Brand New Opportunity

Evolution Of The Agency Buyer-Planner"the executioner" opinion expressed below is written by Natalie DiBerto, Lead, Account Services, ATOM, at Razorfish.

Advertisers often feel their brand is their most valuable asset and spend lots of time, effort and money to build and maintain it. Of course an advertiser would know their audience, right? Right, but the real question is if an advertiser knows who its online customer is. If an advertiser is defining its audience based on direct mail, focus groups and other traditional forms of research, is it right to assume this audience profile mirror the attributes of an online customer? Chances are some intuitive characteristics match, but it’s possible that some attributes are different.

One of the attractive benefits of the exchanges for brand advertisers is the ability to identify and target specific audiences through data. Now, we use an overlap report with a third-party data provider to identify key segments which closely align with site converters or visitors, then target these users within the exchange landscape. Although data says they should, these mid-funnel users may or may not align with the advertiser’s perception of who their target is. It gets a little dicey when perception and quantitative data don’t align.

For example, a retailer may think their target is 21-26 year old females in urban areas, when in reality, data overlap indicates their true online target is teenage females in the Midwest. The advertiser may not want to target these users, but alternatively, if they only focus on targeting their perceived audience, they may limit the opportunity for mid to top funnel branding and awareness efforts. All of the sudden we have a lot of data that is actionable, but we need to identify the smart ways to leverage it--without stepping on the advertiser’s toes and still reaching the right audience.

Online data provides a perpetual focus group of how people interact and think about brands and products, so why don’t advertisers use it to at least verify what they already know? If someone outside the core audience buys a product, are they not the brand’s customer too? There is opportunity to make advertisers that much smarter about their audience and customers. Some are relying on old ways of measuring and buying because it’s all they had before! Advertisers that can reconcile current beliefs about their audience, with new data-driven insights will truly seize the opportunity in this new market.

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2 Comments

  1. Interesting observations on the distance between an advertiser's idea of their target audience and the people who actually convert on the site. Although it is more efficient in the short run to focus advertising on the customers who are most likely to convert, regardless of whether its the desired customer or not, brands still want to build purchase intent among value consumer segments.

    One way to resolve the issue is to request custom lifetime value info from the client. If the client thinks Moms are the target audience, but teens are the ones who are converting, its hard to know what to do next. But if you can compare the CLV of teens versus moms, based on actual client data, DSPs can make an informed decision on whether to recommend revising the target segmentation or whether to continue building intent with the original target, despite middling efficiency performance.

    Reply
  2. Serenerao

    Hi:

    It is not only "Advertisers" feel their brand is their most valuable asset and spend lots of time, effort and money to build and maintain it.

    We all do - for example, when you go to work, you create a Brand to identify yourself, because that is the USP for keeping you in that job or somebody wanting that Brand and give a new opportunity.

    In my opinion there are two types of Brand - a Brand which defines expenseiveness and non-expenseiveness.

    Reply

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