Moving between online and offline environments has become the norm for most consumers, but many marketers have yet to catch up. Semcasting, a MA-based multi-channel audience targeting provider, has launched a new self-service platform, the Semcasting Marketing Appliance, that promises to help marketers by connecting online and offline consumer touchpoints for targeted advertising.
The Appliance is powered by the company’s Smart Zones technology, which segments audiences based on demographic, socioeconomic, geographic and interest-based information. Marketers match their data against Semcasting’s data to create lookalike audiences to expand their reach.
The idea behind the Appliance is to “do microtargeting at a broadcast level,” according to Semcasting CEO Ray Kingman. “Customers are leaving pieces of information at numerous touch points that are like bread crumbs and marketers are struggling to make sense of them,” Kingman said. “What the Appliance does is take those touch points, compare them with IP addresses, email addresses and zip codes and help agencies or CRM managers connect them at a demographic level.”
From there, the Appliance creates audience lists that can be matched with more than 500 data points from approximately 250 million US consumers or 18 million US businesses and create profiles. These profiles are based on affluence, life stages, product ownership and even political affiliations. Semcasting has also partnered with various ad tech companies like AppNexus, Tapad and Accordant Media.
The four-year-old company competes with numerous firms that offer a wide range of cross-channel ad targeting services, however. The data behemoth Acxiom recently added cross-device tracking features to its platform and Experian just bought a company that includes a cross-device ad tracking technology. Cross-device ad targeting company Drawbridge has also teamed up with analytics provider eXelate.
For one of Semcasting’s beta testers, the Appliance’s differentiating points are its ease of use and reporting features. Grant Johnson, founder and CEO of the WI-based Johnson Direct & Digital marketing agency has used the platform with several clients.
“One of our clients is a regional bank that wanted to target younger and presumably more affluent customers for its checking account,” Johnson said. “So we indexed the market and with the Marketing Appliance’s data created a campaign that uses direct mail and mobile ads.”
Previously the bank did not have a strong mobile presence, but within thirty days, according to Johnson, it started seeing the majority of its click-through-rates coming from mobile devices and a lift in new checking accounts. “Our client is elated with the results,” Johnson said. “The reports show us what’s happening in real time, so we can continue making adjustments to get even greater results.”