|Know your audience? Maybe not.|
|Wednesday, 07 April 2010 08:43|
Often, advertisers make targeting strategies on data collected from offline sources, use outdated metrics or even guess who their audience is based on casual observations and prior experience. We’ve found, however, the audience that is most receptive to advertising is often not the one first targeted.
Fortunately, using modern analytics technology, such as Collective’s Audience HD, advertisers can see what audiences are most receptive to their campaigns and adjust targeting in near real time.
In one such case, a major national department store was advertising their new fall fashion line up. The client, believing their audience to be young “fashionistas”, targeted the campaign accordingly. Tracking pixels were placed on the store’s Website on the pages showcasing the new fall fashion items. After a few days of collecting visitation data, a different story began to emerge.
We noticed that most of the visitors exhibited enthusiast behaviors in the entertainment, finance, technology and politics categories, not shopping or fashion. Turning to a different set of technologies, Engagement HD™, we observed what enthusiast categories were generating the most engagement with the ads – that is, who was spending the most time with the ads. Again we observed that fashion enthusiasts were not the most engaged audiences.
Finally, by measuring Interaction Rates (both CTR and engagement) with the intersection of site context and enthusiast behavior, the story of this campaign's most responsive audience becomes clear. As illustrated below, the outliers in performance were observed in the Family, Home & Garden and Holiday intersections. It would appear then, that the true audience for this campaign was moms shopping for their families, not young fashionistas interested in the latest trends.
This story is repeated often among clients across all categories. Our advice to any advertiser looking to maximize performance online is:
1) Target audiences, not just sites. - Targeting through Websites alone is a dated approach to finding an audience. In fact, your audience is in more places than you realize. Finding the right intersection of the consumer and context (the “who” and the “where”) requires data, insights and experience. And successful targeting can often be counter-intuitive. For example, after the government’s “Cash for Clunkers” program launched, we saw a steep rise in auto advertising engagement, not with auto enthusiasts – but among pet owners and suburban homebuyers.
2) Combine multiple data sets to sharpen your audience knowledge. – Online behavior doesn’t always align with offline customer data. Combining multiple data sources can often yield more accurate results.
Advertisers should append customer data with third-party sources to learn more about customer psychographics and behaviors. This can also identify “look-alike” audiences outside of your immediate customer base.
Collective partners best-in-breed data providers, such as Nielsen, Polk and BlueKai to provide clients instant access to anonymous targeting data on over 185 million Web users. We can cross-relate data and give you a complete picture of the audience you’re trying to reach – and identify audiences you didn’t know you had.
3) Think beyond the click. - Display advertising is not strictly a performance medium, like search. It’s not enough to look at your Click Through Rate. You have to understand who is interacting with your ads, even if they don’t click. Collective offers a range of engagement metrics beyond the traditional CTR, such as Time Spent and Interaction Rate. It is important to observe how different enthusiast, lifestyle and psychographic segments are engaging with your campaign. This kind of deep-dive into your market will not only lead to better targeting, but may also provide insights into your overall marketing plan.
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