We all remember when The Economist jolted the business world proclaiming the most valuable resource is no longer oil, but data. In advertising audience data can make or break a campaign. The allure of early programmatic was in consumer data that could be leveraged for audience-specific rather than inventory-driven campaigns, which was solidified in 2014 with the introduction of Google and Facebook’s audience platforms.
Today, marketers can select all the characteristics that embody a brand’s desired consumer by analyzing past purchasing behavior or using lookalike modelling to determine prospective customers with similar values and shopping habits. The ecosystem continues to expand in terms of audience-focused camapaigns. In the last six months, we’ve seen audio streaming giant Spotify release the Spotify Audience Network, while local business review and social networking platform, Yelp launched Yelp Audiences.
Expectation vs Reality
Ultimately, we want to reach the right audience with the right message at the right time to drive better business outcomes. So the question becomes, what percent of your audience are you reaching? And how can closed loop analysis and similar methodologies be used to demonstrate the true value of audience-first marketing strategies? Creating high-value audiences (HVAs) is only the first step. Measuring the impact is vital to determine future strategies.
Homerun or Strike?
It’s difficult to reach audiences across a multitude of channels and touch points. Digital tools such as DSPs, ad servers, and analytics platforms aren’t linked and provide disparate information. You need a way to connect campaign and sales data, so you can track your entire customer lifecycle and determine which platforms and channels are delivering the most value—and what percent of your audience is being reached. Closed loop measurement makes this possible. Closed loop analysis measures return on objective for media spend and informs future media spend.
Top Five Audience Metrics to Evaluate
- Measure the incremental difference in effectiveness of your high-value audiences compared to unexposed control groups. This provides a great baseline which helps determine if the cost of the audience data outweighs the benefits.
- What percent of your HVAs are you actually reaching? Building the ideal audience is easy. Finding the channels where they consume content, media and services can be challenging. Audience coverage is critical. Based on the percentage reached, you may need to employ other media strategies to reach the remaining population. Don’t leave unreached individuals on the table. Look for different domains, channels, and publishers where they spend their time.
- Are you meeting your marketing ROI or cost per conversion objectives? If not, you may need to better identify and gain access to additional high-value audiences that do perform. Partner with a platform or vendor that provides additional data attributes.
- Or is the reverse true? Are you meeting 100% of your performance objectives? That could indicate your target audiences are too small and you need to increase the size of the total universe to reach more people.
- Most importantly, did the audience you reach actually make a purchase? Leverage closed loop measurement to find impact of the campaign, brand, and sales driven by the brand’s Digital activities. Campaign level metrics could include reach/frequency, brand lift, creative/daypart/segment and placement.
It’s a match! Delivering across audiences + identity
High-value audiences empower marketers to find new customers and increase interactions with a brand’s most loyal customers. That’s why it’s imperative to have tools that create, manage, syndicate, and report on audiences. Closed loop measurement for addressable activation across the open web and walled gardens provides a truly comprehensive view of audience performance.
The power of closed loop
Through closed-loop measurement, you will effectively be ‘closing the loop’ between your audiences plus match rates, enabling insight into what’s working, so you focus on the most successful channels.