How to Select Target Audience Data in Advertising

June 30, 2020

When evaluating location-based target audience data, it’s important to understand both the recency and refresh rate of the data. As marketers work with location data providers, they’ll need to be able to evaluate the quality of the target audience data. With high-quality target audience data, marketers will be able to ensure that their advertising campaigns will reach the right prospective customers.

How to Select Target Audience Data in Advertising

Evaluating Recency for Target Audience Data

Recency is a measure of the overall age of the data included in the target audience. Ideally, it should be as fresh as possible. Fresh data helps to ensure that the audiences that you’ve purchased are relevant to your advertising campaign.

For example, a mobile phone company is planning an advertising campaign to sell their new phone. As the mobile phone company is evaluating target audience data from a provider, they’ll want to choose recently updated data over information that was assembled six months ago. If they choose outdated data, then they’ll likely be targeting their ads to people who have already brought the new phone and won’t be ready to buy a phone again for another few years.

Audience Recency & Refresh Rates

Evaluating Refresh Rate for Target Audience Data

Refresh rates are the rate at which mobile device IDs included in the audience are retired once the qualifying behavior is no longer observed. As you examine the refresh rate, you will need to ask the provider about circumstances in which mobile device IDs are removed from the audience. Choosing the best refresh rate can be complex. A refresh rate may be 60, 90, 180 days or something else entirely. A 180-day refresh rate will almost certainly be larger than one with a 30-day refresh rate. But how do you know which refresh rate is most appropriate for your advertising campaign?

Let’s imagine a coffee company is marketing a new coffee drink. A target audience of “Coffee Lovers,” using a 180-day refresh rate, will probably work very well for their advertising campaign. The company would have sizeable data to work with, and since many consumers in this category drink coffee daily, it’s unlikely that their consumer preferences will have changed over that 180-day period.

However, if a major car company is announcing the availability of their latest model car, a 180-day refresh rate will likely be problematic. After 6 months, many in-market auto intenders included in target audience data will have purchased their vehicle. It’s also unlikely they’re in the market for a second new car. As a result, the company would  waste their  advertising dollars reaching a subset of consumers who likely won’t be in-market again for years. In this example, a 60-day refresh rate will be the better fit for their ad campaign. While no refresh rate is right or wrong, the optimal refresh rate for your data will make logical sense in the context of your advertising campaign.

Increase Your ROI with Accurate Target Audience Data

Be sure to understand how the target audience data is composed in terms of recency and refresh rates, so that you reach as many engaged consumers as possible. Always choose target audience data that was updated recently. This will prevent ad waste and increase the ROI of your advertising campaign. In the sixth part of our series, we’ll take a look at frequency in advertising.

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