How Data Informs Better Audience Targeting

by John Povey

posted on 11-28-2018

Data is the connective tissue between an advertiser and their audience. Without informative data, the client cannot target the right person with the right ad.

A problem and solution

More data sets mean more information for audience targeting. The key is both knowing how to connect the data sets and cross between them, according to Wael Sabra, VP of product at a4 Media.

Not being able to utilize available identity data as effectively as possible can mean not being able to connect with your audience. Delivering ads determined by data doesn’t have to be difficult — an entire ecosystem of solutions exists that allow for better-informed campaigns.

“The solution is a unique household identifier that crosses all data, and the complex audience segments can then be created from them,” Wael says. “Media companies can uniquely identify households that then talk to all the different data sets inside an audience management platform like Adobe Audience Manager.” For example, data tells us what an audience watches, so TV ad campaigns can place a relevant ad in front of them.

How targeting audiences with data works

Data is a vital component of audience targeting. By utilizing unique data sets, clients can place an ad where their target audience is most likely to see it, lowering the amount of wasted impressions and increasing ROI. To make it even more efficient, the same audience data can be used for TV and digital advertising, allowing for a tightly integrated and choreographed audience targeting solution.

In a perfect system, rich and unique data sets are matched, aggregated, and maintained to millions of authenticated IP-targetable households to enhance audience targeting on all advertising platforms. Audience segments are created for targeting ads to consumers only once, and that audience (referred to as an “always-on” audience) is the definition for both digital and TV targeting. When audiences are pre-onboarded within an audience management platform, “always-on” audiences are enabled for TV and digital targeting. A privacy system can then anonymize household IDs and assign data attributes (like TV viewing data, authenticated IP address data, demographics and income data, or category-specific buying intent data) to the IDs.

“The most important thing is matching the authenticated IP address to household IDs, which will deliver ads to the right person,” Wael says.

With the solution in place, TV and digital plans can become integrated so they can reach a defined audience in the most powerful way possible. “An effective multiscreen planning and activation platform tool allows the user to experiment and see how many households can be targeted by each variation of how a segment is defined,” Wael says. “This gives instant feedback in regards to the audience sizes and how to best reach an audience and project exposures.”

What’s next

Forward-focused companies like a4 continue to create services to allow users to granularly target on all devices, with improved reporting. “We really can create a single audience and measure on traditional and new metrics. We’re not only taking care of today’s problem, but looking to the future of how we can report on it in a better way,” Wael says.

Wael sees more data assets and improved ad delivery in the future as well. “We’re going to continue to get better as an industry where we do a much better job at targeting, and we can reach the holy grail of putting the best ad in front of the correct person on the right device,” he says.

Adobe and a4 joining forces

To help Adobe customers take their ad targeting to the next level, a4 built an integration with Adobe Audience Manager. This integration delivers multiscreen media execution, digital media execution, and data onboarding functionality. The client can choose their audience based on data, and set their budget while the platform optimizes the mix of TV and digital to ensure the correct delivery.

“The combination of Adobe Audience Manager and a4 will provide an effective solution for advertisers in their effort to meet the demands of the industry,” says Cody Crnkovich, head of platform partners and strategy at Adobe. “Through our unique technology offerings, we can help advertisers deliver precise, targeted ads — reaching consumers at the right place at the right time.”

Learn more about how a4 Media helps drive better advertising.

Topics: Digital Transformation

Products: Audience Manager