Build Audience Ecosystems, Not Campaigns

The New Approach to Audience First Marketing

You’re not at war with your customers, so why are you “targeting” them with campaigns? 

It’s time to shift advertising’s rhetoric and redefine what it really means to be audience first.

From my perspective, placing the consumer at the center of your marketing strategy requires marketers to stop running advertising campaigns and start creating audience ecosystems. 

What is an audience ecosystem? 

An audience ecosystem is the culmination of a brand’s omnichannel marketing and communication touchpoints surrounding, and informed by, a core audience group. It blends paid, earned and owned content. It breaks down the walls between marketing communication channels. This takes brand marketing to a more holistic level where the results are greater than the sum of its parts. 

Each audience segment you’re looking to influence needs a unique ecosystem of media touchpoints tailored to their identities, values and behaviors. This is key to creating authentic messaging and organic placements that show up in their day-to-day experiences.

How can the audience ecosystem benefit your brand?

Curated audience ecosystems provide a flexible framework from which you can select content channels and nurture lasting relationships. It is a tool to focus media planning and brand messaging on audience insights. This helps avoid the rat race of clamoring for attention through one-off ad campaigns, or trend hopping to the next shiny marketing opportunity that may not matter to your consumers.

Brands need to take a backseat and let the customers drive. Your business success hinges on your ability to align with their needs, beliefs, values and personal identities. So, your media plan should be a reflection of those consumer insights. The ecosystem model serves as a playbook  to sustain long-term brand growth by avoiding waste, improving brand perception, and keeping the brand top of mind to defend and grow market share.  

The Audience Ecosystem in Practice

To start building an audience ecosystem, use consumer research and insights to identify potential marketing placements within the following categories: 

Depending on your brand and budget, you may not be able to tap into each of these buckets at once. But, that should not stop you from brainstorming – dream big, then scale back as needed. 

Take a look at an ecosystem proposal we built around an ‘Avid Gamer’ audience for a CPG beverage brand:

Gamer Audience Ecosystem

This shows how incorporating media activations on gaming sites, exploring partnerships in the gaming space, and amplifying the brand presence on key retail media networks can cooperate to anchor the brand in the daily life of an avid gamer. 

The 5 Step Process to Creating Audience Ecosystems

Now that we’ve discussed the philosophy behind the audience ecosystem, let’s discuss five practical steps you can take to begin implementing this for your brand:

#1 – Research & Planning: Aligning with Identities and Community Values 

First, determine what your community will find the most value from in your product. From there, craft a unique messaging strategy for each audience. 

  • Which of your brand’s value propositions matters most to this audience? 
  • What pastimes or hobbies does this persona participate in? 
  • How does this audience self identify – and how does your offering compliment that?
  • What type of media do these people watch, read, listen to, and engage with? 

Use your intuition as a guide, then support or refute with research. I recommend social listening as well as syndicated research to strike a balance of quantitative and qualitative data. Once you understand where your audience is engaged, you can show up with contextually relevant, personalized messaging. 

You don’t want to invasively interject into their lives. Instead, the goal is to align with their identity and add to their badges of self expression. For inspiration, look to brands with distinct value propositions and well-cultivated community bases like Dove, Trader Joe’s or Lego. These beloved brands truly tap into human behavior and community values – business performance follows naturally. 

#2 – Channel Selection: Surrounding Your Audience with Meaningful Touchpoints 

Next, use that consumer knowledge to show up where your personas are most present – physically and digitally. You want to show up in expected and unexpected ways. Where is there a lot of noise, and where is there competitive white space? Identify which channels you believe will create the biggest impact and strategically invest. 

Remember, people don’t want to be attacked, targeted, or followed with advertising – just look at the latest changes to privacy laws. Consumers want personalized advertising that makes them feel understood, not watched. 

#3 – Activation: Bringing the Ecosystem to Life

By planting an ecosystem of media tactics around each audience, you can develop strategies to allow each channel to add new life to the ecosystem and support one another. Ecosystems are delicate and require tending to operate functionally. It will take some experimenting to find the right balance of media spend and channel mix to drive the results you want.

You can rotate attention across different elements of the ecosystem to align with timing whether it be tentpole events, product or service seasonality, socio-political climate, changing user behavior, or a variety of factors. Knowing you have the support of the greater ecosystem, you can feel more comfortable lifting focus from certain channels to lean into others. 

#4 – Optimization: Fertilizing to Fuel Brand Performance

Finally, map out and assign value to each touchpoint within your ecosystem based on the expected impact. With campaigns, the goal is direct attribution. With ecosystems, the goal is incremental improvement over time. Test and learn to see what blend of tactics keeps your ecosystem in balance. Determine what areas need more or less attention to lift up the entire system and drive full-funnel business outcomes  

Also, experiment with measurement beyond media KPIs. For example, organic reach is necessary to drive business outcomes and instrumental in evaluating the integrity of your holistic ecosystem. But it shouldn’t be the media campaign KPI. You should complement reach and frequency with tangible metrics that indicate consideration such as clicks, video completions, downloads, and landing page visits. 

#5 – Rinse and Repeat: Continue Learning and Refreshing

Unlike a campaign, this process never ends. You can’t expect the audience research you did 12 months ago to apply precisely today – the environment changes, people change. Data can become stale in as little as 3 months. You have to continue to learn and refresh to avoid becoming obsolete.

This is why today’s marketing plans need to be living documents. Yearly planning and even quarterly media planning is becoming less feasible, and brands that are inflexible to changing market conditions and consumer behaviors are falling behind. The ecosystem model allows for long-term planning without injuring what is already in place on the campaign level. 

With that in mind, understand that the primary challenge of the ecosystem approach is timing. Like a garden, it needs time to grow and flourish. There’s a lot of financial pressure and limited patience surrounding marketing performance from business decision-makers. You’ll likely need to balance the campaign-centric and audience-centric playbooks, but the goal should be to prioritize sustainable brand success over quick wins. Slow thinking is critical when you consider the complexity of measuring all the diverse channels in your ecosystem. 

Remember These 3 Key Mindset Shifts When Going from Campaigns to Audience Ecosystems

The audience ecosystem methodology makes omnichannel media planning more digestible and flexible, which is key for today’s marketing landscape. But even more importantly, it can help brands build more meaningful and lasting customer connections. 

After reading, I hope you leave with these key mindset shifts: 

  1. Place the audience, not the brand, at the center of your media plan 
  2. View marketing efforts holistically, rather than through a campaigns lens
  3. Use marketing to add to your audience’s identity, not your brand’s status

For help bringing this transformation to your marketing strategy, contact Coegi today

Want to dive deeper? For more discussion on how to implement the audience ecosystem model, listen to our podcast episode here

From Campaign to Ecosystem Podcast Episode

The Practitioner’s Guide to Influencer Marketing

Influencer marketing campaigns pair the power of word-of-mouth with the efficiency, scalability and data-driven mentality of digital advertising.

In this guide, we share Coegi’s best insights to running more strategic and accountable influencer marketing campaigns.

You’ll learn the ins and outs of results-driven influencer marketing so you can feel confident adopting this high impact, authentic channel into your brand strategy. 

What You’ll Learn: 

  • Criteria for effective influencer marketing campaigns
  • Reasons why influencers are critical for modern marketing plans
  • Key benefits and challenges of influencer marketing 
  • How to determine if influencer marketing is right for your brand 
  • Step-by-step guide of how to launch an effective influencer campaign
  • Expert tips for successful campaigns and creator relationships 

Why use influencer marketing? 

Influencers can be your fast track to content authenticity, brand credibility and business results. 90% of consumers view micro-influencers as credible, believable and knowledgeable. The power they have on consumer behavior and buying decisions can’t be overstated. 

Here are the top 4 benefits of influencer marketing campaigns: 

  1. Credibility Building: Influencer marketing puts a face and personality to your brand – a key component to building audience affinity. Trusted creators can connect with followers on your behalf to improve engagement, retention, and loyalty. 
  1. Content Creation: Rather than spending additional production dollars to create branded images and videos, your creator partners make that collateral for you. The end result – native-looking social media content which, more often than not, outperforms obvious ads. 
  1. Authentic Reach: People are becoming more privy to ingenuine advertising. They place greater trust in relatable creators with close-knit communities who only engage with brands that match their personal values and preferences. 
  1. Social Selling: Influencer marketing can be much more than a brand-building tactic. Sponsored creator posts can drive measurable, incremental sales impact. Use tactics such as UTM links, point-of-sale integrations, whitelisting, and brand boosted influencer posts to optimize attributable sales. 

Download the full guide to learn how to harness these benefits and build high-performing influencer marketing campaigns for your brand. 

Need an agency partner to help craft and execute your influencer marketing strategy? Contact Coegi today for a discovery call. 

Building a Roadmap to Your Best Customer: Customer Marketing Q&A

Marketers are tasked with the difficult exercise of creating meaningful consumer touchpoints that authentically connect an audience to your brand. To build a successful customer marketing strategy, you need to know who your best customers are and how to reach them. Being grounded with this knowledge also helps set your path to scale and discover your next best customers. However, it’s not always clear how to best define and cultivate these audiences to build sustained impact.  

To shed light on the topic, we sat down with Coegi’s CEO, Sean Cotton, and Director of Innovation, Savannah Westbrock, on The Loop Marketing Podcast. In this episode, they outline how to identify and reach your best customers and build long-lasting relationships. 

Continue reading to learn how to: 

  • Create and refine your ideal audience segments 
  • Collect and scale first-party data for cookieless targeting 
  • Test and measure the effectiveness of your audience strategy 
  • Tap into human nature to build long-term, loyal customers 

The following is an edited transcript of the podcast. Click here to listen to the full episode on your favorite streaming platform.

Spotify: The Roadmap to Your Best Customers

Q: To start us off, where should brands begin when building an audience targeting strategy?

Sean: It’s certainly a balancing act. You want to scale your marketing and reach as many potential customers as possible, but you don’t want to waste marketing dollars either. A great place to start is with the audience we already know – the most deterministic, valuable customers we have line of sight with. Engage them first, then model off of them. 

Then, expand your research with a focus on the human element. There is limited first-party or deterministic audience data. So we have to get to know our audience beyond those data points. What are their interest behaviors, attributes, and even psychographics? Start building upon your original data set with these insights. This can include social listening, focus group data, or other things of that nature. 

Q: In the midst of the cookieless future, what are some ways to build a futureproof audience strategy?  

Savannah: We’re in a really interesting transitional time. I’ve been referring to the period we kind of grew up in here at Coegi as the ‘programmatic Wild West’. We had so much data at our fingertips that we could skim through pre-built audiences and find a third-party data set we were really confident in. As we shift toward consumer privacy being more of a focus, we need to return to marketing basics. Social listening, as Sean said, is a huge one – especially with social media looking vastly different today than it did 10 years ago. 

Also, simply put yourself in your audience’s shoes. If something comes up in your research – blogs they read, shows they watch, subreddits they subscribe to – spend some time in those spaces. I think it will spark some interesting ideas of different touch points you can add to your overall strategy.  

Sean: I would also add that we are still maintaining a data-driven approach. Prior to the programmatic era, media decisions were often based on assumptions. Data-driven advertising helps us use quantitative data to inform who our audience really is. Now, we may be looking at a variety of other qualitative sources, but we want our assumptions to be backed by data. 

I think a good example was some campaigns we did with BODYARMOR for a number of years. Obviously, athletes are their target audience in the sports drink category. But, research found that moms were actually a primary purchaser in bulk at large retail stores. So that became an entirely new audience with a different messaging strategy. 

Q: How can brands best capitalize on first-party data to identify and reach potential new customers?

Savannah: First-party data collection was one of our first recommendations when Google made their announcement to deprecate third-party cookies. But there have been roadblocks along the way. Many brands are realizing that the way they set up their point of sale systems or their website was not ideal for aggregating all of their data. Especially if you have loyal consumers who use your products and are willing to give you their personal information, you want to gather all of that first-party data in one central location. 

So, whether it’s a CRM system or an ACP system, make sure your data is in an area where you can evaluate it. Then, let that high quality audience determine how you experiment as you broaden your strategies.  

Q: How can you apply audience data learnings across channels to bring the most value possible? 

Sean: Because we experience so many media touchpoints day-to-day, we want to take a broad, holistic view when we have valuable first-party data to gain audience insights. It could be the websites they visit, the influencers they follow, their location patterns, and even heat maps to the retail chains they frequently visit. By holistically researching how these customers spend time and where they devote their attention, we can get a full view of how to engage them throughout the day.  

Savannah: And that also helps us understand how our audience is responding to our messaging throughout the campaign lifetime. For example, Coegi media planners are beginning to implement a performance scoring model as a part of our measurement strategies. 

Let’s use the simple example of someone in-market for a car purchase. If they’re visiting our brand’s website and looking at different models, they might still be in the discovery phase. If we know they visited the lot too and spoke to salespeople, that’s a much more invested person who’s more likely to take the next step. So it helps us retroactively look at each touchpoint and the actions that grow out of them to understand the true effects of marketing.  

Q: How do you measure the effectiveness of an omnichannel audience strategy and build a test and learn approach to refine the process? 

Savannah: First, we empower the full team to come together: our in-platform specialists, strategists, research team, and even clients. Have a proactive conversation about what each step of the consumer journey really means and how each step needs to be measured against our media. 

Having this conversation upfront with all the correct people not only informs your setup strategy, it will also aid your optimization strategy. It can help you put together reports with really valuable insights. And overall, it leads to more successful start-to-finish campaigns that are replicable.  

Sean: This approach also powers our measurement strategy and learning agenda. As we are laying out the strategy, we make certain hypotheses. Then, throughout the campaign, we’re proving those suppositions either correct or incorrect and making pivots. The test and learn approach allows us to iterate on an ongoing basis to drive performance.  

Savannah: And there’s an added value of being honest and transparent – having those real conversations with teams and clients upfront. Often, our instinct is to want to always be the expert in every piece of our campaign. This gives us an opportunity to say, this is our expectation, these are our benchmarks, but let’s plan for what to do if this doesn’t work.  

Q: How do you balance human intuition with AI modeling to identify your next best customers and refine your marketing strategy? 

Sean: We have to understand our audience and be respectful to the sensitivities of their data. It really comes down to putting guardrails around AI machine learning – simple things such as frequency caps and sequential rotations of your creative messages to tell a story. 

Is cost-per-click or click-through-rate really driving growth for your brand? Or are you simply capitalizing on consumers that were going to purchase anyway? It’s a combination of understanding the human element, putting guardrails in place for machine learning to respect our customers, and then implementing a rigorous measurement strategy.  

Q: How do you avoid alienating customers with ad oversaturation and build a roadmap to long-lasting customer relationships that grow over time?

Savannah: Well, I love what Sean said about making sure your audience is seen as a human. One of the easiest ways to do that is to think, “what annoys me?” For example, when I get the same connected TV ad 400 times. What turns my view of a brand off and what can we avoid in our strategy? As you’re putting together tactics, think of the things that personally rub you the wrong way and be sure to avoid them.  

Sean: I think it’s also important to regularly refresh our customer database so we don’t forget about lapsed customers. We’re going to approach them differently than our most loyal customers. Understanding the nature of our first-party audience is another way to communicate with them effectively.  

Live Listener Q&A

Q: How do you build a customized user journey without feeling invasive or creepy? 

Savannah: Creepiness is obviously subjective, but for me, where I have felt that line was crossed is when I am getting a super personalized message from a brand I’m unfamiliar with. This speaks back to maintaining and nurturing your CRM list. 

I may have bought a product from this company years ago and they slipped my mind. So when I get that really hyper-targeted search banner ad or those t-shirts on Facebook with my name on them for some reason – those things are typically when the red flag goes up. They feel more invasive than a personalized email from a company who I’ve purchased from several times. 

Q: For a brand in the startup phase, how do you begin to build an audience strategy? 

Sean: I think a good place to start is simply your website analytics. If you’re a startup, you’re likely going to do some sort of press release. You’re going to try to get your name out there, and you may be doing some things to engage customers face-to-face. Take each of these opportunities to gather as much data as possible. 

From an online standpoint, there’s always your website analytics. You can drill down to the city level or even the DMA level to find where qualified traffic is coming from. If you have multiple pages, which are visitors most engaged with? What time of day are they coming to your site?

There’s a number of signals there that can be a starting point for audience learning. If you are able to engage face-to-face with a few people, you’ll gain insights about what the consumer response may be at a larger scale. So record and leverage that critical feedback. 

Savannah: There’s also an opportunity in the early days to think about creative ways to incentivize your initial customers. A common tactic is offering a discount if people sign up for your newsletter. 

Q: What are some creative ways for brands to jumpstart their first-party data collection when starting from scratch? 

Savannah: This is where partnerships can really come into play. Second-party data is a great place to start. If you don’t have a robust CRM list of your own, look for other businesses with high-quality data and do your due diligence to evaluate it. 

You can also look at things like retail media partnerships. If you’ve done on-the-ground research of where your consumers shop and what they’re interested in – you could go to Target’s Roundel, for example. Maybe you know your audience is in-market for parenting items. Look at those retailer audiences and see if there’s a unique way to reach them there.  

Sean: You can also tap into your creative executions in some cases. For instance, on Meta, someone who watches a video all the way through can be put into a remarketing bucket. Then you can perform lookalike modeling off of that group. You can do the same thing with programmatic video and there are other types of creative formats that allow you to gather first-party data

Q: What is your number one tip for audience segmentation and relationship building?

Savannah: Simply don’t forget that your audience is made up of people. Each member of your audience has a unique relationship and journey with your brand. Any opportunity you have to segment your audience and deliver different messaging at different stages of their journey is a great way to strategically build meaningful relationships. 

From there, it can inform the channels you execute on. It can inform your creative messaging. Overall, it lays a really solid foundation from people who are new to your brand to the loyal customers you’re working to build.  

Read Savannah’s Cookieless Targeting 101 article here. For more tips on consumer research, listen to our podcast episode, Research Done Right

MediaPost – Stop Running Campaigns, Start Creating Ecosystems

The vernacular of the marketing campaign — implying that consumers and brands are at war against each other — is antiquated.

Advertising shouldn’t exist if its goal is to simply influence and manipulate consumers into short-term purchases. Most people are too smart to fall for that anymore, but more importantly, it only serves the brand’s short-term interests.

Instead, modern marketing must exist to benefit the brand, the customers, and the world at large. Very rarely does one message, one piece of content, one execution, do that.

The Impact of Inflation on Advertising | Whitepaper

Businesses are facing a familiar problem: economic uncertainty. This time, the coalescing effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, record-low unemployment rate, and a newsworthy-high inflation rate have created a unique challenge for businesses and their marketing teams. What do we do when the population theoretically has money to spend, but the high cost of basic necessities makes them cautious to buy? 

In this whitepaper, Coegi researchers provide an overview of the recent North American economy as of Q1 2023 and the corresponding consumer behavior changes, acknowledging the current challenges and opportunities for businesses and marketers. 

Importantly, we acknowledge that each business’s target audience is made up of real, living people, and thus there is no one-size fits all approach to marketing during times of economic volatility.

However, using a data-driven approach to understanding outcomes of previous economic strife, we provide evidence-supported recommendations. In short: fully pausing your marketing communications rarely yields future dividends. 

Download Coegi’s whitepaper covering:

How brands should react to the inflation in 2023

  • The impact of inflation on consumer behavior
  • Finding the upside of marketing in a down economy
  • Pivoting with resilience: creating a future fueled by marketing efficiency

Key ways to recession-proof your marketing

The impact of inflation on advertising in key industries

  • CPG and retail
  • Financial services
  • Healthcare and pharma
  • Real estate and home buying

Building a Brand Performance Strategy for Bread & Butter Wines

Brief

Coegi partnered with a high-growth wine brand to launch a full-funnel digital campaign to quantify the impact on both brand and performance goals using advanced measurement studies.

 

Highlights

10.6%
Ad Recall Lift


9.1%
Purchase Intent Lift


621%
Site Traffic Lift

Challenge

Bread & Butter Wines came to Coegi in 2020 seeking a stronger marketing strategy to stand apart from the crowd of wine brands. Coegi was asked to provide a holistic, integrated marketing strategy that could reach their full-funnel goals:

  • Drive brand awareness in the US and Canada through emotional connection
  • Via increased brand awareness, drive trial and move brand into selection set within target consumers

Solution

Our targeting strategy reached consumers based on multiple data signals such as demographics, interests, and competitor affinity. This data indicated what was going to drive brand trial. Initially, we created six audience personas to focus on niche competitive opportunities and product use cases. Going into 2023, this was narrowed down to two core personas using purchase behavior data. 

We also used advanced research to understand wine buyers aged 25-54 and living in their top 8 sales states. Using an omni-channel digital strategy, our initial goal was to increase reach and frequency against key audiences. We selected channels offering efficiency and effectiveness, while also balancing lower-funnel ROAS goals. 

Key channels we are prioritizing include: 

  • Influencer and content partnerships to build trust and authenticity
  • Connected TV, display, and Facebook/Instagram to drive reach/frequency and website traffic
  • Instacart, Citrus Ads, and paid search to drive ROAS 

Additionally, we used advanced measurement through Upwave, Facebook, and Nielsen Catalina to understand the full-funnel impact on the brand – from ad recall to purchase intent. 

Throughout our multi-year partnership, we have served billions of cross-channel impressions. In the first three months, we saw a 621% increase in website visitors period over period and 27,000 site actions. 

The first Instacart campaign was especially successful in driving trial, with a nearly 3X ROAS, increasing attributable sales across all varietals. Instacart has continued to have a strong impact. The most recent campaign touts a 4X ROAS, 32% increase in YoY Instacart sales, and an average cost of conversion of $3.73. 

Our campaigns run with Nielsen Catalina were successful at driving incremental value for the brand. The display campaigns helped reclaim former customers with especially strong performance from lost/lapsed customers. The CTV campaign boosted exposure among key audiences and generated $230,101 in sales value of products transferred to their e-commerce cart after seeing an ad. 

The Bread & Butter team continues to be pleased with the Coegi partnership. 

CTV Targeting Best Practices: 4 Tips for Higher Performing Advertising Campaigns

How can your brand achieve extensive advertising reach without putting valuable marketing dollars at jeopardy? Create a smart CTV targeting strategy. 

TV advertising is a high impact advertising channel for building awareness and increasing share of voice by reaching your target audience in a non-skippable environment. However, the landscape is shifting. 47% of the U.S. TV viewers are already cordless and, by 2025, there will be over 235 million connected TV viewers. Is your brand reaching them? 

In this article, I’ll lay out how you can leverage the targeting and addressability benefits of connected TV in your large-screen video advertising plan. By the end, you will be able to apply four key learnings to your CTV targeting strategy to improve both your marketing ROI and your audience’s experience with your brand:

  • Pair cable and streaming for optimal reach and frequency
  • Diversify streaming platforms based on your CTV campaign goals
  • Leverage the addressability of CTV audience targeting
  • Lean into the power of contextual CTV targeting and premium placements

4 CTV Targeting Tips

#1 – Pair Cable and Streaming for Optimal Reach and Frequency

Before we dive too deep into specific CTV targeting strategies, let’s get one thing straight. We aren’t saying you should ignore linear (cable) television to go all in on digital. Linear TV is still one of the fastest ways to effectively reach mass audiences. However, the best way to achieve comprehensive consumer reach at an appropriate frequency is having the right mix of CTV, OTT, and linear. 

Traditionally, marketers would pour the majority of their big-screen budget into linear TV, and save a small fraction for CTV. There was a misperception that CTV had limited efficiency and reach. It was also more difficult to control ad frequency and compare measurement between linear and streaming. That has since changed. Today, these channels are beginning to speak the same language in terms of measurement, allowing for cross-platform comparisons and omnichannel reporting. 

Treating CTV as simply an incremental tactic is not only outdated, but inefficient. Connected TV ads can offer much greater control in regards to reach and frequency versus linear buys. To maximize results, pair linear and CTV/OTT in your media plan to create an omnichannel video strategy. Then, use cross-channel integration platforms to avoid siloes or ad fatigue, as well as understand impact. 

Hear why there should be a more equitable distribution between traditional and streaming television from our President, Sean Cotton, in this short video clip:

#2 – Diversify Streaming Platforms Based on Your CTV Campaign Goals

CTV targeting success comes down to knowing your marketing objectives and aligning that with placements that make sense based on where your audience consumes television content. You may be understandably concerned by the fragmentation of connected TV. There are so many streaming services and devices that it feels challenging to unify the experience. 

When evaluating targeting decisions, you have to evaluate what you value most: 

  • The streaming platforms on which your brand appears (Hulu, Disney+, Netflix, etc.)
  • Reaching audiences on a 1:1 basis

If you really want to advertise on a select few premium streaming platforms, you should be open to targeting a broader audience. Layering multiple audience segments on top of strict inventory limitations causes difficulties with achieving scale. But, you can leverage research to justify this strategy knowing that your audience spends time on platforms like HBOMax or Hulu, and take comfort knowing your ads are running on quality inventory. 

If your priority is reaching a highly specific audience, cast a wider inventory net. Look beyond the Hulus and walled gardens like Amazon Prime and YouTube TV, and instead lean into an omnichannel CTV buying strategy. While this will require more due diligence to ensure brand safety among lesser known CTV services, it creates an opportunity to take a more holistic approach to the opportunity across your consumer base.

#3 – Leverage the Addressability of CTV Audience Targeting

The golden rule of marketing – do everything in your power to avoid wasting media dollars. At least that’s our philosophy at Coegi. Needless to say, the typical “spray and pray” approach often used to reach broad audiences with linear TV makes us cringe a little. By using data-driven CTV partners, you can still reach broad audiences without overspending. 

There are a lot of data providers that can be activated to reach users on a 1:1 basis. This audience-first approach reaches high-value, addressable segments without overspending on mass media buys. Plus, you improve the user experience by serving relevant content in an engaging, large screen format.

You can also gain greater addressability through automated content recognition – an effective technology to simultaneously improve your audience targeting, ad personalization, and measurement in a privacy preserving way.. Automated content recognition (ACR) technology captures and identifies audio and visual on-screen content. It can capture any content being viewed on a smart TV screen: linear, streaming, video-on-demand, commercials, video games, etc. This data is fingerprinted and can be tied back to IP addresses, creating unique user IDs for specific devices 

The primary ACR targeting methods include:  

  • Target based on ad exposure (competitive conquesting)
  • Content affinity (live tentpole events, shows watched, games played)
  • Viewership behavior (cord-cutters, sports fans, etc.)

ACR data empowers you to better understand and reach your unique audience, as well as personalize messaging. 

#4 – Lean into the Power of Contextual CTV Targeting Strategies and Premium Placements

Audience targeting offers many benefits in the ability to drill down to specific behaviors, purchase history, and more. However, to maximize CTV targeting success, it’s important to balance audience-based and contextual targeting strategies. 

Why? Households share devices, so you cannot always be sure the person you are trying to reach is the one in front of the screen. Additionally, third-party cookie deprecation will impact overall addressability. Contextual CTV targeting does not rely on third-party cookie data, making it a more future-proof solution. It is also a valuable tool to achieve scale by targeting specific networks and content genres using audience affinity data. 

If you want to put a true stake in the ground, secure premium CTV placements through programmatic or direct publisher buys. Think live sporting events, award shows, or an ad spot on the latest Netflix series taking the world by storm. 

These premium placements are more expensive, with CPMs often ranging between $40-50. But, it’s critical to understand the value of running your brand’s message alongside highly recognizable content. If your audience is made up of huge sports fans, the impact of running a thirty-second ad spot during the NBA Finals could be invaluable to your long-term brand performance. Premium CTV placements both elevate trustworthiness for newer brands and energize existing brands. 

Learn more about how to optimize your CTV budget with quality inventory from Coegi’s Director of Programmatic Operations, Hannah Schatz, in this clip: 

The ways in which viewers consume TV are changing, but the overall love of programming remains. Knowing your brand and how your target audiences index against specific content is essential in the future of CTV targeting strategies. Implementing these data-driven targeting tactics will give you access to higher-quality ad space. 

For more information, view our OTT/CTV Advertising Webinar here or access our TV 2.0 Guide to gain a better understanding of the CTV ecosystem. 

5 Step Guide to Successful Marketing Measurement

Marketing measurement is one of the greatest challenges for modern advertisers. In particular, brands have an uphill battle to face when proving full-funnel marketing ROI across a variety of digital and physical channels. We’re here to change that. 

Coegi takes a unique approach to marketing measurement and campaign learnings centered around reaching core business objectives. This is the focus of every digital media strategy and campaign we execute.

Learn How to Succeed in Marketing Measurement With Five Simple Steps: 

  1. Identify desired business outcomes
  2. Determining the key performance indicators to signal success
  3. Evaluating incrementality
  4. Creating a cycle of testing and learning
  5. Using data storytelling for better insights.  

Using these steps, you can ensure clear strategy and efficiencies in any marketing campaign. This is your guide to calculate and prove marketing ROI.  Apply these core principles and watch your business transform. Using this approach will allow you to track and communicate meaningful data, no matter how complex your channel strategy may be. 

How Can You Prove Marketing ROI? 

To prove marketing ROI, you need to focus on aligning quantifiable data points with your overarching business objective. This will look different for every brand, which is why we incorporate custom scorecard models for our clients at Coegi. 

By following the five steps outlined in this guide, you can produce clear, measurable results – in other words, return on investment. These steps are crucial to accurately and effectively measure success and progress within online marketing strategies for any brand. Our specialists at Coegi utilize these tactics daily, and optimize results for clients with consistency by consistently implementing this process. 

Download the Five Step Guide to Successful Marketing Measurement now to get started on your path towards clearly defined success. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact us to set up a discovery call with our team. 

5 Steps to Successful Marketing Measurement 

Step 1: Identify Core Business Outcomes

Clearly established OKRs are the basis for a strong marketing plan. Without clear objectives, you run the risk of prioritizing metrics, tactics, and strategies that don’t translate to meaningful growth – wasting valuable time and dollars. So understand the core business goals at the company level, as defined by key stakeholders. This will be the centerpiece of your marketing decisions. 

From there, your team has a roadmap to clearly understand the organizational expectations of marketing. You can then build a strategic marketing plan to fulfill your role in meeting those bottom line goals.

Make your marketing goals universally known – within your team and with key stakeholders across the organization – to ensure everyone is enthusiastically rowing in the same direction.

Elise Stieferman – Director of Marketing, Coegi

Step 2: Determine the KPIs to Signal Success

Next, determine which metrics are indicators of making progress toward your core business objectives. These will be your key performance indicators or KPIs. 

Be cautious of using media efficiency metrics like CPMs and CPCs as your primary KPIs. They can be effective for evaluating campaign performance on an operational level. But, they often do not ladder up to business objectives. Incorporate metrics such as engagement, brand lift, transactional data, and ROAS analysis to gain better understanding. It can also be beneficial to explore more statistical forms of analysis, such as media mix modeling and matched market tests to get to the heart of success.

Step 3: Evaluate Incrementality

Determining which tactics are helping reach your KPIs isn’t always easy. Just because Facebook’s last click attribution reports show better metrics than other channels does not mean it is the leading driver of results. A purchase today could have been impacted by a connected TV ad served last week that was reinforced by an influencer on TikTok yesterday. 

With decreasing data availability with iOS 14 and impending cookie deprecation, attribution modeling is becoming increasingly difficult and problematic. Marketers should get back to the basics of marketing measurement, such as evaluating incrementality. 

Incrementality shows the influence your collective marketing channels had on the final conversion, no matter where it took place.

Step 4: Create a Test and Learn Cycle 

The goal is to create a cycle of continuous improvement for your marketing. You can do this by using a learning agenda that informs variable testing and optimization points. 

A learning agenda helps identify the key questions you can answer to determine which marketing components are driving the best outcomes. This could mean a better understanding of your target consumer or determining which tactics are most effective. So what could these questions look like?

  • Millennial Moms is an audience with untapped potential for our brand.
  • Our target consumer is more likely to convert on Facebook than Instagram.
  • Lead generation will be more cost efficient on TikTok than Snapchat. 
  • Running CTV and linear TV together will drive an increase in sales versus running only linear.

Whether or not your hypotheses turn out to be true, you will be more informed and your campaigns will become more data-driven and effective. 

Now you have meaningful measurement data – it’s time to connect the dots. 

Step 5: Use Data Storytelling for Better Insights

  • How did various channels work together? 
  • Which areas were most and least successful? 
  • What story is the data telling about your audiences, your creatives, and your selected channels?

Use these types of questions to identify the underlying narrative running through your data. To aid this process, visualize the data so you can easily pinpoint trends and understand performance relative to goals. This intel can guide new creative or adjustment of certain tactics and spend allocation to make your future campaigns even stronger. It should also highlight any gaps between customer touch points and eventual conversion or retention. 

Looking from a macro lens helps weave the micro data points into a cohesive story that makes sense to marketers as well as external teams. From there, you can lay out clear, actionable steps based on analytic insights to transform your digital marketing strategy.

Bonus Marketing Measurement Steps

#1 Tailor Reporting to Individual Stakeholders 

Create a reporting system so each decision-maker clearly understands the impact of marketing. Show ROI to your CFO. Show trends in marketing qualified leads and sales to your COO. Show percent change in new customers to your CEO. Knowing the audience and tailoring your story to their unique point of view will ensure the information resonates and your efforts are valued. 

#2 Move from Campaigns to Long-Term Transformation

This process fuels a data feedback loop, creating an infinite cycle of improvement. Over time, you’ll minimize media waste and make more intentional decisions. It’s never perfect, but by using meaningful data to tell your brand story, you can ensure it is always evolving. 

Contact Coegi for additional information on how to accurately measure your business objectives and see clear marketing results. 

Driving 4X ROAS for CPG Wine Client on Instacart

Brief

Bread & Butter Wines uses the online grocery delivery app, Instacart, as a central tactic in their e-commerce strategy. Because of this, our account team was eager to try a new optimized bidding tool offered by the platform. Our goals were threefold: to keep the client’s strategy in stride with a rapidly evolving platform, test AI’s ability to directly impact ROI, and reduce operational lift.

Highlights

4X
ROAS


32%
YoY Sales


$3.73
Cost per Conversion

Challenge

Coegi runs an evergreen campaign on Instacart for Bread & Butter, which has consistently delivered at or above a 2x ROAS benchmark. However, achieving these results required time-consuming manual optimizations based on cost-per-click metrics. While this approach was effective in driving results, we sought a more efficient and profitable bidding process.

Solution

Instacart’s new optimized bidding tool uses AI to automate bidding and maximize ad spend. Staying up-to-date with innovative platform updates is a priority for Coegi, and we knew this tool had the potential to significantly increase campaign performance and efficiency. Within a month of the Instacart release, our team implemented the new capability.

After a brief learning period, the AI algorithm began pushing ROAS into the 3x range. As the campaign progressed, this figure steadily increased to an average of over 4x, with peaks for individual products hitting up to 10x ROAS. As a result, the campaign generated a 32% YoY increase in Instacart revenue and decreased the average cost-per-conversion by 53%. 

In the age of Web3 and AI advances, a seemingly small platform update can have a significant impact on your results. Our team’s enthusiasm for testing and learning allowed this campaign to double its impact on Bread & Butter Wines’ ROI. 

Why the Performance Scoring Model is the Future of Marketing Measurement

 

Is your marketing measurement strategy founded in business intelligence or in media metrics? 

No single marketing metric can equate to business success. Likewise, no single marketing measurement strategy can translate success for all brands. You need a custom solution to accurately track and measure holistic brand health – based on your unique definition of success. 

This is why we believe every brand needs a performance scoring model. 

What is a performance scoring model?

A performance scoring model uses multiple, weighted data sources to define your media’s impact on business goals. This model should combine media data, business data, and advanced measurement studies, weighting each of the data points per their significance. 

Then, you can use this custom formula to create an overall brand performance score. By standardizing reporting and insights from both the granular campaign level to a broader business strategy perspective, this will allow you to make smarter, and more results-based marketing decisions.

Here is a simple example of how this formula can look:

Lift in Unaided Brand Awareness (45%) + Location Visits (20%) + Clicks (10%) + Sales (25%) = Performance Score

Using the Performance Scoring Model to Measure True Marketing Success

Advertising needs to be held more closely accountable to business outcomes. Marketing leaders are feeling this pressure more intensely now than ever. It’s uncomfortable and challenging – but these are necessary growing pains. As the industry navigates increasing consumer data privacy regulations, marketing plans require more complex planning and measurement. 

Simply put – today’s business challenges require more than basic in-platform forecasting and metrics. Media data – impressions, reach, cost-per-click – are too in the weeds to illuminate the full landscape. A performance scoring model incorporates both media and non-media data enabling marketers to make smart business decisions and more accurate predictions. 

It is simply a living, breathing business dashboard that allows marketers to accomplish three key things: 

  1. Unify disparate data sets to better contextualize and assess data analytics
  2. Clearly communicate the impact of marketing on business outcomes 
  3. Predict and inform smart campaign optimizations and strategic decision-making

3 Key Benefits of the Performance Scoring Model

1. Unify disparate marketing data sets

Data aggregation is at the core of this marketing measurement strategy. You may already be using measurement tools to combine media channels in one dashboard. But, business challenges require taking that a step further to reveal brand insights. 

The scoring model gives you a new understanding of marketing performance across the business using both conventional, and unconventional, metrics. This levels up your data analysis to go beyond engagement rates or a cost per action. You can add context by bringing in factors such as economic indicators, health trends, or any other data points impacting the business or consumer behavior. 

It’s not necessarily a tool to drive new sales or leads. But, it does allow you to frame conversations about multiple KPIs in a concise, digestible way. It can guide your marketing strategy so the media can perform better, which will impact long-term growth of bottom line metrics. Ultimately, it resets expectations and aligns teams on the incremental impact of media on business decisions. 

“With the custom scoring model, we work to see a holistic view of performance, setting meaningful KPIs and holding media accountable to business goals.”

– Ryan Green, VP of Marketing & Innovation, Coegi

2. Clearly communicate marketing results

The custom scorecard offers a more objective, quantifiable number you can use to communicate to key stakeholders. Communicating media’s value to non-marketers can be challenging at best, especially if you’re speaking with acronyms that do not apply to their daily jobs. By standardizing disparate data sets, you will be able to more easily achieve buy ins. 

For example, which of these is easier to understand? 

  • In March, FB CPMs decreased by 9.5%, CPLPV rose by 33.4%, and CTR was 1.7%. 

OR

  • In March, our overall media score was 7.5 out of 10, a 1.2 point increase from February.

Ultimately, the custom performance scorecard is a more tangible way to showcase directional return on marketing investment, in particular for stakeholders that aren’t in the marketing department (like finance or operations). Plus, it’s a very flexible data model. You can easily change the weights of each factor in your scorecard formula to accommodate input from other stakeholders or changing business needs. (We’ll get to how to create your custom formula in the next section.)

3. Inform smart marketing campaign optimizations

Finally, you can leverage custom performance scoring models to evaluate and identify leading indicators of success. You can use it to identify which parts of your media strategy are working in near real-time, rather than waiting months for results. Depending on the non-media data you incorporate, it can also help you make real-time pivots based on external factors. 

For example, you can use this model to identify highest performing DMAs. Then, you could distribute your budget and adjust messaging in softer markets versus stronger markets. Alternatively, you can swap geographic region as the optimization point with different audience groups. You can break down audiences to understand the strengths and weaknesses of each segment. Then again, strategically decide whether you will double down on strong audiences or focus on weaker audiences. 

How to Create Your Brand’s Performance Scoring Model

Ready to create your own scorecard? As you begin, media metrics are your most readily available and straightforward data points, so it’s fine if they make up the majority of your scorecard (at least initially). However, it’s important to pull in some external data as you iterate on your model over time. Otherwise, you’re siloing your marketing from other business factors. It’s like driving while wearing blinders. 

Outside perspective from non-media data guides smarter media decisions. Having that additional context can help you determine optimal frequencies, efficiencies, and top-line analytics goals. 

Examples of Non-Media Data Sources for Your Scoring Model:

  • Sales data: Sales by product/service, retailer, region, etc. 
  • Financial data: Consumer price index, stock market, interest rates, 
  • Infection rate data 
  • Net promoter score (understand your greatest customer advocates from  customers who need greater nurturing)
  • Consumer survey data: brand reputation, store cleanliness, product quality, service quality, brand loyalty
  • Advanced measurement data: sales lift, brand awareness lift, foot traffic lift

And this is just scratching the surface. You can get creative here and pull in more obscure data as long as it’s relevant to the success of your business and able to be analyzed at statistical signficance. 

Weighting Your Performance Scorecard Formula 

How do you determine what weight to give each input? I recommend leading with your intuition. But it should also be a group effort. Collaborate with the people closest to the data as well as the people closest to the brand. To avoid biases, be sure to gather input from several stakeholders:

  • CMO/Marketing Manager – Lead the discussion based on existing knowledge and marketing KPIs.
  • Data Analysts – Help provide guidance as to what data is available for use.
  • CEO/Board of Directors – Ensure strategy aligns with overarching business goals and external stakeholder needs.

As you have these discussions, remember it is an iterative process. The first formula you create certainly will not be the last. That’s the beauty of this custom model. It is adaptable, flexible, and increases in accuracy and relevancy over time as your data collection grows and your formula improves.

Implementing a Performance Scoring Model: Marketing Use Cases

Here are three ways Coegi has applied the performance scoring model to our clients:

Use Case #1 – Attributing CPG Sales to Advertising in Real-Time

Point-of-sale data lets consumer packaged goods brands see exactly how much was sold. However, the problem is speed. You often find out results weeks after a campaign. This is far from the real-time results you need to make agile marketing decisions. 

To identify CPG marketing ROI, brands typically need to go back and attempt to attribute that sales lift. Was it from your media spend? The media people certainly think so. Or did the economic boom really do all the work? Maybe it was the in-store displays… The custom scorecard model measures all of those things at once giving you a better idea of what drove sales. 

If you locate those leading indicators of success, you can have an idea of what’s working in real time. Then, when the sales data rolls in 4-12 weeks later, you can confirm what you assume to be true and adjust as necessary. 

Use Case #2 – Identifying Audience Likelihood to Travel 

The travel and tourism industry is impacted heavily by macro-environmental factors. How is the weather? What are flight tickets and gas prices? Is there a health pandemic halting travel? These kinds of factors influence where media should be placed for maximum results. 

This was especially prevalent during the COVID-19 pandemic. We used the scorecard approach for a state tourism client to create a “COVID-19 Scoring Model”. This scorecard gave each county in the state a score indicating level of opportunity for travel in each market. Using it, we were able to inform media decisions and ensure the strategy aligned with public safety. You can read the full case study here for more details. 

Use Case #3 – Identifying Highest Opportunity Geographic Markets for QSR Chain

Quick service restaurants operate in a competitive, cluttered space. Customer loyalty and share of wallet are major factors driving long-term QSR success. 

Knowing this, we create a performance scoring model for a QSR client factoring in brand lift attributes, visitation, and point of sale data. We even included data on how highly customers rated their french fries. Using this model, we were able to allocate budget to top markets and tailor messaging to boost market share among loyal customers. Read the full case study here

There are infinite ways to apply this methodology across any industry and any brand. At the end of the day, the performance scoring model is about getting to the WHY to inform the what – making our marketing strategies stronger and our clients even happier.

For help applying this approach to your brand, contact Coegi today for a discovery call

Coegi Partners

/ Contact

Tell us about your project

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Coegi Partners
Skip to content