Increase B2B Conversions Using Programmatic ABM

Increase B2B Conversions Using Programmatic ABM

Account based marketing (ABM) is a focused strategy that blends sales and marketing efforts to reach high potential B2B customers. However, many brands struggle with achieving the level of personalization and automation needed for effective ABM at scale. Thankfully, there is a solution: programmatic ABM. Using automated buying tactics, brands can serve targeted ads to thousands of highly segmented B2B consumers within target organizations using technology and data for personalization. 

Why ABM?

B2B marketing has historically emphasized quantity of leads generated first (Marketing Qualified Leads), with quality to follow (Sales Qualified Leads). Unfortunately, this method has led to 79% of leads never becoming customers, not to mention wasted media dollars. The account-based approach instead focuses on decision makers in target companies rather than mass outreach. By doing this prequalification, the sales funnel becomes shorter and every customer touchpoint is more intentional and personalized. This is why 77% of marketers believe ABM is their top driver of sales and marketing success. 

Zeroing In On the Target

Emarketer data shows that one key barrier to successful ABM is the inability to efficiently and effectively personalize marketing at scale.  We know this is a critical issue to solve as, 40% of company executives in e-commerce report that personalization directly affects their sales and company revenues.” Once you have your ideal customer profile nailed down, how can you make sure you are reaching these individuals?  Can you reach them at scale, with personalization and within your given budget? Here’s where programmatic activation comes in.

Programmatic ABM: Enabled by Technology

Programmatic advertising automates the ad buying process. Just because you are targeting individual business accounts, you don’t have to have massive teams calling or emailing accounts one by one to succeed. With proper campaign segmentation, you can tailor ads to feel highly specific and relevant to individuals within these companies. AI-powered creative learning takes this one step further by determining which combination of imagery and copy will be most effective for different audience segments and adjusting in real time. Programmatic and AI also allow agility and flexibility across channels. You can take a social ad and run it on digital or test a top performing display video on CTV – all while being confident your media spend is serving ads to real, qualified decision makers. 

Activation: First-Party First

When available, campaigns should start with leveraging your existing CRM data. Activate against this high value pool of leads who have already shared their information with you via content downloads, newsletter sign-ups, or other acquisition activities. Carefully segment these individuals so you can serve highly relevant and personalized ads to them based on their industry, level of seniority, interests, geography, etc. Work with a programmatic agency to activate these segments across various digital channels and media publishers. Track user behavior and data trends, then use AI tools to create lookalike audiences to expand the targeting pool.

To expand further, strategically incorporate third party data. Various data partners can be tapped to reach decision makers across digital channels. Keep in mind that with third party data in particular, it is important to have a smart targeting strategy. 

Start by refining your audience. Yes, you want to achieve scale and pack the lead funnel for your sales force, but the way to do that effectively and efficiently is by ensuring you understand what the ideal customer looks like. Your cost per lead may be higher when you narrow the targeting parameters, but you can expect a greater return by reaching audiences with the highest potential lifetime value and reducing wasted hours sifting through unqualified leads. Layer your targeting with firmographic, job title, and seniority parameters that indicate a high potential account. Look at your best customers  – what do they have in common? Segment your target personas into specific buckets so you can tailor your creative and messaging accordingly – adding the personalization now expected by B2B buyers.

Some targeting tactics for B2B accounts to consider are: 

  • Intent targeting to identify individuals and organizations who are actively searching for a particular topic or solution
  • NAICS job title targeting to reach specific job titles or organizations 
  • IP/Geo-Targeting to target specific business locations or industry events
  • Social targeting by skill/title/industry/location across platforms

Using programmatic activation with a digital partner allows brands to reach these highly sought after audiences with efficiency of both budget and time. 

B2B Channel Strategy: Time to Diversify?

Companies are placing the highest investment for their ABM strategies into digital, with the majority of spend occurring on social media, paid search and e-newsletters. These are all key ways to reach buyers, however, other channels such as programmatic display, CTV and audio are gaining more share of wallet year over year. Consider some of these more untapped spaces to allow your brand voice to be heard without competing with the noise. 

When choosing your channel strategy, don’t put all your efforts into one high-performing channel, such as LinkedIn. Instead, activate ads across a variety of channels based on the media consumption habits of your target audience and other behavioral insights. Use data-informed programmatic placements to meet the audience wherever they are active online.

To determine the best channel mix, it’s critical to build a cycle of testing and learning into your measurement strategy. This enables ongoing learning and optimization to improve the lead nurturing process by identifying what is working and what isn’t. Ask questions and test various tactics to find answers so your brand avoids stagnancy and reduced efficiency in the sales cycle.

Key Takeaways

  • Account-based marketing doesn’t have to be tedious. Taking a programmatic approach enables efficiency and scale for brands with large target account pools.
  • Refine targeting criteria and segment key audience groups to personalize creative accordingly. 
  • Capitalize on your first party data, then expand reach with high quality third party data to reach verified decision makers.
  • B2B brands can benefit from an omni-channel media approach and .considering non-traditional B2B media placements

Start reaching hundreds to thousands of B2B leads today by working with Coegi to build a programmatic ABM strategy. Contact us at info@coegipartners.com to schedule a discovery call today. 

Digital Guide to Navigating Healthcare and Pharmaceutical Marketing

Healthcare and pharmaceutical marketing is a complex landscape. A long-standing emphasis on in-person rep sales and difficult to navigate privacy laws have made the industry slower to adopt new marketing technologies and trends relative to other industries. 

This guide aims to debunk the uncertainty surrounding healthcare and pharmaceutical marketing best practices and provide a clear roadmap to creating a best-in-class digital strategy for your brand or the brands you partner with. 

Download Coegi's Healthcare White Paper

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5 Steps to Successful Marketing Measurement

Proving full-funnel marketing ROI is one of the greatest challenges for the modern marketer. We’re here to change that. Coegi takes a unique approach to measurement centered around reaching core business objectives. 

Download this guide to unlock our 5 clear steps to successful marketing measurement. 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.

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How to Win at Social Advertising in 2022

How to Win at Social Advertising in 2022

What social strategies should your brand be focusing on 2022? Here are the trends we are seeing that could impact your brand’s advertising strategy this year.

#1: Growth of Social Commerce

The pandemic-driven need for ecommerce availability drove accelerated growth in social commerce in 2020 and 2021, a trend that is predicted to continue on into 2022. 

What you need to know:

Tips:

  • Stay on top of platform updates and feature launches, including those on emerging platforms like TikTok. Build room in the budget to test and play to see which tactics drive the most conversions for your product.
  • Continue working to build trust and prove legitimacy with your social commerce efforts. How can you show your audience that they can trust the process? What platforms do your audience trust the most?

 

#2: The Rise of Micro- and Nano- Influencers

A major component to social commerce that should not be ignored is influencer marketing. Marketers are dedicating budgets to this multi-billion dollar industry because it is an increasingly effective and, in the case of micro- and nano-influencers, a cost-effective and trustworthy way to build awareness for your brand. 

What you need to know:

  • Brands increased influencer marketing spend by 42% in 2021, for a total of $13.8 billion, with spending in the US expected to rise 12.2% to $4.14 billion in 2022.
  • 56% of social media users would rather follow normal people than celebrities because of the authenticity of their content.
  • According to the Digital Marketing Institute, “49% of Consumers Depend on Influencer Recommendations.” 
  • Micro and nano-influencers (between 1,000-100,000 followers) are gaining traction due to their affordability as compared to macro influencers with 100,000+ followers. Data from HypeAuditor shows influencers with smaller audiences (1,000 to 10,000 followers) charge around $100 per post on Instagram, while macro- influencers typically ask for $1,000 or more.

Tips:

  • Concentrate on finding and engaging micro- and nano-influencers whose content aligns with the interests of your target audience and whose followers look most like your core consumer. 
  • Incorporate your influencer marketing into your overall digital media plan for omni-channel consistency and efficiency with other tactics – don’t isolate it from the broader strategy. 

 

#3: Building an Effective Video Content Strategy

Video creative has and will continue to be King of Content in 2022.  

What you need to know:

  • Video will continue to dominate the creative space. In 2021, the average person spent 100 minutes per day watching online videos.
  • Short-form videos are what consumers want to watch – whether on TikTok, Instagram Reels, YouTube Shorts, or Snapchat Spotlight. The social media giants know this and have shifted their algorithms to prioritize and incentivize users who utilize these features.
  • Animoto surveyed 580 consumers, 93% of which said video is helpful when purchasing a product while 71% have purchased a product or service after watching a brand’s video on social media.
  • GenZ shoppers cite YouTube as their mostused platform for researching products, indicting that video is an effective 

Tips

  • Lean into video content – it’s what the people want to see and the social platforms are prioritizing it. 
  • Adapt video style to fit the expected user experience of the platform. For instance, a fully-produced, high quality commercial may not resonate on TikTok, where users are used to more informal, user-generated content. 
  • Follow video creative best practices to create a captivating and engaging experience for the consumer without the need for high dollar production budgets. 

#4 AR, VR and the Metaverse

Facebook’s 2021 name change to Meta and the rise in AR and VR features on multiple other platforms are a signal that immersive, 3D online consumer experiences may soon dominate the social space. 

What you need to know:

  • Gaming is currently the most widely used iteration of the Metaverse, with more than 3BN gamers who spend over $100BN per year.
  • Social platforms have started investing in the Metaverse by developing in-app gaming options for users. 
    • Facebook leads the pack with over 400 million people playing games on the platform. 
    • 30 million people play games on Snapchat.
    • In 2021, TikTok partnered with Zynga for game development. 
  • AR and VR experiences, such as filters and virtual “try before you buy” shopping options, have begun to enter the social landscape, with apps like SnapChat, Instagram and Pinterest leading the way. 
  • Half of US adults have either an interest in or have used AR and VR while shopping online. 

Tips: 

  • While the Metaverse and AR/VR technologies are still new, it is vital for brands to follow developments in this field and begin brainstorming ways they can use the technology to enrich the consumer’s experience. 
  • Watch this video for more insight from Coegi on the future implications of the Metaverse and how brands may be able to use it in the future. 

 

#5: Privacy Permissions = Strategy Shifts

In the past two years, Apple has released iOS updates that give users more control over what data apps can and cannot track through their mobile devices. This change will limit targeting capabilities on social platforms and will force marketers to explore other channels, incorporate more first party data, and expect further implications to scale and measurement as privacy becomes even more important to consumers.

What you need to know:

  • The most impactful changes with the iOS updates have been downloaded app permissions and email privacy, both of which will affect marketers abilities to target and track user behaviors across Apple’s mobile devices. 
  • For social media apps in particular, the biggest blow comes from the new automatic prompt to block an app from tracking their activity, which can limit social media platforms from gathering key targeting and retargeting data needed to reach Apple users on mobile. 
  • iOS’s privacy changes are one of many, including cookie deprecation and other limitations being implemented within the social platforms themselves. This is a signal that privacy concerns will continue to shape how marketers are able to reach and measure their audiences across all tactics, including social. 

Tips: 

  • Use social platforms and advertising capabilities to build your own banks of first- and zero-party data. Targeted polls, surveys and form submissions can open up opportunities for you to gather this data directly in the platforms themselves or by directing users to your site. 
  • With limited access to user data, brands will need to develop their own means of proving ROAS and ROI for bottom funnel tactics on social media on iOS. Learning how to overlap social data with website metrics for measurement is one way this can be accomplished. 
  • Continue tracking privacy updates across all social platforms and remain flexible in your strategies so your efforts are not derailed as new updates are announced and implemented. 

 

Overall, we are seeing a convergence across social channels. Platforms are no longer one dimensional: a photo-sharing app, a shopping app, or a gaming app. Instead, we have channels blending shopping, video entertainment, online gaming and image sharing all into one community-based platform. 

Explore the channels your core audience is most active on. See how you can take advantage of these trends and emerging technologies to build relationships with your consumers through some of the most high impact advertising tactics available. 

Further Reading: 

Understanding Implications of the Cookieless Future

“Businesses and advertising professionals will need to better understand how customers make decisions, what actions are valuable for businesses and bring that all together when showing success.” – Maggie Gotszling

Google’s announcement that Chrome will no longer support cookies as of 2023 has many digital marketers concerned about their future. Marketers that have historically relied on cookies to reach their target audiences and measure success will be greatly affected by this change and many are actively working on the next steps to avoid campaign performance declines. The actions taken by marketers in this pre-cookieless environment will help to shape and define the future of targeted advertising and performance metrics. 

Why are cookies important and how do they work?

Cookies are a backend line of code on a website that helps advertisers track a user’s behavior across the internet and includes 3rd party tracking pixels from platforms such as Facebook. The tracking of these activities makes it possible for advertisers to effectively deliver ads to their target audiences and directly measure and attribute conversions. With the deprecation of cookies, that tracking will no longer be viable, effectively blinding some targeting and measurement capabilities on which many marketers currently rely.  

What does it mean for campaign targeting strategies?

The major impact will be on retargeting third-party cookie-based audiences. It is recommended that advertisers begin shifting overreliance on this tactic and begin testing alternative targeting options to fill the gaps. Gathering first and second-party data (which is owned by publishers) will be central to an effective digital market strategy in a post-cookie environment. Additionally, the use of contextual targeting does not rely on cookies and provides brands with a strong opportunity to be able to generate increased brand awareness when done strategically. As an additional benefit, the cost of contextual advertising tends to be substantially lower than addressable impressions as data is not layered on, though costs are impacted by whether the tactic is targeted through a whitelist or contracted with a private marketplace deal.

Definitions and tips for collecting zero, first, and second party data

Zero party data: Coined by Forrester, Zero-Party data is collected when “a customer intentionally and proactively shares with a brand. It can include preference center data, purchase intentions, personal context, and how the individual wants the brand to recognize [them].” 

How to collect Zero Party Data:

  • Surveys
  • Polls

Tip: Don’t ask for too much too often and create poll fatigue on the consumer.

First party data: Observed behaviors of users who interact with your company. 

How to collect first party data: 

Form submissions or other forms of contact sharing on

  • Mobile apps 
  • Websites 
  • Social media 
  • SMS 
  • Email
  • Customer service platforms
  • Point of purchase

Second party data: Second Party Data is First Party Data collected by one company that they privately share with another company. For instance, when a publisher allows another company to use their CRM data to reach a target audience that overlaps with their own. An example of this would be if a brand were to work with Drizly, an online alcohol retailer, to reach their target audience of active digital alcohol shoppers. 

“Brands need to reestablish expectations for programmatic and be open to experiment with alternative targeting and measurement solutions. Ideally, this will happen in 2022 while we still have access to data that is likely to be lost.” – Savannah Westbrock

What impacts will we see on measurement?

Cookies have been the underpinning for most digital marketing performance measurements for over twenty years, including post-click and post-view conversions and attribution for sales impact. For example, the Facebook ecosystem will be heavily disrupted in attribution of conversion-based events, largely due to their reliance on mobile ad IDs for measurement. Historically, marketers have leaned heavily into Facebook and other walled garden environments due to their ability to evaluate strength ROI based on the multiple touchpoints that go into a final purchase, facilitated by the placement of a tracking pixel on the brand’s website. 

However, these walled garden pixels are defined as a third party cookie and will be limited in their ability to pass back data once the elimination of the cookie is mobilized. As a whole, we can expect  campaign performance on the front end to decline as compared to previous years, even if the backend business performance remains the same. Brands and teams should start to plan for shifts in attribution and performance as we get closer to the 2023 depreciation.

Fortunately, there are potential workarounds. For example, brands can overlay their conversion-based data found on Google analytics to match up on site conversion with Facebook mobile IDs after the fact. This helps level media metrics back up to business goals, but requires more analysis and less “real-time” results. Tests and conversations in 2021 can prepare in advance for performance declines and reduce a sense of panic. 

Post-cookie ID-based solutions for targeting and measurement

There are also multiple cookie alternatives in development that promise to bridge the addressability gap that will be created when cookies are deprecated. Here are a few of the options currently out there or in development.

Google’s Federated Learning of Cohorts (FLoC):

Google is working on a solution for targeting that groups internet users into groups, or “cohorts,” based on their browsing behaviors instead of giving each individual their own identifier. Advertisers can then target the group at large based on their shared interests as a whole. There are concerns that while this group-based option solves the privacy problem created by cookies, it will open the door for other privacy issues and could also lead to discriminatory, behavioral-based targeting. 

Standard Universal IDs: 

Originally used as a way to combat mismatched data when syncing cookie data across domains, companies like The Trade Desk, LiveRamp, and IAB have developed what are known as Universal IDs. This standardized identifier allows advertisers to buy into a community of shared data to track audience activity across the internet. The primary concern with Universal IDs, however, is that they still currently rely on third-party cookies, without which they are unable to set or recognize identifiers across domains. 

Encrypted Universal IDs:

Understanding the original design of Universal IDs would no longer be effective once cookies were depreciated, companies like LiveIntent (nonID) and The Trade Desk (Unified ID 2.0) started developing encrypted identifiers using email addresses instead of cookies to track user activity. The primary hurdle with email-based IDs is that they require users to provide and consistently use the same email across websites in order to build an accurate profile. If the user is unwilling to provide that data, or different emails are used for different sites, advertisers will be blind to their activity and be unable to target them accurately.

While all of these solutions have their pros and cons, they are all worth monitoring as they continue to develop as they will be key in building targeting and measurement strategies in 2023 and beyond. 

Recommendations to prepare for the cookieless future

  • Plan early & anticipate impacts to your measurement/attribution system. We encourage everyone to have conversations with their clients and agencies to set expectations ahead of time. We’ve outlined a quarterly look at the impact across audiences, e-comm/attribution as well as media mix & creative. 
  • Benchmark your current performance: You can start modeling the impact of third-party cookie blocking by recording your current analytic metrics and monitoring them as the update takes effect. Establishing benchmarks by operating system and browser will enable you to calculate most accurately the potential impact.
  • Apply business intelligence models to your analytics: Predictive analytics can be used along with your data to provide deeper insights for the best performing marketing tactics and identify macro and micro trends that influence your business outcomes.
  • Consolidate media activation to as few platforms as possible: Platforms are developing their own internal frameworks to accurately track and measure marketing performance outside of third-party trackers. The more platforms you execute your media through the more disparate measurement systems you have to take into consideration. There is also the likelihood that you will have duplication across platforms and consolidation will reduce that occurrence. 
  • Expand implementation timelines: Relying on first party data more and needing to run that first party data through an identity solution and then back into a web environment will add time to campaign and ad ops setups. While match rates should improve, campaigns will be moderately more cumbersome to set up, especially as we get used to these new flows. Teams and clients should build in extra cushion.
  • Create new relationships with third-party, cookieless data providers: This is not a new risk in the ad operations system, but an ever present risk that doesn’t go away under a new system. Fortunately, these companies benefit from interoperability and scale. The most important thing brands can do to reduce dependencies is to understand how your audiences and targets are built in each platform and know what’s different depending on the partner. Always ask what’s inside the box or model.

“Brands who have been targeting super-niche audiences will have to reestablish expectations for programmatic and be open to experiment with alternative targeting and measurement solutions. Ideally, this will happen in 2022 while we still have access to data that is likely to be lost.” – Colin Duft

Digital Trends for 2022 – What You Need to Know

In the past two years, there have been significant shifts in the marketing and advertising landscape. From COVID-19 to privacy changes to evolving and growing social media channels, there is a lot to keep track of (and look forward to) in 2022. We asked the Coegi Account Strategy team what they predict will be trending in 2022. The following playbook uncovers seven of the top trends they predict for digital media.

  1. Pandemic-Driven Shift to Digital
  2. Cookie-less Future Preparation
  3. Updates to Privacy Policies
  4. Demand for Performance-Based Marketing Strategy
  5. Need for Audience Testing
  6. Evolving Creative Messaging
  7. Shrinking of the Sales Funnel

Download the full guide here to learn more about what to anticipate for 2022!

Reaching Your Ideal Audience in a Cookie-less Environment

As the end of the third-party cookie nears, at the forefront of many marketers’ minds is the concern that approaches to audience targeting will soon be reversed by ten years and limit the sophistication of their data-focused strategies. While those who have solely relied on cookie-based audiences and retargeting audiences are going to need to overhaul their execution, many data technology partners have alternatives that will help bridge the gap with innovative solutions and, perhaps most importantly to the industry, this will require a necessary reset to marketers’ and brands’ overreliance on retargeting and vanity metrics.

ID-Based Solutions

With the elimination of cookies, targeting solutions that are based on anonymized PII is going to be critical to maintain the one-to-one approach to reach consumers. Many of the upcoming ID-solutions will be interoperable, meaning they will speak to one another and create synergies for marketers. Below are a few of the most discussed solutions across the industry:

Unified ID 2.0

Many publishers and technology partners are working together to be able to produce Unified ID 2.0, which will be an open source solution built with hashed and encrypted email addresses across the web where a user has logged in. This solution, initially spearheaded by The Trade Desk and now being overseen by Prebid, has gotten significant backing by other publishers and brands. This includes, but isn’t limited to, Index Exchange, Magnite, PubMatic, OpenX, SpotX, LiveRamp, and The Washington PostFor consumers who are wanting to have more transparency about how their data is being used, they are going to be able to monitor and adjust how their data is being leveraged and encourage publishers to be more forthright in the value exchange that occurs. 

Liveramp Authenticated Traffic Solution

Similar to Unified ID 2.0, Liveramp is developing their own methodology to also get ahead of the cookieless future in collaboration with their partners. As outlined on Liveramp’s website, their “IdentityLink unlocks the value of your data securely because it’s encoded for every identity space, protecting your data from loss and misuse.” However, it does differ from the unified ID solution because it does not include identifiers such as fingerprinting and hashed emails. Instead they are creating an environment known as “Safe Haven,” which will aggregate many data providers’ information and enable for next-level machine learning to grow customer understanding and activate against new audiences. This will allow for fragmented data to be assimilated into a people-based solution based on identity across channels.

Lotame Panorama ID

Lotame’s solution is people-based and compliant, accumulating inputs across the web, mobile, connected TV, and customer data. This data can then be utilized across devices, domains and platforms universally across the open-web. As outlined in their press release, Lotame “…[matches] attributes across devices and domains to an individual…[leveraging] more than 90 platform partners, plus data from 180 providers in 58 countries.” This allows the ID to scale.

Neustar’s Fabrick ID

Neustar recently announced that they would also be rolling out an ID which aligns with the customer cloud solution that was released in the summer of 2020.  According to AdExchanger, “…Neustar has an API that publishers can call with the information they have on customers, most likely a hashed email or phone number. Neustar then spits out a token (the Fabrick ID), which publishers can use to share identity data back with Neustar’s advertiser clients and to sell their media programmatically on the open exchange.” Steve Silvers, the SVP of product and GM for customer experience at Neustar, informed AdExchanger that the ID is a more privacy compliant solution as compared to third-party cookies because it expires after 7 days.

First and Second-Party Data

First and second party data have been highly valuable for brands for a long time. Targeting these audiences allows for more touchpoints with known prospects, the ability to continue touchpoints beyond email with past customers, an opportunity to upsell with other relevant products, and the luxury of using other companies’ powerful audiences in your targeting. While historically important, this data is expected to be essential to establishing a well-rounded digital strategy in a post-cookie environment. The companies that are poised for success here have been building deterministic identity graphs for years not only based on logins and emails, but also devices, purchase information and phone numbers.

The Benefits of Walled Gardens’ Second Party Data

While there has historically been some frustration across marketing professionals on the siloed effect of walled gardens, marketers are beginning to change their tune after realizing limitations that they will be confronted with once the deprecation of the third-party cookie is in full-swing. The great thing about these providers is that nearly everyone on each platform is signed in, meaning that there is inherently an ID present without the need of cookies. Now that doesn’t mean there will at least be some impact on scale with data transparency really coming to the forefront in 2021, but there will still be an opportunity to reach deterministic audiences based on their behaviors. Coegi will have a follow-up piece all dedicated to walled gardens – the good, the bad, and the ugly.

Cohort-based Audiences

Some partners, like Google, are turning to Federated Learning of Cohorts, or FLoCs, to generate audiences. This is basically creating an audience clusters based on common interests. These interests are determined based on past browsing history online, but also eliminates any IDs associated with the targeting, which provides more privacy while also allowing marketers to ensure they are able to provide relevant content to their consumers.

Advanced Contextual Targeting

Contextual-based targeting centered around keywords has been implemented across programmatic campaigns for years to expand prospecting pools and assume relevancy. While this seems overly simplistic given the granularity of other targeting options, it actually offers a great opportunity to reach those whom you might have not otherwise considered to be part of your target audience and also expand reach through cost-effective CPMs. Furthermore, contextual targeting has come a long way since the early 2010s, and many data providers now offer unique solutions based on real-time data and artificial intelligence that elevates the sophistication even further and allows for greater personalization in marketing.

One such solution is offered by Peer39, a highly regarded contextual data marketplace, who recently partnered with multiple data providers including Newsguard, Hotspex Media, and Planalytics. They are now rolling out a solution that allows for contextual targeting layered with weather triggering events, known as the product demand index, which takes into account environmental factors and dynamics weather conditions in the location that the user is. Beyond this, they also allow marketers to select contextual placements based on credibility and brand sensitivity of the webpage, overall emotional sentiment, and predictive trending targeting based on topics that are relevant to the brand.

Another respected contextual data partner, Oracle (who bought Grapeshot back in 2018), also offers a contextual intelligence opportunity. By using sets of keywords and phrases, Oracle Grapeshot is able to understand relevancy of the page for the category of content and subsequent strength of the category match. This approach allows contextual targeting to be evaluated on a broad versus niche basis, offering a variety of options for brands to tap into. 

Semasio also has a keyword-based contextual option that identifies webpages’ most significant terms and phrases and categorizes accordingly, inferring meaning and relevance. However, one of its more interesting solutions is the seed-based audience. This approach takes key customers or contacts from a CRM, analyzes what semantically differentiates this audience from the broader population, and produces a lookalike model of sorts based on contextual engagement. 

These elevated approaches open up new opportunities for marketers to intelligently lean into contextual.

What It All Means

As a whole, marketers and brands are going to have to tap into creative solutions to tap into audiences they have been targeting. While it will be time consuming to build up the repertoire needed, it is ultimately a safer direction to protect consumers and build trust.

Creating Strategic Opportunities with Connected Television Advertising

Connected TV has officially met the reach of broadcast television. Streaming and connected TV devices exploded in 2020 as more consumers stayed home and cut the cord. As of 2021, there were just shy of 214 million connected television users, and that number is projected to increase to 230 million by 2025. In order to get full reach, brands cannot rest on just linear television buys alone – they must also lean into connected television.

In tandem with the upcoming deprecation of the third-party cookie, there is a substantial opportunity for marketers to better reach consumers through this premium medium. However, it is critical to approach connected TV strategically, to connect with your broader business goals in order to achieve the best return on your investment. 

Here are some connected TV strategic recommendations that Coegi leans on to create optimal user experiences for our brands:

Balance Audience and Contextual Targeting

The best thing about connected television compared to traditional television is that marketers are able to offer more customized targeting approaches beyond generic demographics and gross rating points. Instead, we are able to take it several steps further by having targeted reach and frequency in an environment where consumers tend to watch 90%+ of the video ad to completion. When analyzing how to reap the most success from targeting, it is important to balance both audience and contextual targeting. Audience targeting offers a lot of benefits in drilling down to behaviors, interests, purchase history, among other characteristics. However, because televisions and the relevant devices are most often shared across entire households, you cannot always be sure that the person who you are trying to reach is always the one in front of the screen. Furthermore, as third-party cookies become a thing of the past, pixel and cookie-based, probabilistic audiences will lose their potency and fade away from marketing tactics.

Knowing this contextual targeting on connected TV is going to become increasingly valuable. While programmatically bought connected TV ad placements aren’t able to target down to the program level, we are able to achieve scale by targeting specific networks, content genre categories and major live events (i.e. the Superbowl, the Oscars, etc.). Knowing your brand and how your preferred audiences index against specific television content is likely to become essential as you look toward the future of connected TV strategies. While these types of premium placements are often more expensive with CPMs often ranging between $40-50, it is critical to communicate the value of having brands’ content run alongside highly recognizable content, elevating the trustworthiness for newer brands and energizing excitement around existing brands. 

Take Advantage of Automatic Content Recognition (ACR)

Linear television continues to be a successful medium for many brands due to the cost efficiencies associated with the buy. However, they are certainly not reaching 100% of their target audience through this channel. In order to have greater reach, utilize linear extension through connected TV to reach other consumers in your target market who have not been exposed to your ad through linear television. Another option is to reinforce reach and frequency by retargeting those who were previously exposed on linear television on a connected tv device. 

Furthermore, ACR offers a great opportunity to have a new way to competitive conquest. You can serve connected TV ads to consumers who have watched your competitors’ commercials, giving an opportunity to gain greater awareness against a broader audience and potentially gain some untapped market share.

Understand Where the Greatest Areas of Opportunity Exist – Omni-Channel

 As with any omni-channel marketing strategy, it is important to consider how your target market tends to engage with media and where they tend to spend the majority of their time. Currently, the greatest volume of users fall between ages 25-44. However, due to the brand safety associated with the channel, it is possible for marketers to safely reach younger audiences as well. Beyond this, there is a word of mouth element to connected TV. Inmar Intelligence reports that Unruly found that “compared to linear TV viewers, ad-supported CTV users are 71% more likely to tell a friend about a brand, 53% more likely to search for a brand and 52% more likely to buy a product…”

Furthermore, this can be done effectively by taking more of an omni-channel approach to the CTV world and following the consumer wherever they are watching television.

Some marketers have become concerned by the fragmentation of connected TV – there are now so many streaming services that it feels challenging to unify the experience. In the interim, consider having a presence beyond the Hulu’s of the world and also tap into the connected TV walled gardens of Amazon Prime and YouTube TV to extend reach, have more of a holistic approach to the opportunity across the consumer base, and unify measurement accordingly. While these are our recommendations today, we are also aware that digital media and trends are changing at a rapid pace. Chief Strategy Officer at LiveRamp, Jay Prasad, recently said in a recent webinar: “Yesterday’s strategies weren’t built for today’s media.”

Measure Performance – Weighing Environment and Reach

Ads on streaming platforms tend to have really strong video completion rates, typically exceeding 90% but often reaching closer 97-99%. This makes the placement very valuable for brands who understand the power of storytelling. But how do brands evaluate success? Unique reach is certainly one metric to consider – how do I get my message in front of a lot of people and achieve broader awareness goals? However, it is important to also consider what placements are going to elevate your brand’s position. Some networks and programming opportunities are more costly than others, but also have powerful engagement (supplementing your local TV buy on the night of the Oscars with a presence on streaming devices watching). Overall, connected TV adds value through brands’ ability to evaluate performance against qualified audiences, reducing waste and allowing opportunities for optimization. It’s not just about reach and frequency on connected tv – it’s about targeted reach and frequency, placing dollars where there is minimal waste and greatest opportunity. 

Furthermore, for brands who really want to go the extra mile, advanced measurement tactics such as brand lift and foot traffic studies can be layered on to gain additional learnings beyond media metrics.

The biggest takeaway?

Connected television is relevant and pertinent to every brand across every industry – its power cannot be underestimated. That being said, it is important to remain agile in your approach to connected TV and be prepared to shift strategies in order to stay ahead of the curve and improve performance results.

Success in a Cookieless Future – Answering Common Questions

Google has announced that Chrome will no longer support cookies as of Q1 2022. Marketers that have historically relied on cookies to be able reach their target audiences and measure success are panicking to be able to determine next steps to avoid performance declines on their campaigns. Fortunately for Coegi, our team began anticipating this change years ago and have been transitioning towards people-based targeting signals versus a purely cookie-based approach. While there are still questions that remain unanswered, Coegi are confident that this transition will be seamless for our clients as we proactively work with our partners to identify the best solutions. We continue to prioritize premium placements, work with both identity and contextually based data providers, and implement various A/B testing to fully understand the implications on targeting and measurement for your brands.

In the coming weeks, we will be releasing a series of content pieces that not only answer the high-level questions about the implications of a cookieless future, but also to provide insight into solutions that are available to continue to drive ROI from digital media investment

Q&A for a Cookieless Future

When can we expect the cookie to be deprecated?

Similar to Apple’s rollout of the iOS 14 opt in update, Google has been relatively vague with providing a timeline of when we can expect Chrome to no longer accept third-party cookies. In a general sense, we know it is expected to rollout in 2022. The Coegi team is working proactively to understand the future landscape and build upon our current solutions so the transition will be seamless.

How will this impact my audience targeting?

Addressability will not be eliminated, but it will inevitably not be as easy to have access to a vast variety of third-party segments. Instead, having deterministic identity based solutions, first and second party data, and a robust contextual play are all going to be critical moving forward. The major impact will be on retargeting, which is necessitated by 3rd party cookies in most instances.

Many publishers and technology partners are working together to be able to produce Unified ID 2.0, which will be an open source solution built with hashed and encrypted email addresses across the web where a user has logged in. That being said, there are several other data providers who are working or currently have their own solutions that are able to be used to have 1:1 targeting without encroaching on privacy issues. Some of these partners include Liveramp, Wiland, MediaOcean, Amazon, Roundel, and Semcasting. We will provide more detail on what these providers offer in future content.  

First and second-party data (which is owned by publishers) will be central to an effective digital market strategy in a post-cookie environment. The companies that are poised for success here have been building deterministic identity graphs for years not only based on logins and emails, but also devices, purchase information and phone numbers. Key players in this space include Liveramp, Eyeota, Oracle, Nielsen, and Adstra.

Finally, contextual targeting does not rely on cookies and provides brands with a strong opportunity to be able to generate increased brand awareness when done strategically. As an additional benefit, the cost of contextual advertising tends to be substantially lower than addressable impressions as data is not layered on, though this is impacted by whether the approach is through a whitelist or a private marketplace deal.

Will we be able to do remarketing through a pixel?

Any pixel not owned by the owner of the website domain is considered a third party pixel. Unified ID 2.0 that is being worked on by Prebid will allow for email-based conversion tracking in instances where email address is captured by the advertiser, such as a purchase or download, but we don’t yet know the impact on reach in the buying platform.

However, we do know that first party data from opt-in email addresses will become increasingly valuable. Clients will need to adjust prioritizing prospecting and a full-funnel strategy vs. relying on the metrics of consumers who were likely already going to convert, like from retargeting tactics. 

Should I be recommending a different channel strategy to my clients?

The response to this question heavily ladders up to goals, and may change based on forthcoming information and better understanding of scale implications. That being said, there won’t be any platforms that immediately become unusable — the difference is that attribution is going to be much more challenging. Here are some tactical strategies that should be considered from a channel perspective as the industry begins to pivot:

  • Shift budget toward connected TV and linear TV extension to drive more upper and mid funnel activity
  • Leverage DOOH with mobile retargeting – Android will still enable location tracking, despite iOS 14’s impact on tracking, and other vendors will provide alternative solutions
  • Lean into search and social with the objective of gathering 1st party data that can then be used for targeting and personalization
  • Maximize the ‘walled garden’ offerings (Google, Facebook, Amazon, etc.)

What differences are we going to see in measurement?

Cookies have been the underpinning for most digital marketing performance measurement for over twenty years, including post-click and post-view conversions and attribution for sales impact. As a result, lower funnel tactics have stood out as ‘performance channels’ since a customer’s online actions can be more directly attributed to them. Research has shown that many customer journeys start on mobile. However, often mobile traffic looks less likely to convert than desktop traffic due to the fact that as users switch between app browsers and mobile web browsers. This behavior makes it more and more difficult to stitch together the path to conversion. As a result, it can become hard to justify increased spending in mobile channels because the data does not indicate the actual influence on purchase or conversion activity. The iOS14 update is likely to further complicate this measurement challenge.

Therefore, Coegi recommends integrating a directional approach to measurement as opposed to one that is solely deterministic. In fact, major platforms such as Google and Facebook have already implemented this targeting and measurement methodology to compensate for restrictions within the Safari browser and other limitations. This approach will also benefit marketers as other developments, such as the deprecation of 3rd party cookies in the Chrome browser, are implemented in the future. How can this be done? 

Following are a few recommendations for developing your own model for more holistic measurement and attribution:

  • Benchmark your current performance: You can start modeling the impact of third-party cookie blocking by recording your current analytic metrics and monitoring them as the update takes effect. Establishing benchmarks by operating system and browser will enable you to calculate most accurately the potential impact.
  • Apply business intelligence models to your analytics: Predictive analytics can be used along with your data to provide deeper insights for the best performing marketing tactics and identify macro and micro trends that influence your business outcomes.
  • Consolidate media activation to as few platforms as possible: Platforms are developing their own internal frameworks to accurately track and measure marketing performance outside of third party trackers. The more platforms you execute your media through the more disparate measurement systems you have to take into consideration. There is also the likelihood that you will have duplication across platforms and consolidation will reduce that occurrence. 

Why Influencers are Relevant for Nearly Every Industry

Pushing through a crowded marketplace

Consumers have become accustomed to consuming vast amounts of media on a daily basis, which heavily captures their attention and influences decision-making processes. Continuous collection of data and resources published online makes it easy for consumers to search or view specific content they want to see. According to an article on Forbes, “we have arrived in a new era of democratic media consumption where consumers choose what they listen to and who they trust.” This forces brands and marketers to fight for consumers’ attention, often leading them to pay high prices for ultra-premium content and placements.

One way to push through the crowded online marketplace is to introduce your brand through content your consumer already subscribes to – in other words, an influencer. The market size for this tactic is growing immensely, with global influencer market value reaching $13.8 billion dollars in 2021 (Statista). This industry has increased in value by $12.1 billion over the past 5 years and is projected to steadily continue this growth. This upward trend is unsurprising given consumers’ outspoken desire to have brand interaction in a way that is more personal and authentic. Influencers offer brands the opportunity to go beyond simply responding to consumers’ questions and concerns on their social posts to using creators as a vehicle to showcase real life product use-cases while building brand equity in a way that doesn’t feel invasive to the consumer – if done properly. This approach builds brand authenticity and awareness, because it gives consumers an additional resource to reference and interact with when considering your brand or product.

Consumers have diverse interests pertaining to their personal and professional lives. Many follow influencers on social media that they find inspiring, relatable, or a helpful source of knowledge. Because of this, influencers impact the way their followers think and feel about certain things, including your products. The followers of influencer accounts are often actively looking to discover and seek out recommendations surrounding their preferred areas of interest. Advertising in an environment where consumers are already seeking these recommendations gives your brand a competitive edge because consumers are more likely to take interest in your message rather than scroll past it and consider it irrelevant.

Using an influencer in your broader marketing strategy helps put a face and personality to your brand, which makes your audience feel more of an affinity for your brand. Because of this familiarity, consumers usually trust the influencer’s opinions or recommendations. According to the Digital Marketing Institute, “49% of Consumers Depend on Influencer Recommendations.” Adding the weight of an influencer’s opinion to your product/brand increases brand equity among audiences. Providing a connection to your brand through a trusted influencer can improve consumer engagement, retention and loyalty.

Using an influencer in your broader marketing strategy helps put a face and personality to your brand, which makes your audience feel more of an affinity for your brand. Because of this familiarity, consumers usually trust the influencer's opinions or recommendations.

Consumers have become accustomed to consuming vast amounts of media on a daily basis, which heavily captures their attention and influences decision-making processes. Continuous collection of data and resources published online makes it easy for consumers to search or view specific content they want to see. According to an article on Forbes, “we have arrived in a new era of democratic media consumption where consumers choose what they listen to and who they trust.” This forces brands and marketers to fight for consumers’ attention, often leading them to pay high prices for ultra-premium content and placements.

One way to push through the crowded online marketplace is to introduce your brand through content your consumer already subscribes to – in other words, an influencer. The market size for this tactic is growing immensely, with global influencer market value reaching $13.8 billion dollars in 2021 (Statista). This industry has increased in value by $12.1 billion over the past 5 years and is projected to steadily continue this growth. This upward trend is unsurprising given consumers’ outspoken desire to have brand interaction in a way that is more personal and authentic. Influencers offer brands the opportunity to go beyond simply responding to consumers’ questions and concerns on their social posts to using creators as a vehicle to showcase real life product use-cases while building brand equity in a way that doesn’t feel invasive to the consumer – if done properly. This approach builds brand authenticity and awareness, because it gives consumers an additional resource to reference and interact with when considering your brand or product.

Consumers have diverse interests pertaining to their personal and professional lives. Many follow influencers on social media that they find inspiring, relatable, or a helpful source of knowledge. Because of this, influencers impact the way their followers think and feel about certain things, including your products. The followers of influencer accounts are often actively looking to discover and seek out recommendations surrounding their preferred areas of interest. Advertising in an environment where consumers are already seeking these recommendations gives your brand a competitive edge because consumers are more likely to take interest in your message rather than scroll past it and consider it irrelevant.

Using an influencer in your broader marketing strategy helps put a face and personality to your brand, which makes your audience feel more of an affinity for your brand. Because of this familiarity, consumers usually trust the influencer’s opinions or recommendations. According to the Digital Marketing Institute, “49% of Consumers Depend on Influencer Recommendations.” Adding the weight of an influencer’s opinion to your product/brand increases brand equity among audiences. Providing a connection to your brand through a trusted influencer can improve consumer engagement, retention and loyalty.

 

Written by:  Samantha Schmidt, Marketing and Innovation Assistant

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