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From Contextual Targeting to Audience Targeting With The Audience Management Platform

Media agencies today use contextual advertising or targeted advertising for ads appearing on websites or other media, such as content displayed in mobile browsers. A contextual advertising system scans the text of a website for these keywords and returns advertisements to the webpage based on those keywords.

Why is it called ‘contextual’? It is based on the context or topic of those webpages through keywords. For example, if the user is visiting a website or mobile application’s section related to food, the keywords related to that particular page will be about food. Similarly, when a mobile ad is setup, the same keywords (more are less) are used and therefore, mobile ads related to that same topic i.e. food, will popup on the mobile application’s section.

While contextual advertising is effective, it can go wrong at times. Publishers and advertisers can find themselves in a tight spot when the ad shows up in the wrong context. This will lead to a poorly placed ad that has nothing to do with the webpage or mobile application and will therefore cause a wasted impression because no one will click on it.

This is where DMPs come in, also known as Data Management Platforms.

What is a DMP?

Data Management Platforms are used to retrieve, manage and store any form of information in order for marketers and publishers to deliver it by managing cookie IDs and generating audience segments, for targeting specific users with online ads.

A DMP allows advertisers to:

  1. Create a specific target audience based on a combination of in-depth first-party and third-party audience data.
  2. Accurately target campaigns to these audiences across ad networks and exchanges.
  3. Measure with accuracy which campaigns performed better than others across segments and channels to refine and optimize media buys and ad creative over time.

A Data Management Platform must be able to not only analyze a user’s first-party online and offline data, but also pull in data from third-party data sources to give advertisers control over audience definition and ad distribution to DSPs, ad networks, ad exchanges and publishers.

In summary, based on users’ personal data, stored and managed through DMPs, their mobile activities will be available for advertisers, who will gather this information in order to perform better targeting during campaign setup. For example, if a user has been using a mobile application related to cooking recipes, advertisers will know it through DMPs (which store customers’ cookie IDs) , and therefore will serve the ad according to this target audience.

How Do DMPs Work?

In a nutshell, DMPs work in 3 main steps:

  1. Import data from various places
  2. Find segments to target specific users with specific messages
  3. Send Instructions to ad networks, websites and various other places

Step 1: Import Data

DMPs are in the business of taking structured information from a number of different sources and organizing it. Typically, advertisers would upload important information about customers, such as their customer ID or email address (to identify them), what they have bought or looked at, their loyalty status and anything else that could influence the message advertisers would show them.

At Maddict, 3 major sources help us build our data directory:

  • 1st Party Data includes us gathering information from premium publishers via ad requests or bulk ingestions from .CSV files.
  • 2nd Party Data includes Opera Mediaworks with owned and operated publishers, an opera browser (OAN) and data collected from over 120 ad networks using the same technology.
  • 3rd Party Data includes data collected from external data brokers.

Step 2: Find Segments or “Audiences”

Advertisers can either define their own audiences like for example the number of males in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia using iPads, or ask the Data Management Platform to help them find them. However, the true vision quest of the DMP is not to manage the advertiser’s own customer data but to provide a way for them to use this data to find new customers. It helps advertisers by giving them access to the world of data vendors (3rd parties) who help them select exactly the right group of anonymous cookies to buy ads against. Not surprisingly, these fancy groups are often based on the customer data advertisers imported in Step 1 as well as the audiences discovered in Step 2.

 Step 3: Send Instructions

Instructions are a combination of who to target with what message and sometimes in what channel or on which device.

A Data Management Platform can help publishers and advertisers in the following.

  • Retargeting: easily implementing customized re-targeting campaigns based on specific activities and behaviors taken on or offline.
  • Prospecting: integrating with third-party audience data source to acquire anonymous data to achieve higher precision and scale with targeting campaigns.
  • Site Optimization: using first or third party data to determine customized content for different consumers when they visit your website.
  • Audience Intelligence: contrasting your site audience against third-party data source to learn more about specific audience attributes to target more likely converters.
  • Better ROI: using centralized media performance analytics to determine which audience performed and whether to double down.

Maddict’s New Solution

Maddict is providing a solution revolving around the AMP or the Audience Management Platform, built by OMAX or Opera MediaWorks, which is an end-to-end platform that links data source (DMP) with ad serving.

Simply put, the Audience Management Platform provides marketers with centralized control of all of their audience and campaign data, helping them manage and analyze this data to craft, target and optimize campaigns that reach specific customers and therefore drive ROI from their media spend.

In conclusion, with the Audience Management Platform, mobile ads will target specific users, by knowing their exact preferences and purchase track or record defined by their cookie ID or customer ID. These users are therefore more likely to click on an advertiser’s online ads. As a result, the possibility of wasted impressions with the Audience Management Platform will no longer be an issue, unlike with Contextual Advertising, and both advertisers and publishers will reach their goal without having ‘inappropriate’ ads showing up on the wrong webpages. Consequently, brands will sell more through online ads and have a higher ROI or Return on Investment and publishers will generate more revenues from brands who will advertise on their websites or mobile applications.

Stay tuned for more technology talk next month when we’ll be discussing SSPs!


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