Data Defining Audiences for Marketers


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Presentation: Data Defining Audiences for Marketers
First-party data is a marketer's single most important asset. Mining it can identify audience segments that inform product and marketing strategy, and drive revenue.

Susan Bidel, Senior Analyst, Forrester

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  • If you know who your consumers are and what they want, you have a fighting chance of developing the right products and marketing to them efficiently and effectively to build a solid business. Sounds simple and straightforward, but is it?

  • Back in the day, everyone worked off instinct and content was a proxy for audience. If you were marketing a car and wanted to reach young men, you advertised with ESPN or Sports Illustrated. If you were marketing a high-end luxury good, you used Vogue. Television still works that way. But buying on the basis of content and context is expensive, and unless you’re gong to confine our efforts to Facebook, Yahoo, AOL and a small handful of other publishers, to achieve scale you have to cobble together a chain of publishers, which is labor intensive and time consuming.
  • Deriving insights from data seems like a much more efficient way to go. And the most valuable data of all is first-party data. The kind of data that only those companies with a direct connection to the consumer can generate. It’s that data that informs product development and marketing. It’s age and gender information. Income and occupation. Education level and marital status. Presence of children. If a marketer has a website, analysis of how consumers interact with the brand on that site is valuable. How they get there. How long they spend. Do they go deep into the site, or touch it and move on? What, if anything, they share on their social networks. If any ecommerce takes place, it generates credit card data, which is PII sensitive, but oh, so valuable. And it’s information about the product: What do consumers think about it? Is it a must-have or a nice-to-have? If’s it’s a nice-to-have, what other products are bucketed that way? Perhaps most importantly for everyone here: How did the consumer find the product?
  • Aggregating, normalizing and analyzing that data requires partners like data management platforms. Marketers can use DMPs embedded in a DSP, like Turn and MediaMath. Some trading desks, like Xaxis, have launched DMPs. Or marketers can partner with their own DMP and control their own first-party data directly. Doing that prevents a third-party entity from becoming smarter over time through access to a marketer’s proprietary first-party data.

  • There are a number of benefits to be derived from aggregating, normalizing and analysing first party data. First - it reveals a robust picture of the consumer, and by association, of the marketer’s best prospects. When you know who your consumer is, you can craft a more relevant product and more relevant messaging.

  • Because relevance cuts through clutter, which is clearly not a new problem.
  • Clutter, in fact, is very much a problem that’s getting worse and worse. The average urban consumer is barraged on a daily basis with anywhere from several hundred to several thousand advertising messages. 2 million is the number of TV ads seen by the average person by age 65.

  • So, within that barrage of messaging relevance helps you stand out. Audience segmentation based on your first party data helps you identify the targets for that relevant messaging and helps you model out lookalikes to extend reach to the widest of perimeters.

  • And with the help and participation of any number of companies on this landscape, you can use segmentation data to extend that reach programmatically across scores of sites for often rock-bottom CPMs. So, audience targeting based on first-party data is all good. But, are there any downsides to buying this way?
  • When content was a proxy, marketers knew where their ads were running. According to a study recently conducted by Forrester and the Association of National Advertisers, many marketers have doubts about the current situation.
  • Industry estimate put the percentage of unviewable ads at between 40%-50%. Those rock-bottom CPMs we talked about a moment ago, aren’t so rock bottom after all. When you add in concerns around fraud, the cost of audience targeting isn’t quite as attractive as it seemed.
  • There’s another source of first-party data that marketers can work with to achieve their goals of relevance and reach.
  • Arguably a richer data set than the average marketer’s. And, if it’s a traditional publisher, with off-line subscribers, it’s a data set tied to actual, identifiable human beings – PII issues notwithstanding. Major publishers are working with DMPs, gathering up all this data, normalizing it, analyzing it and deploying it in their own marketing and product development initiatives. They’re also using to inform how they package and price their inventory. And for their best customers, they’re willing to combine it with marketer first-party data for really special programs. These sorts of initiatives are not cheap by any means. But sometimes it pays to spend if the rewards are rich enough. Now, you’re going to say that marketers can’t achieve the kind of scale by working with individual publishers, but that’s not the case either.
  • Controlled reach means that inventory buying for audience extension is based on audience targeting on the initial site and throughout the program.
    In the interests of transparency, marketers get a detailed list of exactly what sites their ads run on, so there are no mysteries.
  • You can’t replace everyday audience-based campaigns with audience extension programs – they’re too time-consuming and expensive. But you can use them for specific initiatives, like new product introductions. And, as mobile data truly becomes integrated into the mix and the holy grail of one-to-one person-based marketing becomes a reality, marketers will be able to speak to specific people with messaging informed by knowledge about those people. It will be at that point that, once again…
  • Environment, context … content will be king. But this time, instinct will be informed by data.
  • Data Defining Audiences for Marketers

    1. 1. Making Leaders Successful Every Day
    2. 2. Susan Bidel, Senior Analyst July 23, 2014 Data Defining Audiences for Marketers
    3. 3. Know your customer Source:
    4. 4. Content as a proxy for audience Source:
    5. 5. First-party data Source:
    6. 6. DMPs allow for a unified approach to segment- based marketing
    7. 7. 7Source:
    8. 8. 8 Advertisements are now so numerous that they are very negligently perused, and it is therefore become necessary to gain attention by magnificence of promises, and by eloquence sometimes sublime and sometimes pathetic. Samuel Johnson The Idler January 20, 1759
    9. 9. 2,000,000 BLS American Time Use Survey, A.C. Nielsen
    10. 10. © 2014 Forrester Research, Inc. Reproduction Prohibited 10 Source: Add first-party data to programmatic buys
    11. 11. All the interested parties
    12. 12. © 2014 Forrester Research, Inc. Reproduction Prohibited 12 Is media more or less transparent? Do I know what I’m getting? › How and where digital ads are placed (e.g., frequency caps, inappropriate content, above the fold, etc.) › Lack of visibility into data used to define target audiences
    13. 13. © 2014 Forrester Research, Inc. Reproduction Prohibited 13 Do you have any concerns about the level of transparency between you, as the client, and your media agency(s)? 46% 36% 18% Yes No Not sure Concerns about media transparency increase Base: 153 marketers; *Base: 67 marketers who answered ‘yes’ to having concerns; Over the past year, concerns about transparency have:* Increased 42% Decreased 13% Stayed the same 45% Source: March 2014, “ANA/Forrester Research : Media Buying’s Evolution Challenges Marketers” survey
    14. 14. © 2014 Forrester Research, Inc. Reproduction Prohibited 14 Viewability leads advertisers concerns
    15. 15. First-party data Source:
    16. 16. Publisher first-party data
    17. 17. Audience extension delivers controlled and transparent reach
    18. 18. The holy grail: person-based marketing Source: Indiana Jones Wiki
    19. 19. Content + Audience = Marketer’s Solution Source:
    20. 20. Thank you Susan Bidel +1 212.857.0751