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Apr 20
How to choose third-party data segments based on your campaign’s goals

How to choose third-party data segments based on your campaign’s goals

When advertising online, it can be challenging to find segments of people who you want to target. Third-party audience data enables you to reach users based on their interests, purchase habits, demographics, and much more. Audiences are supplied by different vendors who gather data from thousands of different sources such as, in-store purchases, DMV records, online browsing habits, and other sources.

But with so many potential options, how can you tell what audience is right for your brand? With a few queries, we can identify the ideal audience size, search for relevant segments, and confirm the quality of the audience.

Sizing and audience by identifying your goals

Before venturing into the data management platform (DMP) to sift through audiences, it is important to first identify what you want your campaign to achieve. Your goals will have a direct impact on the size of the segment you want to use.

To gauge the size of a segment ask yourself, “What percentage of the 300MM people in the USA do I want to advertise to?” For example, an auto dealership may realize only 10 percent of people are shopping for a car at any given time so should aim for a segment size of around 30MM.


Goal: Brand Awareness
CPM: $1 – $3
Size: 25MM – 100MM

For brands looking to build awareness, larger audience sizes are ideal because they enable you to reach more people at a less expensive price point. Because awareness is a high funnel tactic meant to impact the most people, so you’ll want to choose a segment size to match. Ideal large segment sizes range from 25MM to 100MM users. Segments larger than 100MM will likely be too large to match your intended audience. For example, segments for “Males” can be around 150MM users, but you’ll probably want to be more targeted than that. Segments smaller than 25MM users can also be difficult to scale while coming at a higher price.

Here’s an example: A pet food brand wanting to drive brand awareness would want to target: Household > Pets > Pet Owners > Likely
CPM: $1.03
Size: 69.5MM


Goal: Drive Purchases
CPM: $1 – $5
Size: 10MM – 45MM

For brands looking to drive purchases, whether online or in-store, it’s important to reach an even more targeted audience. These segments dive deeper into who your customers are and allow you to use data from your target market or buyer personas. Similar to building awareness, segments below 10MM may prove difficult to scale or too expensive to drive a positive ROAS. Segments over 45MM may be too general and fail to reach your target market.

For example, a premium pet food brand looking to drive online sales would want to target: Household > Pets > Online Pet Food Purchasers > Highly Likely
CPM: $1.03
Size: 3.6MM


Goal: Direct Response
CPM: $3 – $10
Size: 1MM – 5MM

For brands that want to drive a direct response like form fills or phone calls, you’ll need to target an audience that looks exactly like your existing customers. Often taking advantage of your CRM list is a good tactic, but there are segments that target almost every niche. Segment sizes over 2MM tend to be far too general, reaching users who don’t immediately need your product or service. Conversely, segments under 1MM users will likely be too expensive to reach.

Here’s an example: A local moving company looking to increase inbound phone calls would want to target: Branded > US TMG Analytics > Pre Mover > High Net Worth Pre Mover > Will Move Within 3 Months
CPM: $3.42
Size: 1.5MM


Confirming audience quality

Once you’ve identified a good audience size, the next step is searching for relevant third-party data sources in the DMP. Luckily this is the easiest step: Simply search for keywords relevant to your business and make a list of the segments you see. Once you have a list of 10 to 15 segments we can trim it down to two or three by identifying what the quality of each audience actually is.

A few different factors determine the quality of an audience, but the most important is knowing how the data is gathered. For example, an In-Market for Subaru repair audience could be gathered from (1) users searching online for Subarus or (2) DMV records for Subaru owners more than five years old. While there is no definitive answer for whether a data source is good or bad, some are intuitively more valuable than others. In our second example, DMV records are more valuable because they will build an audience made of confirmed Subaru owners, rather than users just doing research online.

Choozle’s Third-Party Data Catalog explores how all of our third-party audience vendors source their audience data and gives recommendations on the best industries to use a vendor for. The best use of this document is to take your list of segments from the DMP and identify the vendor, while getting an understanding of how they use and gather data.

It is quick and easy to search for a few keywords in the DMP and select a couple of audiences to target. But investing time and thought in choosing the most valuable audiences ensures your campaign is set up for success. Reach out to your account manager or check out Choozle’s knowledge base for more information.

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