5 new (and powerful) targeting methods

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Owner targeting

Another interesting approach comes from Owner IQ, which calls its model "owner targeting." The company collects data on user actions that demonstrate product ownership to deliver prospects with highly probable interest in categories, brands, and interests. Then it delivers media as an ad network. Like regular networks, it measures interest via site visit behavioral data, but adds ownership data points to sharpen its perspective.

Online actions that demonstrate ownership might include:

  • Looking at the online owner's manual for a TV set
  • Analysis of searches and page visits for specific items (e.g., a search for replacement iPod accessories would confirm ownership of an iPod)
  • Product registrations online
  • Actual purchase data from online retailers

You might think that knowing what people have already purchased defeats the purpose of targeting. After all, we want to sell stuff. But by understanding someone's ownerships, and adding that to other behaviors, Owner IQ says its model is highly predictive of future purchases. It also tracks "duress behaviors" that are predictive of the desire to trade up from existing items.

Other brands are getting results from these tactics, in part because each represents a "green field" of potential insight. That's not to diminish the relevance of regular BT data, but rather to suggest that lots of brands can benefit from more approaches and data sets. Marketers often despair that they cannot identify "on buttons" for their businesses -- paths to better results. Fortunately for those of us in digital, these five approaches represent insights and information that might well take us to Spinal Tap's Holy Grail of "11."

You are a heck of a lot more likely to get performance improvements from new data.

Jim Nichols is senior partner at Catalyst: SF.

On Twitter? Follow iMedia Connection at @iMediaTweet.



Malcolm McKinnon
Malcolm McKinnon June 14, 2011 at 1:24 PM

Wow, great article. Demonstrates the value of breaking down actual behaviour and PDMs. I was wondering if you had anything more on the information sharing statistics.

Josh Shatkin-Margolis
Josh Shatkin-Margolis June 13, 2011 at 1:39 PM

Jim - this was an excellent account of the benefits of search retargeting. We all know that search ads are the highest performing ads on the Internet, perhaps the world, and the ability to take this winning formula and apply it to display provides advertisers with a solid targeting strategy. As the first company to focus 100% on search retargeting, it's really been exciting to watch it gain traction among both display and search marketers. What's more, we're seeing performance really take off. For example, in a recent automotive campaign, search retargeting outperformed RON by 150%. At this point, its safe to say that search retargeting is beginning to shape the future of search.

Dax Hamman
Dax Hamman June 12, 2011 at 9:05 PM

Additional thought: Chango loves SEM marketing folks, and the principles they have developed are very much part of making search retargeting successful. So what's interesting is they often hold the powerful data (an optimized set of keywords), Chango's technology simply brings their specific data together with our broader data to make powerful campaigns. (This is only possible of course if you have a search retargeting vendor who can bid and optimize at the keyword level for every impression - ask before you buy!)

Dax Hamman
Dax Hamman June 12, 2011 at 9:02 PM

Hey Jim, nice and needed summary of what is new. Two immediate observations: The first is that having recently made the switch from the agency side, the pressure of keeping up with what is new AND works is very difficult. The biggest gift I ever wanted from a publisher was more hours in a day! 2 years ago social retargeting from companies like media6degrees was brand new, and yet today is a very accepted form of BT. More media planners need to have test and learn budgets from their clients so as to verify which tactics are right for those brands. The second observation is that once these tactics exist and make it onto a media plan, what are they there for? Most commonly they make it onto a direct response plan, somewhere they don't always belong. With search retargeting for instance, we (Chango) see great DR results with retailers like Bloomingdales, but we also are seeing clients coming to us to create awareness / branding campaigns. If you are Coke, it's a powerful proposition to serve ads only to those people searching on PepsiCo's products in the last 24 hours. And so I urge marketers holding brand dollars to look to their DR colleagues and embrace these data sets you are highlighting - they will often discover tools they could never have thought possible,