By Jeff White
How do you tell if someone is committed to something? This is an age-old question for a lot of things in life from relationships to hobbies, jobs, goals and more. The more committed we are to something, the more passionate we are and usually the harder and more frequently we engage with these things. So shouldn’t a gauge of commitment also be a consideration for your audience segmentation.
Advertisers have seen previously how commitment was a lacking ingredient in audience targeting. A user browses a web page to learn something about their neighbor’s home and then immediately falls into a Google audience for in-market home buyers. What if you knew that this same consumer did not subsequently attend an open house or visit a home for sale? Conversely, what if you had no online browsing information but could determine that consumer has visited three homes for sale in the past week? That looks like a committed in-market home buyer. What would be a more valuable target for advertising if you were a mortgage lender?
What Location Does and Does Not Tell You
We are big fans of location data at Gravy. In fact, we analyze 15 billion location signals for 250 million anonymized consumer devices daily. Where people go is one important indicator of what is important to them. The question we need to ask ourselves as marketers is what location does and does not tell us about a particular consumer.
For example, consider this scenario. A consumer device is identified as visiting an open field, a restaurant and a theater. You might conclude that this person likes the outdoors, likes that particular restaurant and attends plays. However, event information for those locations might tell you a more interesting story. There was a wine festival in the open field that weekend, the restaurant was hosting a wine tasting that evening, and three jazz bands played at the theater the night in question. This consumer profile starts to look like a wine enthusiast that enjoys jazz.
Location told us a lot in both scenarios. First, it takes far more personal commitment to travel to a place than to click on a link. People that go to physical venues have made some effort. Second, place information definitely provides useful context. It can be valuable to know if someone is a frequent Walmart shopper or often visits The Home Depot, Olive Garden and Caribou Coffee. If you happen to be one of those brands and want to reach consumers that are current customers, this data is very valuable. It is also beneficial if you are competitor and are hoping to conquest some of these consumers that already have expressed interest in your product category. Gravy provides this type of information. We also match location to event data to provide even richer audience segments.
How Event Attendance Demonstrates Real Commitment
Let’s consider another example. A consumer visits a gym each Tuesday night, a church every Thursday evening and a local park on Saturday mornings. On the surface, these activities don’t appear related. However, Gravy’s event database reveals that all three locations have yoga classes scheduled at those times. This consumer is committed to yoga. Another person that shows up at a gym multiple times per week may be a fitness enthusiast. If we know they traveled to Carson, California to attend the CrossFit Games that indicates another level of commitment.
Event attendance and participation can also be distinguished from habits. You may visit a location frequently out of sheer convenience. The Target is the closest grocery store to your home. The Starbucks is located in your office building. This doesn’t necessarily indicate commitment or even brand affinity. These consumers may be willing to switch to other brands under the right circumstances. They may also proactively choose other brands when convenience isn’t the primary decision criteria.
By contrast, event attendance is both intentional and optional. People may need to purchase groceries and many need their coffee, but they can get by just fine without attending a wine festival. The consumer that consistently attends rock concerts at local arenas and clubs could stay home and watch Netflix for their entertainment. The intentionality of their actions and the added effort and cost to attend an event demonstrates commitment.
Getting Past False Social Media Signals to Understand People in Real Life
Event attendance also tells us about real-life commitments when other signals can represent distortions. We were told that social media would tell us who people really are. What we have found is that social media typically represents what people want others to think they are. You can post your allegiance to a particular political cause because it is popular. You can also give up your time to attend a rally for that cause because it is really important to you. That is a different level of commitment reflected in real life activity.
Gravy’s TruLifeTM Audiences make these committed consumer segments accessible for advertisers to reach through our DMP and DSP partners such as MediaMath, Neustar, Oracle and The Trade Desk. We also provide consumer intelligence through our TruLifeTM Insights products. These insights can be matched to marketers’ current customer data to provide more in-depth understanding of the consumers they serve today and how they compare to 250 million other consumers that are also available for advertising outreach.