Mistrust of data providers is at an all-time high, and despite a glut of purported solutions, the mobile advertising industry remains in need of tools that connect marketers with measurable audiences. A number of vendors have attempted to solve this problem with varying degrees of success, but the mobile data exchange adsquare believes it has finally cracked the code with a new product that aggregates first-party data from publishers and combines it with validated third-party data from the company’s own exchange.
Dubbed Validated Demographics, adsquare’s new solution allows for precise targeting at scale and comes with a “guarantee” that on-target-percentages for demographics will exceed benchmarks.
(On-target-percentages refers to the percentage of the total campaign delivery within the advertiser’s campaign-defined goals.)
Validated Demographics is being promoted as a tool to boost marketer confidence, with its on-target-percentages guarantee and increased transparency designed to help marketers gauge the quality of any third-party data they purchase. Clients are charged for data on a CPM basis, with validated segments currently available in the US, Germany, France, UK, and Italy.
According to Ted Smith, adsquare’s vice president of sales in the U.S., the lack of accurate means for marketers to connect with measurable audiences of their prime targets at scale has led to the perceived ineffectiveness of targeting. But targeting isn’t the true problem. It’s inaccuracy, and a lack of transparency, that’s been gumming up programmatic campaigns. With the launch of Validated Demographics, Smith believes there is finally an opportunity for mobile vendors to regain the trust from marketers that they lost along the way.
“While working to achieve cross-device goals with holistic measurement across channels, programmatic advertisers have missed a critical benefit of mobile with the more persistent, one-to-one match of device owners,” he says.
Based primarily on first-party data from app publishers, adsquare says its Validated Demographics solution exceeds industry benchmarks for on-target-percentages in the age and gender segments by up to 6.2 times. Adsquare’s decision to guarantee on-target-percentages is the first in the industry, underlining the company’s interest in serving as a neutral data exchange.
Smith says Validated Demographics gives advertisers full control in achieving their campaign goals, which is something that still isn’t widely available elsewhere in the mobile ad world. To wit, according to Nielsen Digital Ad Ratings’ recent Europe report, targeting women between the ages of 18 and 24 results in an average on-target percentage of just 9%. Low-quality data leads not just to inefficient campaigns but also to a loss of trust between advertisers and the mobile firms with which they work.
“As TV dollars move to mobile, as brand advertising becomes continuously more data-enabled, marketers are demanding greater measurability in achieving campaign goals,” Smith says. “While performance campaigns can be measured against KPIs such as downloads, shop visits, or purchases, the success of branding campaigns can be measured with on-target-percentages and branding KPIs such as awareness or intention to buy.”
Although Validated Demographics was just recently launched, it’s already being used by Omnicom’s Annalect to improve the quality of the company’s programmatic campaigns.
Smith says advertisers using the Validated Demographics solution can define target segments—for example, males between the ages of 18 and 25—and minimum on-target percentages. Adsquare tests against industry standards, such as Nielsen Digital Ad Ratings, and guarantees the quality of the data.
More broadly speaking, Smith believes the new solution supports adsquare’s position as a mobile-first data exchange that’s truly neutral, where advertisers maintain full control and are given complete transparency when it comes to audience targeting.
“With our data categories reaching from location to app usage to demographics and purchase data,” he says, “advertisers are able to create a holistic view of their audiences and to go beyond traditional geo-fencing campaigns.”
Stephanie Miles is a senior editor at Street Fight.