An unavoidable aspect of the media planning & media buying process is the divide between communications strategy and paid media investment.

A typical media agency’s planning process, which looks something like the graphic below, calls for planners and strategists to create granular audience definitions (attitudes, motivations, demographics, interests) and look for actionable consumer insight that can guide the creation of a communications platform. From there, a media strategy will be set and used to inform investment decisions.

The problem lies in the available audience criteria that a media buyer can activate against. These vary by media owner but invariably strip some of the more granular aspects such as attitudes and motivations out of the available segments for targeting.

This means planning highly targeted digital marketing and mobile advertising campaigns becomes more difficult. In terms of developing the overall marketing strategy of a campaign, any improvements to the overall audience data classification and digital media buying process are highly beneficial.

At GlobalWebIndex, we’re working to address this issue in two ways:

  1. Standardising audience classification across the demand and supply sides
  2. Creating GWI audience ‘Building Blocks’ for programmatic buying and selling

The first aspect relates to our expanding relationship with the world’s largest publishers (Google, Twitter, Microsoft Advertising, Yahoo!, etc) and the biggest media-buying and advertising agencies (Group M, ZenithOptimedia, Starcom Mediavest Group, etc), all of which rely on GlobalWebIndex as the advertising industry’s largest, most detailed and up-to-date digital consumer research study.

Sales teams on the digital media owner side are increasingly able to classify their audiences using GlobalWebIndex taxonomy, responding to agency briefs using the same attitudinal statements and demographic profiles that agency buyers are tasked with buying against – as per the communications strategies they are given.

In this way, the demand side of advertising is able to buy the same granular audiences that are defined by the planners, rather than more standard demographic breakdowns typically available from the supply side.

Our web analytics product, GW.IQ™, is a key facet in enabling this matching of the supply and demand sides. Website owners are able to set up and tag their connected platforms and profile users across various site sections and platforms, using GlobalWebIndex audience attributes.

Each and every unique user can be classified into dynamic segments as defined by GlobalWebIndex terminology, for subsequent packaging and selling to the demand side.

The second aspect of bridging the gap between planning and buying is our ongoing development of the GWI Data Exchange. Starting in Q3 2013, programmatic media buyers will be able to buy the very specific target audiences that are created during the planning phases of a campaign.

As part of this, we are launching ‘GWI Building Blocks’ that enable advertisers to target online consumers using more than 135 attributes across six categories:

  1. Attitudes
  2. Behaviours
  3. Interests
  4. Internet Usage Motivations
  5. Outlooks on the World
  6. Demographics

In this way, programmatic buyers can layer up consumer attributes as much as is called for by the strategy they are working to, paying a flat data CPM for as many attributes as they need.

In particular, we feel that this will enable online media brand advertisers to build awareness and affinity against top-of-funnel segments more strongly, as the programmatic landscape currently offers so well for intent-based audiences at the lower end of the funnel.

This should also help digital advertising executives plan their online advertising budgets and campaigns, buying advertising space across multiple media channel’s real estate in a more effective way. This in turn can help create more brand awareness overall and assist other types of marketing and media strategy.

Interested parties can contact us for GWI Data Exchange beta access, while we look to roll this out to a wider range of clients in the coming months.


Written by

Ali Little is Chief Operating Officer at GWI. Having spent several years working at media agencies OMD and UM, as well as client-side at Electronic Arts, he now dedicates his time to building robust data products and services that power marketing that works.

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