Update: Demographic targeting is here!

by Ratko Vidakovic on December 6, 2012 · 2 comments

Demographic targeting now available!

Advertisers have been asking for the ability to target their display ad campaigns by demographic for a long time now. The demand has been coming from advertisers of all types: performance marketers, merchants, startups and everyone in between.

It’s taken a while to iron everything out, but we are very excited to finally announce the addition of demographic targeting to the system! Our initial demographic data provider is Lotame, but we plan to expand our list of data providers as we move forward into the new year.

We soft-launched this powerful new targeting feature a couple of weeks ago and the response has been very positive from users. We would now like to go through all the details of demographic targeting, from how it works, to costs and best practices.

Category List

There are over 140 data points, or categories, that can be targeted. As you can see in the screenshot below, the interface also shows the estimated audience size for each data category, along with the associated data cost.

A sample of demographic categories available

It doesn’t take long to realize how this type of targeting can be valuable. For example, if you are advertising car insurance, you probably want to targeting vehicle owners. The same applies for demographic categories like age. If you are advertising university or college options, you would probably want to target younger age groups.

Data Costs

The cost of demographic targeting ranges from $0.25 CPM to $0.75 CPM, which is in addition to the actual cost of the impressions purchased using the data.

It’s also important to note that if you add multiple categories, you will only pay the cost of the most expensive segment; they are not cumulative costs!

For example, if you add three categories (not advised; see ‘Best Practices’ section below) and they each have a cost of $0.25 CPM, the total cost will NOT be $0.75 CPM, but rather only $0.25 CPM. On the other hand, if you’ve added two categories and one has a cost of $0.25 CPM and the other is $0.75 CPM, the total data cost applied to your campaign will be $0.75 CPM.

To help identify the costs associated with running campaigns that use 3rd party data, such as demographic targeting, we’ve added some new columns to the campaign reporting interface:

Data spend columns

Here you can see the fixed CPM of your chosen data, along with the total cost (spend) of the data you have used on your particular campaign.

Best Practices

The following are some important recommendations on how to use demographic targeting in the most effective way possible:

1. Target run-of-network for best results. When you have audience data, whether it’s from a 3rd party or your own retargeting list, you want to match as many of those users as you possibly can. The best way to accomplish this is with run-of-network targeting.

Select all exchanges

This way you cast the widest net, so to speak, for matching the users in your audience.

2. Limit yourself to 1-2 categories per campaign. When 3rd party audience data is involved, you always want to avoid going too narrow with your targeting. Also keep in mind that when multiple categories are added, the platform only targets people that match ALL of the criteria!

Stick with 1-2 categories

So try to limit the number of criteria you choose, so that you don’t limit your scope too much, thus limiting your overall volume. It’s also important to segment categories into their own campaigns for testing purposes (i.e., determining how each of them perform head-to-head).

3. Bid high. Users that are identifiable by 3rd party targeting data are naturally more valuable, hence the higher CPM bids for them. There is also naturally more competition for these types of valuable consumer segments, and since real-time bidding is a competitive environment, the price of impressions that match identifiable user data are that much higher!

Bid high for data campaigns

With that in mind, make sure to bid high if you want to see any volume on your demographic campaigns.

Odds and Ends

Changing gears to some other news, since we launched our new mobile features last month, we’ve added some new tracking tokens, as requested by users:

  • {carrier} – Passes the carrier of the people that click your ads.
  • {device} – Passes the device of the people that click your ads.

What this means is that you can now pass this information to your own tracking platform and break down the carrier and device data on people that click on ads in each of your mobile campaigns. If you look in our Knowledge Center, you will find a complete list of all our tracking macros.

That’s basically it for now. We look forward to getting more feedback on how this is working out for users. If you have any questions or feedback about demographic targeting, feel free to let us know. Thanks!

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Adam January 8, 2013 at 3:43 pm

Is there any plan on Keyword Targeting? If the retargeting pixel is already a JavaScript file, it seems like adding the ability to buy based on the keyword referral wouldn’t be a huge development effort.

It’d be similar to what chango.com is doing.


Ratko Vidakovic January 10, 2013 at 2:35 pm

Hi Adam. Yes, it’s in the development pipeline. Unfortunately, I can’t give you a concrete timeline, but it’s coming. Stay tuned.


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