At the iMedia Brand Summit in Coronado, CA, Casey Priore -- MaxPoint's Director of Sales, West Region -- tackled the controversial topic of cookie-based advertising, detailing how the company is addressing client concerns and driving significant results through a non-cookie-dependent method: hyperlocal digital advertising.
When asked to describe why MaxPoint's proprietary Digital Zip® technology leverages online and offline data rather than rely solely on a cookie-based strategy, Priore acknowledged that cookies weren't all bad: "For those clients in the past who have wanted to cement loyalty with existing customers or to be more efficient with their media dollars, cookies have sometimes been a strong partner in reaching those goals. More often than not, however, they have been limiting."
Priore went on to debunk the common myth that cookies are dead. Although not completely gone from the advertising picture, for Priore, cookies fail to address the complexities of today's consumers. They account for only one aspect of shopping behavior: online browsing. Add to that a path to purchase that is becoming increasingly mobile, and cookies -- which do not work on mobile devices -- are further restrained when it comes to attracting new customers and capitalizing on consumers' mobile activity. "Cookies paint a limited picture of your consumers," said Priore. "Your customers are multidimensional, which means your advertising strategy has to be too."
By strategically leveraging significant sources of online and offline data at the neighborhood level, including its proprietary audience interest data, MaxPoint is able to enhance national ads without being dependent on cookies. Instead, the company has remapped the United States into 34,000 neighborhoods, or Digital Zips. Because MaxPoint's Digital Zips account for important consumer commonalities at the neighborhood level -- income, age, interests, and purchase behavior -- advertisers are better able to target the most relevant audiences for their campaigns.
To illustrate MaxPoint's hyperlocal targeting success, Priore shared a case study about a charcoal briquette company that wanted to boost in-store product sales. Using Digital Zip targeting, MaxPoint reached men 18 to 54 who enjoy entertaining at home, like to BBQ, and have an interest in cooking. The company also engaged weather-based targeting to serve the campaign when the weather hit 70 degrees in targeted locations -- the perfect grilling weather. As a result, the charcoal company achieved three times the engagement of its nearest competitor.
In another example, Priore focused on how MaxPoint helped a women's fashion line, which had oversaturated its base and was no longer getting the returns it hoped for on traditional targeted advertising. By finding and targeting more of the brand's ideal audience in neighborhoods around the country, MaxPoint was able to attract new consumers, further enhancing the brand's cookie-based digital advertising. As a result, the client saw a staggering 32:1 return on investment, as well as a surge in catalog interest.
In all, Priore offered three key takeaways for advertisers concerned about the future of cookies:
- Leverage multiple data sources: Draw from a wealth of online and offline consumer information to precisely target those audiences you care about and avoid wasting impressions on the wrong consumers.
- Focus on goals, not technology: Opt for advertising partners that don't depend on cookies, so you're better able to reach new, unduplicated consumers untapped by your competition.