How do YOU find YOUR customers? If you’re like the majority of businesses advertising on social, you’re using the location, age, gender, language, and interest data available to everyone who runs ads on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. These are great to help set basic guidelines for what ads should be shown to which groups of people. The problem is that groups of people are still individuals with different needs, different timelines, and different consumer journeys. So while all females in Florida aged 18-45 could be targeted with ads for sunblock, the reality is that reaching out to all of them simultaneously means a lowest common denominator ad performs poorly.
Unfortunately, that’s how advertising systems work—advertisers set broad criteria like that and hope the people actually in the market for a sunblock will see their advertising at the right time and choose their brand. It’s a “spray and pray” mentality and it’s wasting a ton of money for brands trying to reach target audiences that are just too broad.
Alternatively, brands are using click-stream data. This allows advertisers to target buyers based on what they’ve searched on. It’s the same as getting a coupon in the mail AFTER you’ve taken your car in for service…too little, too late.
Once buyers reach your site, the data can get even more frustrating. Maybe you know they filled an ecommerce cart, only to abandon it moments later. Maybe they hovered on two similar objects for a while, without making a purchase. But WHYYYYY??? Your web team can’t tell you that, but don’t blame them, the problem has to do with the data – you’re missing a piece of the puzzle. What if you knew who wanted what before they got to your site? What if you knew which customers were checking out products from the competition? Your marketing team is the solution.
In the past, brands have relied on data that lumps them into broad groups or data that allowed them to predict what a user will do based on their past actions. It’s time, however, to refine that data, putting highly relevant ads in front of buyers as they are making their buying decision, not after the decision is made.
It all comes down to understanding what the customer is tweeting/posting/sharing and responding with the right offer. Sounds simple enough, but actually getting that data requires a fresh way of thinking about advertising. This involves tying together new and different types of targeting criteria, reading content, understanding what’s being said, determining intent, and then delivering the right offer to the right buyer at the right time. Think about it as another check box on the advertising form alongside location, age, gender: “People who have declared their intent to buy products like mine.”
Intent data—using what people are saying across their digital channels to determine what they’re interested in buying—makes this all happen. Having access to that data will help brands truly target better, reducing their advertising spend and giving them a secret weapon in a highly competitive market. The problem is: everything advertisers have ever dreamed about for campaigns has to do with getting more people in the audience. Until now, no one ever stopped to ask if the audience was filled with the right people.