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Target Marketing Goes Beyond Age and Gender Metrics

Using Target Marketing to Reach the Real Consumers

March 10th, 2016   ||    by Charlene Weisler

While target marketing is transforming the media industry into an addressable, multi-platform ecosystem, the methods for ascertaining contract delivery remain mired in metrics of age and gender. There are solutions, including segmentations and programmatic target marketing, that have the potential to become new standards.

Programmatic solutions, combined with addressability and dynamic ad insertion, have the capability to match consumers to purchasing intent in the right place at the right time. According to Lisa Gevelber, VP Marketing for Google, intent beats identity and immediacy trumps loyalty. The programmatic ecosystem, with its refined audience segments and time sensitive delivery, enables advertisers to track and understand their audience on a much deeper level, improving their ability to tap into purchase decision-making at the pivotal moment.

What can we do to shift the conversation from age and gender measurement to target marketing?

Demographics Won’t Die

While we don’t expect proxy metrics to be replaced any time soon, one might be excused from expecting faster progress towards a new solution. The transition to target marketing seems slow, but there are many reasons for the glacial pace. For one, it’s difficult to standardize segmentations across clients. Traditional age and gender proxies, while not perfect, enable comparisons across clients, categories, platforms, and campaigns. Also, there are different data sets that arrive siloed and duplicated. How can we best parse and deduce all of this new data?

Moving Beyond Data Cynicism

How do we overcome data cynicism? Michael Wolff, author of the book, TV is the New TV, believes “Measure-ability has become a monster problem. We live in Nielsen world… measured by the same standard. But now everyone has measures and there are no standards. It is impossible to know who to believe so we believe nobody.”

Some media companies are facing the challenge in positive ways. At the networks, David Poltrack notes, “We can now employ sophisticated research techniques and have a good set of tools to measure ROI. We as an industry need to move from ‘counting the house’ (totaling up impressions) and focus more on actual campaign results complete with the full sales cycle.”

At the agencies, Stacy Deriso, Group Director PHD Google, explained, “We are using data to identify an elusive target. We are very scientific as to how to reach them and are targeting more specifically where they work and play in order to create contextual messages.”

Creating Guidelines and Industry Standards

Perhaps industry organizations should be charged with the creation of standards. According to Jane Clarke, CEO, Managing Director of the Coalition for Innovative Media Measurement (CIMM), their recent 2015 white paper offered guidelines for using enhanced targeting data. “We found that advertisers definitely want to apply the same behavioral and purchase-based targeting used to buy digital media when they buy TV. They will still rely on demographics for some campaigns targeting a general population, but they want the option to use more precise data targeting for specific kinds of campaigns,” she said.

Next Steps

The advancement of target audience segmentations, especially as it is used in programmatic buying, enables advertisers to better target core customers. Segmentation offers nuance to the broad stroke age and gender categories, because not all women age 18–49 are alike. In fact, not all female 18-year olds are alike, as lifestyle trumps age and gender. And that is what segmentation offers to both programmers and advertisers. Howard Shimmel, Chief Media and Business Insights Officer at Turner Broadcasting concluded, “We need ‘Provable ROI’ for guaranteeing sales. I don’t care about age and sex.”

Ready to use target marketing to reach the real consumers? Talk to Videa today.

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