Using Analytics To Take Audience Targeting To A Whole New Level


Photo: Flickr Howie We

Marketers have historically been limited in their ability to evaluate the underlying audience embedded in their ad campaigns.Although analytics and place based campaign metrics are available, they fail to give marketers a clear view on how their actual audience drives results.  

While many marketers know how to use cookie targeting to drive improvements in ROI the use of data in today’s advertising ecosystem needs to reach way beyond cookie targeting. 

With data serving as the new currency on Madison Avenue, audience intelligence should colour all marketing formats—from search & display to social to video—as a way to evaluate and better understand the effectiveness of reaching a target audience.

In order to really uncover the value of data, marketers and agencies need to make sense of all this information before, during and after a campaign has run its course.  It all boils down to having access to ALL the analytics in one place.  Until now, most analytics efforts have focused either on analysing data about the performance of a campaign OR the data about an audience but not both. 

That’s why we are driving the concept of 360 analytics, where there is one central intersection of all of your ad delivery and site data crossed with all known audience data.  This intersection will result in a better understanding of how your advertising efforts connects with real people who drive real results.

So what type of data would your 360 analytics handle, and more importantly what kinds of questions would it answer?

Campaign Data: Advertisers and agencies could get a deeper look into campaign data from multiple sources including ad servers (regardless of whether the ad ran on a publisher, network, exchange or portal). This aggregation will help identify the type of audiences that are responding to the ad, the type of audience who converted on the ad and the difference between viewers and converters. 

The key here is that these types of analytics questions can be asked across all your media efforts including social or search campaigns  (i.e. not using cookies at all). The key is stop thinking of cookie data only for direct targeting.  For example, if you ran a campaign to drive coupon downloads, you would be able to see in one report how your audiences performed on a network vs an exchange.  You could also compare the underlying audience from Facebook and Google Adwords.

Site and Conversion Data: Marketers and agencies can look at first party data from their own site to evaluate which audience generated the most value to the bottom line.  This includes using audience data to add colour to traffic data from the site, meta data from an analytics system and sales and conversion data.  This would allow you to compare the value of your digital media mix and deduce the targeting attributes of the best performing audience.  For example, you can now add site traffic analytics and specific download conversion metrics to your dashboard and evaluate your media spend based on actual cost to drive the coupon download.

Cross Channel Data: Take what you know about your prime audience across digital efforts and apply that targeting intelligence to other media touch-points.    For example, if a brand placed a TV ad on Sunday and experienced a spike in search and site traffic online the following day, the brand could decipher whether the uptick came from direct navigation as a result of the TV ad or from an online ad campaign that ran at the same time.  

Third Party Data: At the end of the day audience analysis requires massive amounts of data on people. How do you better understand your site audience, site converters and how they behave when they are not always on your site? How do you deduce the best performing audiences and prospect more of them? By looking at your target audience across the largest pool of 3rd party audience data, you can generate a comprehensive and substantiated targeting profile that includes intent, demographic, social, psychographic and geographic attributes. Furthermore, this analysis enables you to make informed decisions so you can prospect with confidence. With the right data coverage, you can continuously evaluate the performance of your target audience.

By connecting the dots through your 360 analytics, marketers and agencies can gain a clearer lens into the entire marketing landscape and continue to drive more efficient ROI from their marketing efforts. Equally important, it will allow them to make better informed decisions on where their marketing dollars should be spent both before and after the campaign is run.

Analytics promises to take audience targeting to a whole new level. The intelligence driven by an intersection of ALL analytics can help bring “aha” moments to marketers and agencies looking to gain meaningful insights from audiences wherever they may be.

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Photo: BlueKai

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