neighbourhoods at the postal code level, not just cookies, with the greatest potential to respond to your brand message through a multi-touch approach. You can target new devices to engage with a digital platform, release a new video commercial through linear TV, Connected TV or YouTube and then execute a fast follow-up with a direct mail piece. Extend your message's reach to a new yet receptive audience and optimize the results.

Your quest for quantity and quality eyeballs 

Our team works closely with clients to maximize their ability to leverage segmentation by using precise linkages across established digital and traditional platforms. We have built new data usage relationships with agencies, media companies and publishers for activation using EA data across all channels and ensure that our activation partners offer the broadest possible reach of your desired target audience.

Our partners who have ingested EA data into their ecosystems now can activate carefully crafted brand strategies across channels more effectively and efficiently.  If you need to get your brand message in front of as many of the right eyeballs as possible, we can help.

If you have questions about segmentation, media targeting or your specific situation, get in touch.

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