Activating Audiences Across Channels

by Jennifer Cooper

posted on 05-20-2015

Today’s media world is one of channel fragmentation and an explosion in digital content. It is also a world where consumers expect their content to be ubiquitously available on any screen and customized to the devices they like to use.

Activating audiences across all these channels and devices is a key priority. Activation means getting audiences to take action through downloads, opening a video player, registering, voting, polling, or quizzes, typically while they are using multiple devices to consume media. In the digital world, activation is quickly setting the new standard for monetization and for measuring ad effectiveness and audience engagement.

According to Forrester, less than half of the core TV audience watches linear TV in any given month, and that trend is likely to continue. For entertainment, viewers are turning to over-the-top (OTT) and mobile platforms for content. The same shift to digital has occurred in print media, with many traditional publications either completely replaced by or heavily supplemented with digital offerings. The strategy of selling primetime TV ads targeted at broad audience swaths is rapidly ending, as are the days when advertisers could easily reach their target market through newsstand or subscriptions in print.

Activating audiences requires putting insights gained from linear programming, OTT and other digital interactions to work, getting granular with customer segments and profiles, and providing personalized experiences as often as possible. Audiences will have to be analyzed and targeted, not just by what they consume, but when, where, and why.

With the ability to have data inform almost all aspects of digital media, data management platforms (DMPs) have emerged to help media marketers make sense of it all. DMPs are a crucial foundation because they allow marketers to connect to dozens or even hundreds of data sources to build comprehensive audience profiles and deliver highly targeted experiences.

In the near future, the media industry will continue to see growth in technologies such as addressable advertising to send ads to specific households, and in programmatic buying to simplify or automatically place highly targeted ad inventory across an array of channels. But for any of those strategies to be truly successful, the crucial first step for audience activation is to establish a solid foundation using data to derive the insights to deliver more relevant and compelling experiences across screens.

For advice and best practices on how to activate audiences across channels, download the full white paper “Activating Audiences Across Channels.”

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