Audience Targeting
June 7, 2016

Custom Audiences Drive Custom Approaches

The true power of modeled audiences is the ability to dynamically determine the right recipe for each individual. A more custom approach to building and modeling audiences is already being successfully used by forward-thinking marketers.

Tailoring to Real Audiences

Instead of creating a campaign they believe will resonate with their audience and then buying media to see what works, marketers and agencies can use data to identify new audience segments and then craft a campaign to appeal to these carefully refined segments. Case in point was Dieste’s campaign to launch LALA, a drinkable yogurt.

Most yogurt marketing featured families sitting down to eat yogurt with a spoon. Dieste’s custom audience approach combined research it conducted on its own with outside data from Simmons to identify a new segment, 31-million strong, that it called “shapers on the go.” This custom audience was trend-setting, very image-conscious and sought convenience. The resulting campaign featured a variety of people #Yogurting—that is, grabbing and drinking LALA—as they play sports, work and enjoy life. The campaign, launched in February, surpassed the company’s initial goals.

“Simply aiming for ‘women 25 to 35 without kids’ is not enough anymore to guide a brand into a truly honest and authentic connection with their consumers,” says Carla Eboli, CMO of Dieste. “We know that data-driven insights give creatives a more successful brief that will lead into a results-driven campaign.”

Similarly, when we modeled a custom audience for a luxury brand, we discovered that it was crucial to model off a very specific, custom seed set. Targeting new audiences who actually convert is particularly challenging for luxury brands because only a small percentage of people who are interested in high-end items will ever buy them (for example, the majority of visitors to a luxury car site are teenage males who cannot afford them).

In order to effectively target actual buyers, the strategy was to develop seed sets based on carefully tailored attributes: in-market consumers who have not only visited luxury websites, but also have high incomes and previous purchase behavior buying similar luxury goods.

Based on a combination of first-party retail marketplace data and declared demographic data, the brand was able to segment a seed set of actual buyers, and bring down the cost of acquisition significantly by targeting shoppers known to purchase luxury items.

The Future of Modeling

Considering that 90% of the world’s data was created in the past two years (and it shows no signs of slowing) it’s exciting to consider what marketers can do with modeling in the future. Not only will there be more data to work with, but targeting capabilities will become more powerful.

As cross-device targeting improves and innovations like beacons better support the in-store experience, it will allow marketers to effectively reach modeled audiences across channels. Eventually, marketers will even be able to create powerful, sequential creative messages that guide the customer through the purchase journey, no matter where they are.

Custom audience targeting is not just a boon for marketers. It also has the potential to change our ads from interruptions into welcome, relevant, helpful information—and that’s the goal of all smart marketers.