EMEA territory director
Digital advertising has undergone various stages of transformation since the first banner ads appeared in the early 1990s. Today, marketers must contend with fragmented consumption patterns and limited attention spans in an increasingly mobile-centric world. The solution? Embracing the power of data science and the many advantages it brings to digital advertising. When equipped with the right tools, marketers can implement the most effective programmatic strategies that optimise on the data needed to build a personalised customer journey.
Finding the right consumer
A consumer’s digital interactions leave behind a breadcrumb trail of preferences, demographic makeup and behaviours that are then used to assign them a unique digital persona. This data ranges from the terms a consumer searches for, to brands they are interacting with and even the physical locations that they visit. Through the power of programmatic and real-time optimisations, marketers can precisely target their consumers based on a variety of factors, such as the interests and demographics discovered via their digital footprint. Marketers that are looking to drive brand awareness can especially benefit from the use of data to find those consumers who may fit their consumer profile, but haven’t yet been exposed to their products.
An example of log-level data playing an important role in audience discovery occurred when Varick partnered with an eco-friendly FMCG brand whose marketing strategy was focused on reaching green-minded, new mums. In our planning phase, we analysed the client’s website traffic to determine where their customers lived throughout the country. Unsurprisingly, we found high concentrations in major metro areas and traditionally green cities like San Francisco and Portland. However, when we indexed the site traffic against the general population, we found pockets of users in unexpected areas of the country. After further research we saw that one of these areas was a small beekeeper community in Nebraska.
We worked with our client to develop and implement a supplemental media strategy to engage these niche audience groups across the nation with the most appropriate messaging. If it wasn’t for the access to log-level data, we would have continued to only target new mums and would have missed out on this opportunity for our client to reach actual new consumers.
Holding an audience’s attention
For the first time ever, marketers are able to access an array of channels programmatically, deepening the ability to maintain a multi-touchpoint audience engagement. Once a consumer is found, it’s important to keep them engaged with the brand. Social media, for example, provides unique opportunities for users to engage in two-sided conversations with brands. Advertisers can leverage these one-on-one conversations to create content that is compelling and personalised, thus encouraging future engagement with an extended audience. Additionally, marketers can create data segments of user interests, and purchase patterns, to use them to target consumers in social environments. Relevant ads will result in future consumer engagement and interactions that will ultimately help brands shape their product strategy.
Optimising creative to drive sales
Programmatic allows for real-time decisions to show personalised creative and messaging to the user across all channels. While these transactions take place, maintaining a constant feedback loop between data gained and the creative marketing process becomes integral to maximising each audience conversation. This becomes especially important for those brands looking to provide a unique audience experience based on where the user falls on the path to purchase. For example, a consumer who has visited a brand’s site but did not make a purchase might receive personalised creative to incentivise them to return and make the conversion.
On the contrary, a consumer who has previously made a purchase with a brand might receive ads for a different product that could be of interest based on their browsing habits. Data-driven creative provides individualised journeys for consumers regardless of how often their preferences or purchase patterns evolve and will result in greater ROI for marketers. Making sense of the data surrounding those who have not converted can often prove just as valuable for brand marketers.
Data in action
Access to data is especially useful in the planning and optimisation stages of a programmatic campaign. For example, an investment management company partnered with Varick to drive incremental investments among current clients. In order to create a proper media plan for the client, our team analysed the data surrounding customer engagements and interactions with the brand, to then be able to allocate appropriate spend to various customer groups. Due to our access to log-level data (granular impression level data), we were able to onboard the client’s first-party CRM data for online targeting to reach existing customers based on their historical investment data.
We received anonymous user IDs from the client and matched them to users in our DMP to create lifetime value tiers for strategic targeting and better management of budget allocation across customers. With this data match, we were able to effectively drive higher investment amount amongst current customers and determine future opportunities for the client.
According to eMarketer, UK programmatic ad spend is set to reach £2.46bn in 2016 and will account for 70% of digital display ad spending overall. This consistent growth has been driven by the evolution of consumer habits and the need for advertising to develop alongside these changing consumer behaviours. Data-driven advertising has been the solution. Investing in data science allows for an amassed understanding of the consumer, which can readily steer brand marketing objectives. Combining this with practised, programmatic technology, marketers have the power to reach their intended audiences in real time, wherever they may be in their consumer journey.