Programmatic signals and segmentation

Data Signals

Hayley Dawson

Senior Account Manager

Posted on September 11, 2017

In a previous blog we looked at programmable marketing, how it works and why it offers important possibilities to marketers. Now, we’ll consider how marketers can ensure that they are serving ads that are exactly tailored to their customers’ needs. Also, how they can avoid spamming their audience with irrelevant messages.

As explained in a previous blog, programmatic is about reaching specific audiences and using the data generated to improve marketing effectiveness – but this will only work if you know exactly who your audience is. First of all you need to recognise when trying to collect data for programmatic media is the idea of signals. Signals help to ensure that brands are speaking to people who are interested in their products/services and could potentially become their customer.

There are three types of data signals that can be used to create campaigns:

1.  Audience signals

This is information about the types of people your financial campaign is targeted to, including demographics, website analytics and social media behaviour. Globally, every second there are 32,000 Google searches, 10,000 Facebook likes, 9,000 YouTube video views, and 4,000 tweets. What this means is that every second there are 50,000 audience signals produced on these four channels alone.

2.  Environmental signals

This is information about external factors that may influence the mindset of your customers when they’re exposed to your financial marketing, including device information and location.

3.  Media signals

This is information about your user’s intent and the particular content they are looking at before your ad appears. Including keyword contextual targeting (e.g. keyword content on the page where the ad is running). Finally category targeting (e.g. website or app category where the ad is running).

Through cookies, these signals are collected from users on PC, mobile, tablet and other digital devices. However, there are a lot of emerging sources of signals too, such as wearables. Our smartwatches can provide access to our online banking, generating constant user intelligence – very valuable data for a retail banker.

What can marketers do with this information?

Segmentation is the process of identifying and understanding the different behaviours and intent of users; and then grouping these users according to quantifiable attributes that matter to your business. For example, an investment platform for advisers could create a segmentation plan around attributes of anyone that advises on financial products, attributes of IFA’s starting to consider using an investment platform, attributes of IFA’s looking to convert immediately and sign up to a platform solution and finally, attributes of existing IFA customers.

This is vital in programmable marketing as it ensures you’re targeting users with relevant ad messages and making the retargeting experience personalised.