As social media becomes a household category for media buyers the wold over, the race to tap into the deep vaults of consumer data by publishers is intensifying. Google’s announcement last week that they are beta testing “demographic bidding” is a very interesting development with the future potential of leveraging various forms of consumer provided data. Of course demo targeting is the basic primary method for traditional media, and relevancy has been king in digital land. As Google develops this program further, I can see many other data points from ad-sense partners leveraged for targeting beyond demos alone. Any and all consumer provided data can and will be overlaid as targeting criteria.
Ok – so you’re saying to yourself, ‘what’s new about that?’ Nothing of course – other than the fact that it is being overlaid on an existing platform that accounts for a significant level of consumer usage and ad spending (search accounted for approx 40% of all ad spending in 2007). Adding demo targeting to ad-words and ad-sense is a natural progression to further segment relevant search and long tail placements with specific demographic (and eventually other) segments. The move should benefit publishers by helping to increase targeting options and rates and creating further relevancy for consumers. It benefits advertisers by providing us with more ways to tap into the fragmented long tail, and it benefits consumers by making the marketing experience more relevant.
Maybe I’m just a digital media geek – but I love hearing about new ways to segment and engage consumers. I’m enthralled with data driven approached to marketing. Content used to be king, relevancy seems to be making a coup, and I argue that data is the heir.