Do You Know Who You’re Really Reaching With Your Ads?

Understanding how to target individuals within a household

Every part of today’s household is connected. People stream through multiple devices, on one network, depending on where they are in the house, be it on laptops, phones or connected TVs (CTV). In a sense, people create their own unique digital environments within their homes, from cell phones to smart speakers, from connected appliances to CTVs.

All of this creates a unique household data fingerprint which, in turn, seems easy to create targeted advertisements for. It would seem to be the holy grail for marketers. But knowing what data matters is just as important as getting the data in the first place.

But not all data collected is meaningful or relevant data. Just because you’re getting all this information from one household doesn’t necessarily mean it’s relevant to everyone residing there. Let’s explore why.

Use identity data to deliver relevant ads

As social beings, people are constantly coming and going. Friends and family visit for hours and sometimes days, children come back from college for break and are often followed by their friends stopping by. Everyone is connecting to your network—your “household data fingerprint.”

Unfortunately, all of this can create irrelevant information for marketers. All these individuals—some not even members of the household—end up connected on the same network, slightly altering the digital fingerprint of the household with their personal online activities.

A household mainly inhabited by two 50-somethings might be interested in an advertisement for Billy Joel concert tickets. But when their child comes home from college, their searches, views, likes, etc. may tilt the scales in the direction of a festival headlined by Billie Eilish. This sort of consumer targeting can be a bit unreliable.

This is where identity-driven marketing becomes extremely valuable. It’s critical to know where to look for the gaps in your existing data and understand how to identify targets as they move across devices and locations throughout the day, as well as the platforms that can link them in a scalable way.

One of the best ways to fill in these gaps is by grouping together both first- and second-party data and synthesizing billions of online interactions with multiple identifiers. It’s key to develop dynamic profiles for each person within a household, as opposed to mistakenly looking at everyone in the household as “one person.”

​​Advertisers now can collect online data that links various data points derived from activation. Device data, location data, consumption data, unique identifiers and IP addresses can now be stitched and linked back to offline identifiers like postal addresses. This link creates a way to then connect offline data (demographics) to online data (devices) to create an ever growing, and stronger, ID graph.

Move the right person along the funnel

Another place where being able to better link individuals to devices within a network is no longer having to take the “spray and pray” approach with your marketing messages. Advertisers can now cut down on the wasted impressions at the top of the funnel, waiting to see who turns into a first-touch engager, moving them now more precisely down the funnel and targeting them in a more relevant and contextual way.

Having strong identity data at the launch of a campaign gives advertisers a chance to now enter the funnel at a lower stage, and shift some of those “awareness” funds to the “consideration” and eventual/hopeful “acquisition” phases.

Simply put, it’s the difference between knowing that someone in a household searched for camping equipment and then serving that household network an ad for your tents and identifying a device that’s much more likely to be tied to one specific person and sending them that same tent ad. But also knowing things like age, income, other interests, etc., for that person that is tethered to that device is critically important in being effective with your messaging.

The first phase in the rise of interconnected online ecosystems at home is just about cemented. Now, the analysis of how all these devices and individuals interact with each other, and what they are searching for and consuming, will be where the market turns its attention.

Being able to inform the ads delivered to a selected household more precisely at the individual device level, reduce wasted impressions and acquisition time, and boost ROI, is what advertisers need to strive toward in 2022—and it can be done.

As chief commercial officer of Stirista, Hamid Qayyum leads the company’s revenue and product strategy. He has over 25 years of experience in advertising/media and previously led a4 Advertising by Altice’s strategic partnership efforts where he focused on sales partnerships with MVPDs, agencies and with brands.