How Audience Measurement Is Changing The Model For Marketers & Advertisers

Senior Content Marketing Manager, Communications Sector, IBM Analytics

Today’s “empowered customer” puts businesses to the test.

And that test goes way beyond their expectations of receiving a compelling customer experience regardless of how, when and where they engage a brand – be it brick and mortar, mobile or online.

The fact is that consumers are far more price conscious now that they have access to the information they need to make better, more informed decisions.  Furthermore, in 2012, the IBM Institute for Business Value - Global Empowered Consumer Study found that 61% of consumers trust their friends’ reviews more than experts’. This represents a growing shift from the days in which product pitches and celebrity endorsements were a sure fire way to drive sales, especially in the CPG industry.

We’re also learning more about how consumers use multiple channels in real time. This includes the dreaded “in-store search” to see how the local or product competition stacks up, and “showrooming” to see a product in person while checking online for the best price. Consumers then use those same channels to vent frustration when they don’t get want they want.   

All of this leads to two questions every marketer must ask:

  1. How did this happen?
  2. What can I do to pass the test?

We already answered the first question. Consumers have information… and lots of it. We know all too well that when you put the right device into the hands of a savvy shopper, they will find what they need, when and where they need it.

The trick lies in answering the second question.

To pass the test, marketers and advertisers must beat consumers to the answer by giving them what they need, when and where they need it, without them ever having to search for it. In some cases, marketers and advertisers need to understand their customer’s desires at a level that allows them to provide this information before the consumer is even aware they want it.

In order for marketers to accomplish these remarkable feats of insight, they need to know who they are talking to… right down to the specific individual customer among massive consumer audiences.

This is where audience measurement becomes a critical exercise in any campaign and helps change the model for success as marketers can finally understand who they are precisely targeting.

In short: marketers need data-driven audience profiles that provide a complete picture of each customer’s lifetime interactions with your business.  To accomplish this, marketers should take the following steps:

  • Collect: customer profiles, digital interaction history, customer actions & responses, third-party data
  • Analyze: clickstreams, attribution, customer behaviors, channel performance
  • Decide: advanced segmentation, product recommendations, search bid optimization, ui optimization, offer targeting
  • Deliver: cross channel campaign personalization, display ad targeting, real-time alerts & push messages
  • Manage:  ad network integration, audience optimization, content optimization, yield optimization

With these types of strategies and tactics being deployed by today’s leading organizations, audience measurement is experiencing a dramatic change from a focus on the channel to a focus on the individual as marketers and advertisers work to understand the 360-degree view of the customer.

The result is a compelling, personalized experience across digital channels, based upon the deep insights into each customer’s interests and lifetime interactions. Marketers can also recapture lost opportunities by effectively retargeting customers with relevant content and messaging.

In the accompanying video, my colleague Nancy Notaro and I explore this topic as it relates to today’s big data driven marketers.