In an era of seemingly endless drama surrounding data targeting, many would think that the easiest route would be to avoid it altogether. After all, campaign efficiency certainly doesn’t point back to spending endless hours correcting mistakes. However, while we can’t tell you what to do, we think you should give it another shot.
Campaign efficiency: Reaching the right person, at the right time, in the right place, and with the right message. (P.S. We have a whole infographic on this topic.)
An awesome audience: The people, who are awesome, that you want to serve your ad to.
On the hunt for better audiences + greater campaign efficiency?
Five steps to making data work for you:
1. Probabilistic vs. deterministic
If you’re using the wrong data providers, your targeting is not going to work.
First and foremost, get specific about who you’re trying to reach. Match your need with the data providers that are strong in that area of data and look at how they gather that data—is it probabilistic, deterministic, or a blend of both? When selecting data segments, get familiar with the brands you’re using and their strengths and weaknesses. (P.S. Reach out to your Strategist or our Client Engagement team for help with this!)
Deterministic=Data gathered by sign-ins, such as an email login or social media login, and in some cases, purchase data.
2. Target at scale
Consider the targeting parameters you’ve already set.
Number of people in an audience? Geotargeting? Niche or specific audiences? Bottom line, you want to make sure the qualifiers you set for your ad groups aren’t making your audience too specific or, on the flip side, too expansive. A happy medium does exist, and the best part, you don’t have to sacrifice campaign efficiency find it!
First, you do want to have enough scale. Your audience should be large enough so that you can use tactics like frequency capping and still be targeting enough people per day to spend your budget. On the other hand, you don’t want to serve ads to so many people that you’re not reaching people you actually want to reach. Start by choosing 2-3 targeting tactics that relate back to your campaign efficiency (in this case, performance,) and goals. A specific geolocation? Industry? Household income?
Wait, let’s go back to geolocation targeting.
A small geolocation doesn’t always equal fewer people. Think about targeting a small area in rural Oklahoma versus a small area in Manhattan. As you can assume, there’s going to be a big difference in the number of people included within each of those parameters. If you’re targeting a zip code in rural Oklahoma, you’ll probably want to hold off on any other qualifiers such as industry or household income so as to not restrict your audience even further. On the other hand, the Manhattan audience will probably need some extra love to make your target audience (and well-paced spend) more attainable.
Choosing targeting tactics isn’t always about that, though; it’s also good to keep optimization options in mind. In order to best serve your business or client with this campaign, you’ll want to test, test, and test some more in order to secure enough data within your ad groups in order to figure out how to optimize and move things around. Without being able to see which variables are performing better over others, how will you know, with confidence, what works better over something else?
Because we like you, here are some of our favorite data sources:
- For household income & demographics: Experian, TransUnion, & Mastercard (purchase data)
- For travel: Kayak & SmarterTravel, a TripAdvisor Company
- For visitation habits (e.g., device IDs.): Factual, Groundtruth, & NinthDecimal
- For building an audience based on phone apps: PushSpring
- For user location: There are plenty of options but our favorite is Factual
3. Know your bid parameters
There are several financial factors to keep in mind when setting up your ad groups and, subsequently, your bid parameters.
Practice makes perfect—and keeping these in mind each time you set up a new campaign will lead to greater campaign efficiency in no time. If nothing else, keep our CPM cheat sheet on hand.
- What is your base bid? Just like at an auction, a base bid is the starting point for where you would feel comfortable beginning your bid. If the system can win you an ad auction at a price point lower than your base bid, it will do so. Bid adjustments will take place automatically in the ad exchange between your base and max bids.
- What is your max bid? Max bids are the cap set on any bid you would be willing to have submitted on your behalf in the ad exchange auction for an open ad. Choozle recommends that your max bid is at least two times higher than your base bid. By setting your max bid higher, you enable your ad to win more impressions and have adjustments made within the auction environment.
- What are your total and daily ad group budgets? The total ad group budget is the overall amount that can be spent in the duration of your campaign. The total of all the ad group budgets for the campaign should add up to the overall campaign budget and should not surpass the overall daily budget. In Choozle, if you do not set an end date for the campaign, the campaign will run until the budget is exhausted. The daily ad group budget is an amount that you set for each ad campaign to specify how much, on average, you’d like to spend each day. The system will automatically evenly distribute your entire ad group’s budget when the daily budget is selected if you have a selected end date. If no end date is selected for the campaign, adding a daily group budget will enable your budget to not be used up if a high volume of impressions is possible.
Different channels and creative units can require different CPM bid levels. To avoid wasting money, we recommend breaking out the following types into separate ad groups: Display and video. Display typically requires the lowest bid CPM, while video requires the highest.
Setting your ad group bids:
In general, more narrowly-targeted ad groups will need a more aggressive bid in order to win factors such as the type of data, size of the user pool, site categories, and premium content of site lists.
For North American markets, good rules of thumb for setting bids include:
- Bids optimized to run on an exchange which includes general data: $0.26–$1
- Bids for campaigns which include specific category & site lists: $1–$4
- Bids with data-driven audiences: $3–$15
- Bids for retargeting campaigns can vary widely depending on the size of your user pool. If you have a very small user pool, you will need to bid more aggressively to win those users.
—Large user pools: $3.50–$6
—Small user pools: $6–$8
- Your max bid should be at least twice your base bid.
4. Utilize search terms
If campaign efficiency is what you’re after, you need to find what you’re looking for and fast. You go into the data catalog, use relevant search terms, and find the best data for your ad group. It’s that easy, right?
With the amount of data that exists nowadays, it’s sometimes little more difficult to find exactly what you’re looking for. Similar to a Google search, if you use the right search terms, finding the segments you need to find (and knowing which one you should choose) is painless.
What we’re trying to say is: Use search filters when building your audience.
Within the data catalog, you can filter by data brands that specialize in B2B or B2C, and/or by categories like demographics, job function, industry, role, market, etc. After applying these filters, if you find that you’re still returning irrelevant data segments, utilize ‘exclude’ terms! It’s free (in Choozle) to exclude segments, so you can exclude all the terms you don’t need any only include what’s absolutely necessary.
Percent CPM vs fixed CPM?
Once you find some segments you want to choose from, you’ll often be presented with, essentially, the same segment but one is at a fixed (dollar amount) CPM and a variable (percentage) CPM. Don’t fret, you’ll just need to do a little math.
Now, we don’t want to get too in the weeds here (that’s what your strategist is for!), but here’s a basic example of how to decide between fixed CPM or percent CPM when choosing a data segment:
If your bid is $5 and you’re choosing between a data segment that’s either fixed at $2.50 or percent at 30 percent,
- First, take the percent amount and multiply it by your bid (.30 x 5 = 1.5, or $1.50).
- From there, add that number—$1.50—to your bid.
- The result: $6.50 for percent CPM versus $7.50 at a fixed CPM.
- Therefore, in this (very basic) example, the percent CPM would be the least expensive data segment.
Once you get all the basics of optimization down, there’s one thing you should keep in mind whether it’s your first or 500th campaign: Always be willing to test new brands, segments, creatives, etc. and keep an eye on your reports!
And with that, we’ll leave you to go forth and conquer your campaign efficiency goals. Once you’re ready, come back for more digital advertising strategies.