- September 8, 2016

How Advanced Currencies are Moving the Industry Beyond Age/Gender Demos

This post originally appeared in V by Viacom.

Since the earliest days of media measurement, marketers have relied on useful – but imperfect – age and gender based demos as surrogates for reaching their most desirable audiences. When you think about it, it’s really kind of amazing that our industry hasn’t moved beyond these types of demographics to a more precise way of doing business that is available right now. That’s not to say that age/gender demography doesn’t have a place in this process – of course it does. But increasingly, there’s an opportunity for marketers to transact on advanced audiences that more directly represent their target consumer; whether that be a luxury auto-intender, a wireless brand-switcher or an action movie aficionado.

In this era of big data, not only are these more precise audience segments identifiable, they’re also reachable through media and can be bought on that basis. This is exactly why Comscore is working with Viacom to use these advanced currencies to provide audience guarantees to their marketing partners through Vantage.

When we first joined forces a few months back, both companies knew that our clients would be excited about this capability. After all, Comscore’s data gathers information from a massive footprint of the population covering more than 40 million televisions and 120 million video-on-demand users in 210 markets across the United States, in addition to more than 1.5 trillion monthly digital interactions. This data is augmented by visibility into associated consumer behaviors, such as shopping, leisure activity and geolocation.

By combining our capabilities, Viacom Vantage translates these many layers of data to reach audiences wherever they are consuming content, and then measures the impact of their spend in unprecedented ways. Ultimately, this new capability provides the most comprehensive view of the consumer and the most effective way to reach them.

We’ve worked to build advanced audiences for a major footwear retailer using first party data to reach more customers, partnered with a popular beverage brand using loyalty card data to engage more of their brand customers and helped an online retailer using location-based segments on people going to brick-and-mortar store locations. This is clearly the beginning of an exciting trend and a strong signal of what’s to come.

This is how marketers should be thinking about the use of advanced currencies today. While we realize that longstanding media-buying practices will not change overnight, the future is now upon us, and meaningful portions of ad budgets are already being allocated toward these advanced audiences – brands who previously allocated their budgets away from TV are now re-allocating budgets given this new opportunity presented to them.

Marketers should be putting measurement systems into place to evaluate their performance and effectiveness. How well are they reaching their most desirable audiences today? How much more effective are ads that reach the most desirable audiences in driving brand or sales lift? All of these are important questions. Being one of the early adopters today means being able to take full advantage of tomorrow.