Data, data, data. As media buyers, we continue to hear about data and how we should be using it. We have seen the industry develop from simple page tags to complex analytics integrations and more. However, a lot of these tools only gave us reporting and lacked quick, actionable insights for planning and buying. The time it took to get the information out and apply in a campaign negates the value of the insights you are implementing.
Enter the age of the audience. The recent introduction of audience matching and management tools across a number of platforms has meant that we are shifting to buying media against audiences rather than through context. In turn, this gives brands a way to generate rich and diverse content that can be leveraged to achieve their marketing goals. With the right audiences defined, it then becomes easier to develop and promote that content for a brand; making it more relevant to the user and thus driving better results.
Facebook and Twitter have had their own tools for some time but the recent introduction of Google’s Customer Match tool means a greater coverage of the internet and the services people use. This means that audiences can now be defined across display & video, social and now search. The best part is that by linking it all back to account information, we define an audience across any of their logged in devices and can implement a multi-screen approach.
Each decision from strategy, to production, to planning through to execution is based on dynamic and accurate audiences. Plus, all the hard work your SEO and Content teams have done now has even greater potential to develop your marketing ecosystem. It also means the skills of your performance team are put to good use – bidding and buying to those audiences that perform best and reporting back to inform further marketing decisions.
All of this begs the question… what does this mean for the user? Will it result in more backlash that advertising is “creepy”? Or will it be appreciated as it removes the old hat “ugly banner ads” from years gone by? Recent history doesn’t give us a clear answer – but the internet is the terribly hard thing to predict! It just means that brands will need to enter this space with a nimble and honest approach in order to generate the right results.