3 tips for building better audiences and conquering programmatic

 Claire Alexander, vp, head of marketing at AddThis

While some organizations are just starting to get a taste of what’s possible with programmatic marketing, others have already set up their own kitchens — testing, experimenting and learning about what methodologies will work best for them.

Programmatic is supposed to deliver more efficiency through faster time-to-market and better access to targetable audiences; the reality is not always so rosy. Just like in cooking, access to the right ingredients makes all the difference: Success in programmatic requires the ability to repeatedly assemble and engage high-quality audiences. Unfortunately, a limited view into the processes of audience creation and modeling inhibits marketers’ ability to tweak their data and deliver the superior results they crave.

This survey validated a lot of what we’ve seen in the field and revealed several areas that should have simple solutions. Specifically, we learned that marketers need:

More data options, beyond demographics, for audience building

Demographic data (age, gender, sex, etc.) is extremely important for identifying where target customers are in their life and what related needs they might have. Behavioral data (lifestyle, hobbies, media behavior, etc.), on the other hand, offers marketers invaluable insight into the actual interests of prospects and customers. And, when it’s fresh, online behavioral data can really drive campaign performance.

More efficient ways to scale custom audiences.

While standard audiences can power awareness and consideration campaigns, conversion and loyalty campaigns require something more specific. Most marketers choose to build custom audiences, but are challenged to achieve appropriate scale. There is a real need for partners who can help create a high-quality seed audience and then model that audience for precision and reach.

More transparency and control when building and scaling audiences.

For programmatic to grow, marketers need to trust that the audiences they buy are built with quality data and scaled with addressable users, not bots. In this survey, marketers were nearly unanimous in their desire for more transparency and control over audience creation and modeling.

To achieve the promise of programmatic marketing, organizations must be attentive to the quality of the data they work with and the audience building methodologies they employ. Further, data partners must be willing to build trust with their partners by providing transparency into their audience composition and scaling techniques. Truly, the promise of programmatic is limited only by our own willingness to collaborate and experiment.

To learn more about where marketers stand on programmatic audiences, download the state of the industry report.


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