Brand Targeting Audiences Like Never Before

Tom Edwards, EVP of Strategy & Innovation, talked about brand s targeting audiences and  how they’re utilizing traditional and  non-traditional digital marketing to expand  their reach.

Q: To what extent is more specific targeting/buying of audiences growing? If it is growing, why is this happening now?

TE: With the proliferation of device types of all makes and  models and  the non-linear path to purchase, the industry has shifted towards models and  solutions that can create relevant and  authentic connections with consumers through our media targeting.

There has been a shift towards personalized creative that appeals to specific segments. This means that data that allows for a higher probability of impacting intent is needed in addition to personalized creative.

This extends well beyond traditional digital. Mobile is key to delivering contextual messaging be it tied to location or sensors. Aligning location, transaction, online behavior and  aggregating through an identity management platform that is tied to cross screen networks all while mapping attribution is the ideal that a number of ad providers are moving towards in addition to programmatic platforms.

Q: What are some specific examples of how brand s are tapping new tools and  services to reach specific groups of individuals/audiences? 

TE: A number of our clients are testing various tools. Everything from custom audience segments, leveraging identity management and  media execution platforms and  a heavy focus on optimization through data analytics. We are also exploring programmatic creative where we create assets per audience segment and  dynamically generate personalized native advertisement to in store partnerships with providers like EyeQ, who provide facial recognition technology that can serve personalized content.

Other examples are similar to EA’s Madden 15 campaign. They partnered closely with Facebook and  created 32 separate instances of creative based on NFL fan affinity and  delivered personalized creative to further connect with fans.

Q: What are the challenges for brand s in doing this on mobile? What things should brand s keep in mind in pursuing hyper-targeting of individuals?

TE: There are many challenges as ad providers align their offerings to create the most value for agencies and  brand s. Identity management, mapping transaction and  behaviors, incorporating location all while trying to deliver the most relevant creative is a challenge. The other point to consider is how real 1:1 at scale is. The key is to identify and  segment the target audience, create viable look-a-like clusters and  test, test, test to see what truly resonates and  continually optimize.

It is also important to understand  the distribution channels. There is a difference between highly targeted platforms such as Facebook and  opt-in platforms such as Buzzfeed and  SnapChat and  how you structure your programs.

It is also important to know which media channels can drive results for the business as each can play a different role across awareness, intent and  conversion. Understand ing the channel mapped to the goal in addition to aligning behaviors and  creative that is relevant and  contextual is key.

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