How Data Informs Better Audience Targeting

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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. Having that connective tissue makes advertising simple and effective.

Many data sets mean more info is available for audience targeting. With many data sets available, the key is knowing how to connect them a lot of places offer licensing, but you can’t cross between them, according to Wael Sabra, vice president of product at a4 Media.

“That problem can be solved by creating a unique household identifier that crosses all data sets inside an audience management platform,” he says. “Complex segments can be created from them.” For example, a TV ad campaign that focuses on what the audience is most likely to watch, and puts relevant ads in front of them.

How Targeting Audiences with Data Works

Data is a vital component of audience targeting. By utilizing the right data sets, clients can place an ad where a target is likely to see it lowering the amount of wasted impressions and increasing ROI. Further, when the same audience data is used for TV and digital advertising, it creates a tightly-integrated and choreographed audience targeting solution.

When a company like a4 offers rich and unique data sets, they are are matched, aggregated and maintained to tens of millions of authenticated IP-targetable households to enhance audience targeting on all advertising platforms. Audience segments are created for targeting ads to consumers once and then uses that audience definition for both digital and television targeting. These audiences are pre-onboarded within an audience management platform to enable always-on audiences for TV and digital targeting. It then anonymized household IDs and then assigns data attributes (like TV viewing data, authenticated IP address data, demographics & income data, or category-specific buying intent data) to the IDs.

“The most important thing that we do is match the authenticated IP address to household IDS to deliver ad to right person,” Sabra says.

Different types of available data include:

  • TV Viewing Data: TV viewing data leveraged from soon-to-be 20M households across the U.S. This data is used for multiscreen media plan optimization and to enable ROI calculation.
  • Authenticated IP Address Data: Privacy-compliant and proprietary technology installed behind the firewall of 10 of the top 12 ISPs that constantly maps dynamically changing authenticated IP addresses to U.S. Postal address, enabling the authenticated addressable digital targeting of any U.S. Postal address-based list.
  • Targeting Data: An aggregated a vast range of first- and third-party demographic, behavior and propensity targeting data across major advertising categories and associated that data with anonymized IP and TV viewing data.

Better Platforms

The best multiscreen planning and activation platforms in the industry create the audience segments. The client can choose their audience based on data, set their budget and then the platform will optimize the mix of TV and digital to ensure the correct delivery.

“These kinds of tools allows the user to experiment and see how many households can be targeted by each variation of how a segment is defined,” Sabra says. “This gives instant feedback 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 that allows it to very finely target on all devices, with more 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,” Sabra says.

Sabra 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 right ad in front of right person at the right time,” he says.

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