In 2016 StackAdapt released proprietary technology we call Custom Segment. Named for the intent-based audience segments it generates through machine learning and natural language processing, these segments are becoming increasingly popular with our clients.
Made up of users who have actively shown intent to purchase on a rolling seven-day basis, relevant users are constantly dropping into a brand’s audience pool while old data is removed, ensuring marketers reach interested audiences in a timely manner. As the popularity of this targeting technique increases, it is clear that performance marketers are increasingly relying on intent-based targeting to reach the right person at the right time.
Popularity of Custom Segments by the Numbers
In the month of February 2018, the number of advertisers actively using StackAdapt’s Custom Segment technology to target unique audience pools in their campaigns rose by 35%. Advertisers who run conversion campaigns have the highest adoption rate of custom audience segments at 56%. Overall, 30% of all impressions being served on the platform are now reaching users through StackAdapt’s custom audience segments. What are the reasons behind the increasing popularity of intent-based targeting?
Advertisers who run conversion campaigns have the highest adoption rate of custom audience segments at 56%
Why Are Marketers Relying on Intent-Based Targeting?
More Relevant Audiences
From my perspective as a Business Intelligence Analyst, I believe intent-based targeting is becoming more popular among marketers and advertisers because it allows them to collect more relevant audiences than with third-party or contextual targeting. Often, clients cannot find their narrow audience with third-party segments, or the third-party segments available are too broad to reach bottom-of-the-funnel intent (something they need to capture in order to acquire more customers).
I believe intent-based targeting is becoming more popular among marketers and advertisers because it allows them to collect more relevant audiences than with third-party or contextual targeting.
An example of this would be an airline company who wants to target travellers going to Florida. The most relevant third-party segment available might be “Domestic Travel”, “Frequent Travel”, or “Vacation Travel” but these people could be going anywhere. With intent-based technology we can home in on people specifically reading about Florida vacations, browsing for hotels & lodging in Florida, and searching up flights to airports in Florida.
Another reason for the increased popularity of our intent-based targeting is that we provide complete transparency into the topics or pages that the users are visiting. Marketers no longer have to guess where these users are coming from or why exactly they were targeted: it’s right there in the Custom Segment dashboard.
Increased Engagement & Conversions
Intent-based techniques like custom audience segments often have a lower than average click-through rate (CTR) when compared to campaigns using other targeting methods, but this hasn’t deterred performance marketers. This is because users who do click are more likely to be engaged, spending at least 15 seconds or more on the site, and ultimately, are more likely to convert. Just as JPMorgan Chase slashed its programmatic scale from 40,000 to 5,000 sites, many performance-driven marketers are choosing to bid smarter. In recent experiments by clients who have A/B tested custom audience segments against third-party segments in conversion campaigns, custom segments have generated 20-75% lower cost-per-conversion.
As intent-based targeting moves into the mainstream, I am interested to see how agencies and brands get creative in leveraging the increasingly intelligent technology at their fingertips.