Display advertising, after initially struggling, has seen an amazing revitalization as a Web-wide cookie-tracking infrastructure has powered real-time behavioral targeting, down to the promised land of an “audience of one.” And so here we are: We’ve gone from casting wide nets to something closer to spearfishing.
Here’s what that narrative forgets: search.
Search is not just important as another form of audience, but as a new medium altogether, which delivers on the second Holy Grail of marketing: intent. Not just intent inferred from context, audience or the digital exhaust of our online behavior, but real, live, granular intent, available at the moment it’s being expressed. The “audience” tells you exactly what they want.
This is a quantum leap for media. Traditional, offline ad targeting was about understanding which sitcom or magazine had the most concentrated audience of people interested in the thing you were selling. Demo estimates and context was thought to be great proxies for audience. Think football and beer ads. While there’s a lot of bycatch in that haul, there’s still a net full of younger, beer-swilling men. And it works well enough to still be the dominant offline approach to ad targeting.
If audience targeting has been moving from drift netting toward spearfishing, intent marketing goes even further. The roles of hunter and hunted are flipped. The audience is choosing the ad, rather than the advertiser choosing the audience.
One of the many benefits of audience targeting is its ability to awaken desire or need – to create intent. As a pull medium, intent marketing can’t do that. And until quite recently, intent marketing was pretty stagnant. It was blue links on Google.
That, however, is changing. Intent marketing uniquely taps into what separates online from everything else: the consumers’ power to articulate their intent — and for marketers to deliver information (in the form of ads) to those consumers in real time, just as the intent is revealed. Now that intent marketing is branching out beyond search onto retail sites, content sites, and mobile environments, the breadth and depth of intent marketing are expanding dramatically.
Even as advertisers’ ability to reach their chosen audience has advanced rapidly, so too the audience now has more ways and places to choose their advertisers. Each model has its role. It’s less audience vs. intent than audience and intent.
Richard Harris is CEO of Intent Media, a marketing platform for online retailers.
Dentsu’s new Web3 readiness tool shines light on the tech’s potential to complement AI
Dentsu's Innovation Initiative is launching a web3 readiness index next month — at a time when the industry is obsessed with AI. Could the two technologies actually make a good pair?
Digiday+ Research deep dive: Publishers large and small put their resources into first-party data
Eighty-two percent of publishers overall say they're already using first-party data to prepare for the end of the third-party cookie, and nearly half are requiring users to register and integrating first-party data segments into DSPs – indicating that first-party data is the clear path forward for publishers heading into the post-cookie world.
Media Briefing: Why publishers hope chatbots will be the latest retention tool
Publishers hope the chatbots they are developing will be the latest retention tool to keep readers onsite and to get them to consume more content.
SponsoredHow enterprise-grade CDPs are enhancing data processes and improving customer experiences
Produced in partnership with Marketecture The following article highlights an interview between Martin Kihn, Salesforce’s senior vice president of Marketing Cloud, and Ari Paparo, founder and CEO of Marketecture Media. Register to watch more of the discussion and learn how brands are making the most of enterprise-grade CDP technologies. As brands expand across channels and […]
How programmatic advertising will evolve this year on the heels of audio growth and privacy changes
Comscore’s programmatic division Proximic released a State of Programmatic study highlighting the growth of audio and podcasting, other digital advertising channels and challenges around third-party data.
Why podcasters are selling subscriptions through third-party vendors
Many podcasters are turning to third party platforms like Supporting Cast and Supercast to launch or grow their subscription businesses beyond Spotify or Apple.