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BT - Why should you care?

Audience & Targeting: What should you be looking for in a product?

By Roxanne Shipley, Marketing Manager, ninemsn

I think it's fair to say that over the past 18 months there has been a shift in the buying habits of clients and agencies. Advertisers are no longer just focused on buying content silos, but effectively utilising data and technology to target and engage with the right audience.

Behavioural Targeting (BT) is one of the most popular targeting products. It allows you to combine various data subsets to target what people are actually doing online, as opposed to what they say they are doing. After extensive research into advertiser's needs, ninemsn is proud to announce that we are supplementing our BT offering with 10 new segments including: 'IT Professionals', 'Home Chefs', 'Finance Researchers', 'Gift Buyers', 'Sports Fans', 'Teen Influencers', and 'Movie Enthusiasts'.

It's important to point out that not all publishers/ad networks build their BT segments in the same way. So, what makes a good Behavioural Targeting product? What assets and technologies should you look for in a digital partner?

I believe there are five key assets that a digital publisher needs in order to offer a robust targeting offering:

  1. Persistent IDs

  2. Scalable site visits

  3. Search terms

  4. Some third party data

  5. Retargeting capability

  1. Persistent IDs are made up of profile information collected directly from an audience. For example, ninemsn has 7M active Windows Live IDs — people who have signed up to Hotmail and Messenger. Persistent IDs have two advantages:

    • You know the age and gender of our browsers when they sign in — we don't have to guess based on online activity like some networks.

    • You can join action pools together — this gives you a longer, more robust view of the consumer's activity.

  2. Scalable site visits: you want to work with a publisher or network that has visibility on many site visits and scales to a large audience. For example, ninemsn reaches 68 percent of the Australian population and spans 80 premium content sites. This means we have the ability to collect a plethora of insights into what content people are looking at from celebrity gossip to finance, car searches to home decoration information. This also means that your targeting campaign can scale to a large audience.

  3. Search terms: not all publishers have access to search terms so you should work with someone who does. This area of behavioural insights is important as it provides fantastic insight on what people are searching for and interested in. Bing, Google and Yahoo are the big market players.

  4. Third party data: There is a lot of third party data available in the market with businesses existing purely to collect and sell cookie pools of browser behaviours. For example ninemsn use third party data to overlay the browser, operating system, connection speed and IP address a browser is using.

  5. Retargeting capability: you want to be able to retarget a unique browser based on sites they have visited, emails they have received and creative they have been served or interacted with. This enables you to drive frequency and sequentially message your audience.

So the next time you hear discussion around audience and targeting, ask yourself what the real assets are that a publisher or network has to back up their targeting capabilities.

Email ninemsn for more information.

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