How to Flourish with Custom People-Based Audiences

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As marketers continue to push spend to programmatic channels, they’re looking to expand beyond basic CRM retargeting. Many are realizing that the next step to gaining a competitive edge is using custom people-based audiences in all of their programmatic buys.

To put it simply, custom people-based audiences take the data you have on your current customers to connect you with other people with similar attributes. When building lookalike audiences, this improves targeting accuracy and efficiency by identifying the best people to target and who to avoid. For audience expansion, you’ll see increased audience scale while maintaining a high likelihood of conversion.

So how do you make these audiences work for you? I put together three tips so you can flourish with custom people-based audiences.

Use the Right Data

Custom people-based audiences, such as lookalike audiences and audience expansions, use verified consumer personas from third-party data sets, unlike other audiences that may be derived from only cookies or online behavioral signals.

With the average online cookie only containing approximately 50 data points about each person, it’s difficult to analyze that small of a data pool to discern what makes the user behind that cookie a good fit for your product or brand.

So while cookies and other IDs are important for reaching your target audience online, you may consider using 40 times the amount of data (without doing 40 times the work) via those third-party data sets to make smarter decisions about the right people you want to target.

Don’t Trade Accuracy For Scale

I often hear the argument that segment targeting is a people-based marketing strategy to drive acquisition.

However, simple CRM segments only use a handful of data points, such as age, gender, income, and education—just a sliver of what represents a person. This line of thinking also erroneously assumes that everyone who meets that criteria is of equal value.

If you try to grow your audience by using a simplified understanding of your customers, you’re likely to not only reach people for whom your message is irrelevant, but also miss out on many more who are a better fit.

The reality is that not every mom has the same shopping preferences, and segments of just moms would miss the millions of great prospects that fall outside of the designated gender or age.

True people-based marketing means you are connecting with those who are likely to be good customers, not those who are not. By leveraging massive third-party data sets and sophisticated machine learning, marketers can expand targetable audiences to people who are more likely to convert for their brand.

Bring Your Data Everywhere

Finally, audiences built with verified consumer persona data enable marketers to target the same audience across every digital channel and device.

According to eMarketer, identifying audiences across channels remained a top priority for marketers last year, which is why activating custom people-based audiences in an omnichannel manner is critical for marketers.

That way, you can be top-of-mind while they’re reading the New York Times on their phones in the morning, scrolling through Facebook at work, and watching reruns of the Great British Bake-Off on their computer in the evening.

Originally published 06/14/18 at LiveRamp.com.

Dave Oliveira

About Dave Oliveira

As chief operating officer, Dave leads TruSignal’s sales, client development and operations teams, and implements TruSignal’s strategic direction.
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