Marketing to an Audience of ‘ONE’ with Audience Based Planning

Our world (adtech and media) will never be short of new tools with new promises and a fresh approach that challenges the old school of thinking. Imagine this – what if we can build a consumer identity graph by combining different data sets like brands’ first-party data, device IDs, data from Google; and then match it with publishers’ inventory? Say hello to ‘Audience-based planning’.

Currently the planning focus is on platforms like mobile, social and video. An audience-based planning approach would consider the consumer profile, the format, the screen and the publisher. It will shift the planning from cookie-based to ID-based. It will eradicate the cross-device menace, considering people in UAE are walking around with 4 connected devices each.

The cross device challenge in a small country like UAE is equivalent to ‘7.0’ rating on richter scale. Massive!

Hitting the bull’s eye

Imagine you are a property developer in Dubai with a strong marketing database and a customer-ID bank. The market is tight and you have no dirhams to waste. You are confident of finding your audience on or any other specific publisher. Now if you can match your customer-IDs with propertyfinder’s inventory, you are hitting the bull’s eye. As simple as that. Zero (almost) wastage!

Another example would be a consumer electronics e-commerce player like Axiom Online advertising on a publisher site like after matching audience with customer IDs.

Programmatic media, in the current state, is more of a targeting tool than a true audience planning and management tool. Audience planning, as well as audience management, is really about the who that you are going after — the where you are buying the audience is a secondary step in this new process.

It is receiving attention because it is effective, more practical and targeted than traditional planning methods. In the last 3-6 months, we have noticed a sudden spurt in big agency houses rushing to open owned platforms to cater to this approach. From an agency perspective, the trick is to focus on both the clients’ identity graphs and the inventory graph.

We see a lot marketers in the region still fascinated by the old world of media planning based on channels and platforms, while the world has moved on with audience planning and buying which is more consumer centric.I think we can simplify this further by calling ‘people-based marketing’ instead of audience-based planning.

Icing on the cake: Customer ID based planning can also help us map ads to offline sales. Imagine the potential in a tourist and consumer economy like Dubai. We just need to reimagine few things.

Tags: , , ,