Digital advertising and ad selling isn’t as straightforward as it once was. Ads are being blocked, skipped and avoided at every turn, and the window of opportunity is getting smaller.

But this doesn’t mean there’s less money to be made. In fact, it’s the opposite.

Data now exists that tells you exactly who your target consumers are, where they are, and what they want to see. This means you can drive ROI with an improved strategy that’s tailored to the consumers you’re looking to reach.

The key lies in getting the right data. This is data that ensures you’re targeting the right people in a way they will respond to, resulting in less wasted spend and a better return.

Here’s how smart media brands are using insight to get it right.

1. They’re proving they’re the experts on their audience.

Data that tells you as much as you can possibly know is empowering. It gives you the inside scoop and enables you to get as close to your consumers as you can.

The most revealing insight informs you about the qualities that define them, the interests that drive them, the perceptions that frame them, and the brands they buy from.

It gives you the tools to create a pen portrait of the individuals you’re speaking to.

Any client or potential client looking to improve their reach among their target audience will value expertise and intelligence of this kind.

This proves you’re the publisher that knows the most about the audiences they’re after, and you know exactly how to cut through.

2. They’re pitching more original ideas.

Brands are used to seeing pitches. They’re used to getting ideas and recommendations from agencies and publishers that see an opportunity to partner. The last thing they want is a pitch that looks just like the last one, and the one before that.

What they want is originality. They want something that’s going to make an impact. And on top of that, they want visibility.

That’s why it pays to tell them something they don’t already know, using deep insight they know and trust.

Getting into the specifics (not just analyzing behaviors, but perceptions, interests and attitudes) is often where this original insight is found.

There’s a wealth of information out there that tells you what platforms are most popular among millennials, for example, but not what they’re using them for. Our latest research shows 44% of millennials use social media to fill up spare time, with 43% using it to keep up with news and current affairs.

By delving deeper into these motivations according to the audiences you’re targeting, you can unveil an untapped insight that’s worth your attention.

3. They’re improving turnaround times.

Time is always of the essence when it comes to brands and marketing professionals. That’s why with ad selling, the faster you can turn a project around, the better.

Despite this, conducting robust research into the audiences you’re targeting can take a long time to get, and often more to analyze.

Having instant access to trusted consumer data these clients can’t get hold of themselves puts you in a position of power. It keeps them happy because they have insight that backs up the ideas you’re putting forth in a timely manner. This way, they can try things out, and get things done.

This is what smart media brands are doing to prove their dedication to their clients.

But getting faster answers on your consumers doesn’t just keep clients happy, it means more business can be won and more opportunities seized. Here’s how one creative agency did it.

4. They’re challenging perceptions.

Most publishers are assumed to have one key target audience.

When we think of CNN, we might think business people. When we think of BuzzFeed, we might think millennials. But very often, these are false assumptions that have created barriers to ad selling for media brands both big and small.

With access to deeper consumer data, smart media brands are challenging these common misconceptions, unveiling key insights into the audiences that aren’t so obvious from the outset.

BuzzFeed is one brand that disproved the widespread theory that they only spoke to young millennials.

Using GlobalWebIndex to analyze their consumers in minute detail, they could dispel these myths and prove their reach to audiences across demographics, ages and profiles. This sparked conversations with brands that, until then, had been looking to other publications to help them expand their reach.

5. They’re expanding their reach.

For every publisher, advertising sales is vital to maintain a sustainable revenue stream.

But this isn’t the only thing they’re using deep consumer insight for.

With instant access to research that goes far beyond demographics and vanity metrics, leading media brands are implementing more strategic and consumer-centric content strategies.

Guiding their editorial content and marketing comms, it’s helping them speak to audiences they didn’t even know they could target, while telling them exactly which channels, interests and avenues to invest in, for maximum reach.

Click to access our guide to winning pitches with insight.

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