The ability to analyze and segment digital audiences has increased advertiser confidence and fueled digital spending, according to a survey of 500 media executives published last week by AudienceScience. The online advertising technology company found that publishers who leverage audience targeting project an 86% jump in online display ad revenue this year.
Marla Schimke, VP-marketing for AudienceScience, spoke to Digital Directions about the changing ways that data and ad inventory are managed online.
Digital Directions: What is driving growth of digital ad spending, and how can publishers maximize their revenues?
We're seeing offline dollars coming online, and publishers are seeing more of that spend now than ever before. It's a measurable medium that provides results.
Advertisers used to buy run of site. Today they can go to a publisher and buy a [specific audience segment]. It not just paid space. There is no unsold inventory. Any inventory is good inventory because you're not looking at it based on where you are on the page. It's based on the person that is interested in what you are trying to sell. It's based around that demographic or geographic. You can combine different types of targeting to find an audience for your advertisers.
Publishers can leverage a data management platform or some sort of media transaction platform. They can really run their own targeting technology on their site and then also work with other networks and exchanges in aggregate. If you can control the data, then you can control your own purse strings.
DD: How can data management platforms help publishers strengthen their programs?
Audience information is truly [a publisher's] greatest asset. Being able to use a DMP and segment those audiences and sell them to advertisers—that's a huge opportunity that not everybody is participating in.
When you use targeted advertising, you can follow [users] in your news section and when they are browsing; and you can work with a platform and with other publishers, becoming a part of a network so you can follow that user and serve them a targeted ad across the Internet. If you don't want to open your data to the entire Web, you can just target those specific people on your site or in a network of sites under the same parent. You can create your own private networking.
It's a new way of operating. A publisher can actually sell any type of audience rather than just selling a certain section on their site.
Publishers that do permit audience targeting on their sites are predicting that revenue will be up 86%. We asked [in the survey] what types of campaigns they are selling. We love to see that the branding campaigns are higher [in number than last year], because that's where the big dollars are.