Highlights of Addressable Targeting

The phrase Addressable Targeting is getting a lot of traction in ad tech. Here at Simpli.fi, we’ve talked a lot about our Addressable Geo-Fencing for display and Connected TV solutions. With several webinars already created on this topic, we felt it was time to simplify the story and highlight the elements that make Addressable Targeting special. Topics we’ll cover include:

  • Building totally custom audiences
  • Using exclusions to eliminate wasted impressions
  • The elimination of DMA, radius and zip code restrictions
  • Measuring online and offline conversions
  • The value of a unified identity graph
  • Real-time optimization





David McBee
Hello and welcome to the Simpli.fi Webinar Series. I’m David McBee, director of training. This month I’m excited to have a conversation with you about Addressable Targeting.

Now here’s the thing. I know we’ve done webinars on this topic already, but (A) it’s been a minute since those webinars were published and a lot has changed and (B) we’ve got some clarity about what makes our addressable product different or special in the marketplace.

To that end, my goal will be to really share with you today some of the highlights of Addressable Targeting so that you can go out there and knock your advertisers’ socks off.

Before we proceed, a couple of things. Yes, we’ll be recording this webinar (or maybe you’re watching a recording right now. (Hi from August 10th if that’s you). It will be available in Bullseye, along with a complete transcript, the deck, a handout and a quiz to test your (or your team’s) knowledge after you watch the webinar.

Secondly, I’m going to talk a lot today about AUDIENCE. This audience is relevant for desktop and laptop display ads, mobile display ads, video ads (as in pre-roll) and … OTT/CTV delivery on small and large screens. Does that make sense? Addressable Targeting is applicable to all creative types and delivery on all devices. So if you’re focused on display, this is applicable. If you’re selling more connected TV advertising than display, this is applicable – maybe even more so for you because TV has their own product that they call Addressable, and ours is very different from that.

Okay, let’s dive in.

Our first highlight is this ability to create a CUSTOM AUDIENCE, on the fly, in real-time, that is ideal for your advertiser. They are NOT stuck choosing from a pre-built audience.

So what might that look like? Let’s use a swimming pool company for today’s examples. We’ll call them Paula’s Pools. If Paula buys from the other guy, she is going to have to choose from one of hundreds of pre-built audience segments. That means she’ll choose to target something like homeowners, outdoor enthusiasts, athletes, fitness, recreation … something that she feels describes her ideal audience.

Truth is, the other guy might even have a pretty specific audience that Paula feels is a great fit. -maybe even something as specific as pool intenders, so okay, that’s not a bad way to go.

But with Simpli.fi, Paula can choose to target home owners. Then she can get a little pickier and ask for homes of a certain value or square footage. She might ask for home owners who fall into a certain income bracket or have a high credit score, because, well, her pools are kinda pricey. My point is, she can custom-build the audience that she feels is ideal for her products and services, and not be stuck with something that is pre-built that may or may not be an ideal fit.

Even that pool intenders audience, that may or may not exist, I really don’t know. But let’s assume someone has that audience available for sale. Can they tell us what puts a person into a pool intenders audience? As in what behavior or data was used to assign them to the audience? How old is the data? Could they have already purchased a pool? Might a person who was interested in billiards have been accidentally put into the pool intenders audience? Can they even afford one of Paula’s fancy pools? That’s the problem with targeting a pre-built audience segment. We just don’t know that much about how the audience was created.

Think of it like a salad. The other guy has bagged salads that you can buy. They’ve got a garden salad, a Caesar salad, a Greek salad, heck they’ve got tons of different kinds of salads. And like I said, sometimes that’s fine. Sometimes all you want is a garden salad.

Meanwhile, Simpli.fi has a salad bar. The benefits of that are obvious right? You can pick and choose the exact ingredients you like, in whatever quantity you want them, and they’re probably fresher. It’s a custom salad. Even if you create a boring garden salad with the same ingredients as the bagged salad, you know more about those ingredients and you can see that they are fresh.

I should point out that we all get our ingredients from the same place. In fact, everybody who’s doing addressable is using offline data providers like the credit bureaus. The difference, as usual, is that if you want to buy households through the other guy, then they have taken all of the data from the credit bureaus, and they’ve basically created a taxonomy of segments.

It’s the same pitch we’ve been doing for years. I want urban soccer mom households. I want whatever households, and you go buy one of those prebuilt segments. We, of course, give advertisers the ability, on the fly, down to a singular zip code, basically to construct those audiences transparently. So, your advertiser doesn’t have to assume that what they think is an urban soccer mom household matches the definition of what the other guy thinks is an urban soccer mom household.

They can define for themselves what that is, and they can add data and see how that affects the audience. They can remove data and see how that affects the results in real time, as opposed to just buying that audience, prebuilt, off the segments. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

While creating that custom audience, we also have the ability to EXCLUDE certain elements to eliminate wasted impressions.

In the case of Paula, we’re not targeting apartment dwellers or home renters because the basis of her audience was home owners. We’ve eliminated low income homes with our financial and credit score requirements, but that still leaves homes that already have pools. Well guess what.

Homes with pools is one of our audience types and we can EXCLUDE that from our target audience.
That isn’t something that can be accomplished with a pre-built audience segment. Even the most ideal audience segments often include people who have already purchased what your advertiser is selling. That’s why they call it an ideal audience.

Now let’s revisit our salad analogy. You might say “well that garden salad sounds almost perfect, but it has green peppers in it. If only I could get all these other ingredients but not the green peppers.” Unfortunately, that exact salad just isn’t one that’s available at the grocery store.

Of course, if you head on over to the Simpli.fi salad bar, you can build your perfect garden salad, with all the same ingredients minus those awful green peppers. You can even modify it a bit and add some additional ingredients that aren’t normally in a garden salad. Who here likes avocados? I do!

Before we leave this idea of excluding homes that already have pools, let’s consider that Paula doesn’t just sell new pools, she also services and repairs pools. That means we could create a completely separate campaign for her, with creative that is aimed at pool owners and her audience would be all green peppers. I mean all pool owners. How’s that for some awesome customization and an opportunity to sell the client campaigns that targets prospects for new pool sales and prospect for pool maintenance?

Okay let’s get away from our salad analogy for a bit and talk about GEO-TARGETING. Most of the time, when you are buying addressable targeting from the other guy, you’re looking at buying a DMA, a radius or maybe a zip code or zip codes. Within those bigger geographical requirements are the individual homes. Often those homes are built using IP addresses, which aren’t always static or incredibly accurate.

Setting aside the accuracy argument for a moment, once the audience is built, it becomes one big audience segment. That will be important when we talk optimization and reporting.

Simpli.fi also targets whatever geography your advertiser has chosen, and we’re targeting at the household level. We use GPS data and plat line data to build ten, a hundred, a thousand, even a million individual households that we can target. The reason this is important to understand is because every one of those households is like its own separate audience segment. And while that may not be that important when you build the audience, it becomes incredibly important when the campaign is up and running, and we’re looking to optimize the campaign for better, faster performance on fewer impressions.

If that doesn’t totally compute yet, that’s okay. Hold that thought and we’ll revisit the significance of this when we talk about optimization here in a bit.

Now I want to talk about CONVERSION TRACKING. With Simpli.fi’s addressable targeting solution we can measure both online and offline conversions. Let’s see what that means to Paula.

For our purposes, we’re going to assume that Paula has a website with a form that prospects can complete for a free home estimate AND that she has a physical location where prospects can come and see her pools, including the different styles of pools, the different liners, filters, etcetera etcetera…

So if Paula is running a connected TV campaign and delivers her commercial to a relevant prospect that we’ve targeted, and that prospect goes to Paula’s website . . . not on their connected TV of course, but rather from their laptop for example, we can actually measure that visit thanks to our extensive cross-device identity graph. And if we have the right pixel in place, we can see if they completed her free estimate request form too. Or said another way, we can see that the laptop visiting Paula’s website is part of the same household where we delivered the connected tv ad, so we can report that visit.

If that prospect wants instead to see the pools in person and they go to Paula’s store, well of course we’ve built a conversion zone around Paula’s store and we can see the prospect’s smartphone when it enters said conversion zone. Of course, we know the smartphone is from that same household where we delivered the CTV ad because again, we have that cross-device matching ability.

And for those who complain that “That prospect might’ve come to my store anyway,” don’t forget that we track lift too! It’s pretty special that not only do we track the store visits of those to whom we showed our ads, we also track anyone in a target zone (in this case, all the individual homes in the addressable target area) that were not served ads.

So if say, 1 out of 100 people who were in the target area but didn’t get served an ad, convert, that’s a 1% natural conversion rate – people who would have naturally visited the advertiser’s location.

Then, let’s say that 2 out of 100 people who were in the target area and did get served an ad, convert. That’s a 2% campaign conversion rate, or said another way, people who are served ads are twice as likely to convert as those who aren’t. That is powerful information to evaluate the effectiveness of the campaign!

Next, Let’s talk about Simpli.fi’s UNIFIED IDENTITY GRAPH. And we’re going to get a little in the weeds here, but I think we can get through this together. If you’re multi-tasking, now isn’t the time. I need your full attention. Okay.

So at Simpli.fi, we build all of our capabilities in-house. Besides being a DSP or demand side platform, that’s an entity that makes it possible for advertisers to purchase ads in the programmatic environment on ad exchanges,.

Simpli.fi is also a DMP or data management platform. We are partnered with and get billions of raw data elements from hundreds of thousands of websites and other sources.

This allows us to have a unified identity graph for planning, execution, and attribution.

Meanwhile the other guys, leverage third-party identity graphs and modeling data. Or said another way, we start and end with all of the same device IDs, which allows us to follow them from start to finish with very little loss of the devices. It’s like we built all the plumbing and control all the pipes.

The other guys, for the most part and specifically for addressable targeting, are using third parties for identity consolidation, and that often means the pipes don’t completely match up. Or said another way, they may be using one partner for planning, another partner for execution and yet another partner for attribution. All that data from all those different partners is never going to be exactly the same. So you’re starting with one audience from a third party and measuring with a different audience from a different third party and they aren’t going to match up 100%. And when you do that, there’s going to be some “leakage” because different audiences means you’re only seeing a percentage of a percentage of a percentage.

Yes, they can plan, execute and measure their campaigns, but there will be data loss, because at the end of the day, those third party audiences simply aren’t going to match up perfectly.

Simpli.fi, when it comes to addressable targeting, is choosing to plan with our own identity graph, execute with our own household identity graph, and measure with our own attribution graph. We have a unified graph across all three elements of the campaign, which significantly minimizes the amount of match rate loss and maximizes our total reach on addressable campaigns.

In a nutshell, We build and manage that entire process across the entire view of an addressable campaign versus piecing together third parties.

Simpli.fi is in good company here by the way because both Google and Facebook also have unified identity graphs. We see this as a real highlight of our addressable targeting and something that should give you and your advertisers a great deal of confidence in our product.

Now, I’ve hinted here and there that OPTIMIZATION is a real differentiator so let’s dive into that.

By doing our identity graph the way we do it, which is at the household level plat ID for these individualized households, rather than buying the prebuilt segments from the data providers, we’re curating the data. It’s the difference between buying a bunch of homes that I have to optimize as a group and report as a group versus buying the data and mapping it to our homes, which are individual segments of one.

If an advertiser is going through another DSP for their addressable campaign, and they’re buying, say ten thousand homes in a segment, then that is one segment. That means, they are stuck optimizing all ten thousand homes as a whole.

At Simpli.fi, those same ten thousand homes would be like ten thousand individual segments.

The idea is that we should be able to bid, report, and optimize to produce better performance faster with that kind of control rather than bidding up all ten thousand households or bidding down all ten thousand households. We’re talking household-level control versus segment-level control. It’s the same thing as unstructured data versus segment control. It’s just at a household-segment level.

It all comes down to more precise targeting, higher reach, faster access to real-time attribution data. Part of our argument here is that the other guys have basically done what they have always done. Most of them use a third party for the audiences (unless they too are a DMP), some of them outsource the targeting, and nearly all of them (if not all of them) outsource the attribution. They’re stitching all those outsourced elements together, and there are consequences for that.

The consequences impact precision, speed and reach. You cannot do what they do on small spend campaigns because the level of partnerships dictates that they’ve got to be a certain size to perform.

Then, there’s the rolled up reported insights. That’s just segment-level reporting versus our zip plus four.

By the way, let’s talk about Zip plus four for a minute. It’s defined as a mail route, basically. So your first thought might be “Okay, that’s a neighborhood.”

But Did you know that in many cases, zip plus four is as granular as which side of the street is converting better than the other. Zip plus four can be a floor designation in a multi-floor building!

I think that’s a real distinction. Imagine saying to an advertiser, “how would you like to do a 17-million household television campaign in 14 markets optimized to an online conversion event or foot traffic to multiple locations, and be able to define which side of the street converts better than the other?”

Are you kidding me right now? Shut up.

you’re not going to get that level of insight in a campaign that is a DMA-level campaign or a segment-level campaign, and so many of the companies that are doing anything associated with house-level targeting are really doing these kind of DMA-level audiences or something like that.


Now one of the things you might hear from an advertiser is that it’s a lot easier to just go buy pre-built audience segments from the other guy. And we get that. It’s really a conversation about QUALITY versus speed and ease of use. We’re trying to speed up the process, but the consequence of generalizing the audiences and taking steps to just minimize an audience into a two-word name… You know… like “Urban moms” or whatever it happens to be… The consequence of that are significant as accountability for those dollars increase, right?

And one of the biggest things that an advertiser loses when they opt for the convenience of targeting an audience segment is transparency.

Knowing what data goes into creating an audience is important. To demonstrate, let’s revisit my salad analogy.

Remember this slide? These represent those pre-packaged audience segments that the other guy has available. You can’t pick and choose your ingredients and there’s not a lot of information on freshness (or what we call RECENCY) of the data.

If we’re honest, most of us will probably admit to buying a salad this way. It IS convenient and honestly the experience is usually pretty good. No, it’s not as custom or fresh as a salad bar, but it sure is a lot easier to grab and go.

The problem with this analogy is that it falls a little short because pre-packaged salads come in clear bags and have expiration dates on them so you feel good about the freshness. But if we were to make this analogy a little more accurate, we’d actually have to compare the simpli.fi salad bar to…

salads that are in black plastic and don’t have a date on them and all you have to go on is the name of the salad to decide if you want it. That’s more like a third-party audience segment. You’re really just trusting that a vacation intender is someone planning a vacation and not someone looking for a Jamaican sunset for their wallpaper. Or that an auto intender isn’t someone who bought a car last week. Or that a pool intender isn’t someone who plays billiards.

Get it?

At the end of the day, we would just say that

Today, the following are critical for advertisers to move their businesses forward: performance; transparency; maximum reach; real-time attribution on any spend level; and knowing, even within a single market or down to a single zip code, the conversion-level data to really know where and which households are impacting your campaign. If you really want this kind of information, we are a fantastic solution.

If you want generalized rolled up information on the deal, use of a third party that’s going to minimize reach on a report that’s completely useless because it comes two weeks after the fact if you hit an impression threshold, I’m sure the other guy will be just fine.

Or said another way, if you want fresh ingredients and the ability to choose what you like and what you don’t, then you need to build your salad at the simpli.fi salad bar.

If you don’t care about freshness or aren’t picky about ingredients, then… who are we kidding? This analogy totally falls short. No one spends hundreds or thousands of dollars on bagged salads. If they did, they would demand the highest quality and that’s what we believe we offer.

Okay, let’s recap what we covered today:

  1. Simpli.fi can create a CUSTOM AUDIENCE, on the fly, in real-time, that is ideal for your advertiser. Advertisers are not stuck choosing from pre-built taxonomies created by third parties who arbitrage the data.
  2. When building an audience, we also have the ability to EXCLUDE certain elements to eliminate wasted impressions.
  3. When GEO-TARGETING an addressable audience, Simpli.fi creates tens, hundreds or even thousands of audiences of individual households. Meanwhile the other guy creates a single audience out of all the homes in the audience.
  4. Simpli.fi’s addressable targeting solution we can measure both ONLINE AND OFFLINE CONVERSIONS. And we can measure the percentage of LIFT when we compare natural converters to campaign converters, further proving the effectiveness of the ads.
  5. Thanks to Simpli.fi’s UNIFIED IDENTITY GRAPH, we are able to plan, execute and measure our campaigns with little to no data loss. Or said another way, because Simpli.fi is a DMP (data management platform), we have access to all of the raw data, giving us some advantages over other providers who rely on third parties for their audiences and measurement capabilities.
  6. Because everything is built in-house and kept in an unstructured format, Simpli.fi is able to OPTIMIZE audiences in a way that most other providers cannot.
  7. Finally, TRANSPARENCY of data makes a difference for the advertiser who is interested in why a prospect was added to the audience and when.

And with that, I’ll let you get back to work. Don’t forget that we’ve included a quiz to go along with this webinar so you can test your knowledge. A recording of the webinar, the deck, a complete transcript and a handout are also available in Bullseye.

If you have account specific questions, please reach out to your simpli.fi account manager. If you have questions about training, send them to training@simpli.fi.

Thanks and we’ll see you next month. Now go out there and do something awesome.

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