Optimizing Your Online Ad Spending Across Platforms


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Many online marketers love audience-based display advertising, but their audience optimization remains trapped within each media platform. Audience-based display advertising starts with the consumer, asking “which consumers should I target?” instead of simply “on which web site should I advertise?”

This approach reduces wasted media spend and provides more relevant content that translates to better consumer engagement. But, too often a marketer’s audience definition – the list of specific users they want to reach – is trapped within each media platform. There is huge opportunity to set this audience definition free; making audiences portable by targeting specific groups of consumers across different online media platforms.

In other words, online marketers can start with a list of people in their target audience, and then intelligently target that audience across exchange media, portals and even Facebook. This enables marketers to increase campaign response and reduce wasted spend by reaching each consumer on the combination of media platforms that resonate most with that individual, do so in the most cost-effective manner, all while protecting consumer privacy.

To capture this opportunity, online marketers must first determine what combination of exchange media, Yahoo!, AOL and Facebook will be most effective at delivering a response from each consumer. Each of these platforms has different reach, costs per impression and response rates. This disparity means there is an optimization opportunity, but also that there is complexity involved in capturing that opportunity. However, a service provider with the right data and analytic resources should be able to provide an optimized targeting approach.

The operational capability to execute this targeting plan, reaching your targeted consumers across media platforms, is also required. This means augmenting offline lists to ensure maximum match rates, matching with each portal and cookie match provider and then managing each of the media campaigns.

To protect consumer privacy, this process should be executed without passing consumer identifying information to each external platform. Again, this process can be complex and may not be something brands are willing to manage internally. However reputable services providers should be able to execute this step painlessly.

Lastly, to understand whether cross-platform campaigns are delivering the desired results, marketers need the ability to measure results across channels and attribute results accordingly. This involves tagging ads so that impression data flows into one reporting platform, matching offline and online conversions to the online audience and intelligently analyzing the resulting data to glean insights that can be used to optimize the next campaign.

The idea of starting with a list of specific consumers, optimizing media mix at the user level and executing targeted online media campaigns across platforms may be cutting edge today. However, the promise of less waste and more impactful campaigns will convince more marketers to “set the audience free” and take audience-centric marketing to the next level.

Kerry Morris
Kerry Morris, Vice President of Product Management, Online Solutions, has more than 15 years of experience building and managing complex marketing businesses. With deep expertise in direct and analytical marketing across a variety of industry sectors, Kerry is focused on building marketing solutions in emerging media channels.


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