As the role of audiences in digital marketing becomes more important, it’s critical for publishers to not just gather data, but understand what they have, and how to best utilize it.  Smaller publishers in particular, whose teams and budgets may be more limited in scope, must navigate audience-building, targeting and marketing in a way that makes the most of their team and budget.

Managing your data is a hand-in-hand process along with audience development, requiring a holistic overview of the entire process.  

Similarly, having a “road map” for how your processes will flow between platforms is beneficial before actually investing in them. It’s tempting to fall for an individual product after a particularly appealing pitch, but bear in mind that the tools and means by which you collect your audience data must be selected with not just your objectives, but your pre-existing processes in mind.

What tools do you already have in-house for all, or part of those steps that may require integration?

What audience data do you wish to collect, how will you target it, and market it? They’re simple enough questions, in theory, but bringing the abstract down to the concrete requires a focused look at what you really need, and whether or not it works with what you have.

For instance, an excellent piece of analytics software may give you the insights you seek, but if you can’t integrate it with your adserver in order to build and target audience segments, you may find the metadata unable to be fluently optimized, at least not without a particular degree of programming work to ensure the two platforms can work together to monetize your insights.  If your situation is such that your web development options are limited, then a more “plug and play” suite of products might be more expensive up front, but provide a much more seamless transition.

Tools should be able to scale with you and the demands of this ever-changing industry.

And they should work in conjunction with new regulations in an era of privacy and digital consent. 2018 has brought the world a new layer of complexity via the adoption of GDPR, which covers users in all EEA/EU countries – but impacts publishers regardless of where they do business, particularly when displaying advertisements that rely on behavioral, or “personalized” ads.  In today’s globally-connected industry,  publishers have an extra layer of responsibility in ensuring that their data is not only useful, but stored and managed in alignment with end users’ rights and expectations.

Remember to have a 360 degree view when considering your audience development strategy and the tools you select for implementing it. They should fit your team, your budget, and the demands of the industry.

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More about Kristin: Kristin Nousu is Director of Ad Operations for AdOpsCentral.com. With 22 years of experience in ad operations, she has a particular interest in creating adserving strategies/taxonomies for publishers, and programmatic adserving.

 

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