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How Do We Find Target Audiences Online?

January 26, 2016 by Aimee

My earlier blog post detailed how we develop a deep understanding of each client’s target audiences. Once we know who those audiences are, we can find them online.

To do that, we work with best-in-breed data partners. These partners help us in a few ways. First, they can help us build custom segments based on what we already know about our audiences from the site-side, first-party data we’ve collected. So if we know that our site visitors are women aged 35-50 who are interested in home decorating, this additional third-party data can help us zero in on an income bracket, a particular geographic location, or even on their marital status. There are literally thousands of data points we can select for targeting. Data partners can also help us find additional audiences that match our target so we can reach more people with our campaigns.

Most importantly, these data partners ensure that when we buy ad impressions online, we are reaching the right audiences. As our platform plugs into the exchanges from which we purchase impressions, our partners verify that we are actually reaching the audiences we’re pursuing. You’ll recall from our previous post that we’ve already done the work to determine that the audiences are the right ones for the client: who they are, where they are, which devices they use. Our data partners help match those audiences up to available media impressions, so we can be sure each audiences is actually being reached with the ads we’re running.

There are a few other ways we find audiences, too. Retargeting is one way. Retargeting means we show your messages to visitors who’ve already been to your site. When they visit the site for the first time, they pick up a cookie which allows us to re-engage them after that first visit, and keep on engaging them. This can work well for cross-selling and upselling, too.

Sometimes, we also use context to fine-tune our targeting. For example, if a client’s target audience is women who love fashion, and the client is a jewelry brand, we may choose to run their ads on fashion-focused sites. Makes sense, right?

There are many advantages to such careful targeting. The first is that if we’re reaching the right audience for your business, your campaigns are likely to be successful. After all, selling infant car seats to new moms is going to be a lot more effective than selling them to 21-year old gamers, right? Carefully targeted campaigns are efficient as well as effective. By reaching your target audience and ONLY your target audience, no impressions or interactions are wasted, and your budget is truly maximized.

One last but very important note: when we talk about all this data, we are talking exclusively about data that contains no personally identifiable information, or PII. All of our carefully selected partner conform to industry best practices. In fact, all are members of the Network Advertising Initiative, the self-regulatory association dedicated to responsible data collection and its use for digital advertising. As detailed as our data can get, there are never names, email addresses or other identifiable characteristics. It’s 100 percent anonymous.

Check back for the next installment in this series, about how we reach your audiences in the digital world! Can’t wait that long? Download our white paper on Turning Audiences into Assets now!

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