September 28, 2018
Publishers today have to own a loyal audience and deliver specific, relevant audience segments that meet advertiser marketing objectives. This puts audience development on the spot! In this week’s Friday Four, Robert Dippell (Founder/Principal, Overscore Digital Media Consulting) explains why the pressure can’t all just be on the audience department, and how to develop holistic audience targeting.
Let’s get down to it — can audience developers really maintain both an engaged audience AND sellable data points for their advertisers? How so?
“Of course. If your content is legitimately interesting and there is a defined community who enjoys it – then this shouldn’t be a problem. The burden is on us as publishers to 1) deliver that type of engaging content every single day and 2) have a detailed understanding of what segments and sub-segments are most valuable to your advertiser base.
Sounds easy enough, right? This hits on an important theme that I’ll discuss at the conference, which is focusing on a more holistic approach to your business and figuring out how to balance different priorities, like audience engagement vs. advertiser objectives. It’s all related.”
What’s the #1 requirement for a successful audience data “machine”?
“Buy-in (and understanding) across your organization. We all typically focus on the technical aspects of data targeting as the most vital for success, but in my opinion it’s actually building consensus internally across all involved parties. You can spend a lot of time and money on tech but still fail if your team doesn’t get it. Without aligning product / content / sales / account management and getting each of them to understand how their specific roles contribute to the machine… it’s unlikely you will succeed.
No one team holds a disproportionate amount of responsibility in this type of project, each has an ongoing role in what I call “feeding the machine” — and it’s mandatory that they work in unison. I’ll dive more into this during my presentation and give some tangible examples.”
How can audience marketers avoid “death by data”? Can there be too much segmenting and data collection?
“The targeting granularity required is really dictated by your specific markets – in two ways. The sophistication / expectations of your advertisers determines how laser focused you must be on holding a variety of sub-segments. And the size / complexity of your audience determines how many sub-segments are even available.
It’s a delicate balance for every media company to decide how deep they want to go and how much segmenting is appropriate. There is a different tipping point for everyone where you are cutting the pie into too small of slices. Providing an overly sub-sub-sub-segmented campaign can very easily deliver an insignificant volume of exposure. But once again… maybe your audience is such a premium group that only a small volume is still hugely valuable to the advertiser? There is no one size fits all answer, and it’s fine if you don’t get it right the first time as well.”
#FridayFavorites: What’s your favorite thing to do while traveling for work?
“My equivalent of a relaxing spa treatment is having a solo dinner at a nice restaurant bar. Obviously I try to make every meal a business meeting and maximize time on the road – but when that doesn’t happen, I’m obsessive about finding the coolest new spot in each city and scoring a spot at the bar for dinner. I find that at the right place you get a lot of great info from the bartender, meet other locals, and get to have a no stress moment to yourself. Over the years this has added up and now I have a pretty extensive rolodex of great spots around the country that I often end up going back to with my wife or colleagues.”
Robert will illustrate his success map for audience targeting in his session Feed the Machine: Sustainable Audience Data Targeting at the AAMP Conference (Oct 18, downtown Los Angeles). See you there!