Even with the all the advances in adtech today, as a marketer, how do you know that you are reaching the exact audience across all the essential mediums (from when they are on YouTube versus on Facebook)? Are you reaching the same target you wish to reach from one walled garden to the next? Much attention has been placed on the accuracy of the data to identify the right audience during planning, but what about when you activate them across media properties?
If the data and audience discovery and model were the brain, the audience activation should be the very beating heart of any campaign. In the early days of digital advertising, we used cookies as a way to identify audiences, learn their digital behaviors, append more data, and activate them via cookie sync. However, with the proliferation of devices and social media, the complexity of buying impressions on a precise customer from one medium to the next is beyond just data and technology. The ability to connect 1-to-1 with your audience across all touchpoints without sacrificing the accuracy and integrity of your audience definition should be the very foundation of all media buying.
That is the promise of audiences beyond boundaries. That is the reality we can have if we use digital thinking and employ the tools at our disposal.
The Current Process, The Current Problem
Today, the typical inexact media buying process goes something like this: A media buyer creates segments based on assumed “personas" — Paul, a “doer" aged 18-34; Mary, a suburban mother of school-age children; Tom, weekend warrior outdoors enthusiast.
The buyer or their appointed programmatic buying partner will then buy media on Facebook, YouTube, Google and various white-listed media properties in order to target the defined segments with creative advertising.
The problem is that those segments represent an imagined target who doesn't actually exist. When that type of person is reached, there's no assurance that they have a propensity to buy the marketer's goods or services.
Even if a potential customer is reached, there's no way to determine whether they've had the optimal level of exposure across the multiple platforms.
Simply put, in the traditional system, a lot of media spend is wasted, while people who could be activated aren't reached.
Planning Beyond Boundaries with the Right Partner
Today's media-buying process should instead start with universal IDs that represent real people doing real things across media and devices.
The marketer today should tell a buyer to find and activate the right people, represented by universal IDs that stay with those people on every screen across all the major platforms.
Those buyers will need a partner who can supply those IDs, attaching insights that come from data gathered across devices, media, and consumer information in a unified way.
The partner should have the ability to process trillions of data points, cross-referenced and matched to other data sets such as shared first-party data from CRM systems, third-party tracking and shopping information.
The partner must have special relationships with media companies and platforms, whether YouTube, Facebook, Amazon, Google or traditional publishers and media networks.
Only a partner with access to all media across every platform on desktop, mobile or set-top box will have the enhanced insights to determine the right mix.
Only that type of partner can determine performance patterns to continually optimize and re-configure the media mix and efficiently achieve the marketer's goals, unhindered by the usual boundaries of outlet, device and media type.
That broad and deep expertise creates a newly precise currency for media buying. It brings data-driven digital thinking to unified planning (see our whitepaper here) that gives the needed scale and reach combined with the ability to efficiently activate consumers in the best media environment.
It creates the power of reaching Audience Beyond Boundaries.