This week’s guest blog is contributed by Jim Greco, Senior Analytics Director, Oracle Data Cloud.
Marketing in the online world provides immense opportunities to target specific consumers for advertising campaigns.
But this task is made more difficult because there are so many targets available for advertisers to use. Targets are based on browsing behavior, online surveys, and more recently, offline purchase behavior. This creates a difficult situation for marketers: how should they actually define the optimal target?
In an effort to help marketers better understand their targeting opportunities, Oracle Data Cloud undertook a major analysis of the effectiveness of digital campaign targeting strategies in driving real-world sales.
We examined over a thousand measurement studies on the sales lift produced by digital campaigns for Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) clients, with the goal of finding common targeting success factors that can be duplicated by other brands in their digital marketing efforts.
One simple but compelling lesson that Oracle’s research revealed that most demographic and native platform targeting only reaches about half of category buyers on average during a campaign. This means that nearly half of all impressions are being delivered to households that do not even buy the category being advertised, let alone the specific brand.
Furthermore, there is also a very strong correlation between sales lift among category-buying households and overall campaign lift within a typical campaign. The practical implication of this finding is clear: driving lift among category-buying households is synonymous with strong campaign performance overall.
Oracle’s research also revealed the importance of optimizing your impression frequency across different target audiences. A common misperception is that brands should target a disproportionate share of their impressions at those audiences that produce the strongest incremental sales. Instead, in researching over 200 CPG ROI studies in 2014, research showed a consistent pattern that early impressions delivered to an audience were generally more valuable than later impressions.
Even more importantly, we learned that the shapes of these curves vary by target audience, and some of the most responsive audiences do not require saturation of impressions. This is an area that represents tremendous potential for making campaigns more efficient by redirecting impressions to those audiences where the marginal contribution to sales lift is most attractive.
If maximizing sales is the primary objective of your campaign, Oracle’s research indicates that non-Heavy (or Medium/Light) brand buyers – those in the lower 70% of purchasers for the brand – consistently produce the strongest incremental sales lift. This makes intuitive sense, since this group offers the optimal combination of brand familiarity, while also offering upside volume potential, due to their lower spending on the brand.