Beyond Activation – The Broader Value of Segmentation

Head of Brand & Brand Guidance

The rise of smartphones and mobile e-commerce means programmatic targeting and individualized mobile advertising are essential for brand success. Many brands use digital behavioral data to segment consumers, with the aim of communicating with them individually using programmatic advertising. This segmentation usually uses so-called “lookalike modeling” in data management platforms (DMPs).

The current hype about this kind of segmentation does not, however, go far enough. We all know the frustration of online advertising done badly – you are repeatedly shown the banner of a brand that you were interested in weeks ago, but which is no longer relevant because you’ve bought the product elsewhere.

Successful brands should not just use segmentation for activation purposes. Segmentation should primarily serve to define a brand strategy that answers relevant positioning questions, such as which relevant needs can be credibly addressed by this brand, among which consumer segments, with which products and which messaging? Once these questions have been answered, individuals can be addressed not only based on their past browsing behavior, but also on their needs and mindset.

The problem of bombardment with banners is avoided because consumers are targeted not because they have already engaged with the brand, but because they have relevant needs and are likely to be open to considering the brand. Such “mindset targeting” is far more successful than conventional programmatic targeting based on behavioral data alone - both in terms of brand building and increasing sales.