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John Connolly

Crowd Control: How to Use Audience Marketing Platforms to Your Advantage

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John Connolly
Crowd Control: How to Use Audience Marketing Platforms to Your Advantage

Most CMOs will tell you that customers don’t live or shop on a single digital channel. But while the number of people viewing ads has actually spiked, clever targeting of quality content and advertising are the real keys to whether a company’s ads and marketing campaigns are stories of triumph – or tragedy.

To help these CMOs and their teams better target customers, many have begun employing audience marketing platforms. These platforms help marketers, publishers and advertisers sift through the data and make sense of it all – discovering the true motivators of customers’ needs and desires. Yeah, that’s right: customers now dictate to companies how they interact, not the other way around.

Focus Your Marketing with Audience Marketing Platforms (AMPs)

Audience platforms are expanding in ways that have allowed them to surf beyond their environments and into the broader web. The Atlas of the Social Media scene, Facebook, has turned the practice of connecting with the right audience on its head. Initially, Facebook’s advertising capabilities limited marketers to just display advertising that was served based on Facebook profile data. Then Facebook created its Exchange, allowing marketers to bid in real time for re-targeted ads based on web browsing activity. Through Exchange, Facebook has created a platform that: 

  • Increases messaging, niche targeting and scalability potential
  • Creates deeper customer insights
  • Can manage multiple marketing campaigns and ad exchanges from various publishers and webworks
  • Effectively targets campaigns by enhancing brand recognition, response rates and conversion

With 1.4 billion users who share, engage and consume, Facebook has created an incalculable selling and marketing opportunity.

“What we’re seeing is that while context is still relevant – such as advertising baby products during a show targeted at new parents – advertisers need to more accurately measure and target their spend,” says Allen Klosowski, VP of Mobile and Connected Devices at SpotXchange in Denver, CO. “Marketers are pushing to combine audience data and context into the most effective buy. They want to be able to use their own data to buy the audience they find most valuable.

This means they still want to do direct deals with publishers to buy media but that they want systems in place that use platform strategies to allow them to apply data/targeting on a 1-1 basis. This allows them to choose the ads and audience they serve, and then tie that spend back to actionable metrics in-store to measure ROI. They want to do this across all mediums from traditional television to digital and mobile.”

The “Always-On Consumer”

Audience marketing platforms help marketers take this witch's brew of data – demographics, location and interests, consumption habits and behavior – and helps create ad and marketing strategies around it. While it doesn’t hurt to pay attention to trends happening across the web, industry brands know that in the end it’s what your customers want from you, not what’s trendy. But how does AMP actually help you sift through all this information from different sources? Here’s how: 

  • Integrate, Integrate, Integrate: Fragmented data archives are all too common today. AMPs combine first and third party data into their software, interpret it for you, then single out specific users you’re hoping to sell with your ad campaign. Remember, the more data you have for AMPs, the better the background you’re working from when targeting those specific users for your online pitch.  
  • Your Company’s Lost and Found: Once marketers have found their audience, they begin setting up certain metrics (males over 40 in Philadelphia who use a Nook, for example). With so many different platforms being used by people, AMPs help companies create effective ad campaigns by targeting segments on these platforms. What also makes AMP appealing is that decoding this information is no longer the domain of in-house IT, which may or may not have the capacities to recognize what’s being found. It’s now all in the hands of the digital marketer.
  • Painting Your Target: Knowing who your audience is can make the difference between success and a throw of the dice. Knowing your audience’s online behavior and preferences can help marketers reach them on a much more productive level. Here’s an example; having metrics on how often a user browses an online store can enable a CMO to know who to remind to return and finalize their purchase throughout their online surfing by using simple but strategic ad placements. 
  • Making AMP Data Meaningful: Having AMP helps companies leverage their Customer Relationship Management (CRM) strategies for real-time decision and campaign enhancement. It also analyzes site traffic patterns for insights into customer interaction and helps increase conversions, discovers who’s abandoned your site and why, and finally, houses all of your mined data in one place where multiple folks from all across your company can log in and make effective use of it. 

People-Based Platform

As you can probably gather, there are many AMPs on the market today that help brands collect data on their visitors and followers, not to mention social media sites. Every company in the world can boast an audience of some kind, but until recently its been hard to ID the most engaged ones.

These platforms have solved this by helping pinpoint the ‘brand loyalists,’ then delivering advertising to them. The days of the traditional advertising practice of targeting wide swaths of people – and all the while collecting questionable data and creating irrelevant advertising from it – are gone. The moral of this blog: those that can harness customer insights through their AMPs will deliver the best targeted ad and marketing campaigns.

John Connolly


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