Extending Reach to the Unseen Next New Buyer

By In Terms of ROI Archives
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How many times have you shopped online for something, or even just bought it, and become deluged with ads for that very item from that company and its competitors?  At a recent I-COM meeting, Central Control CEO Rick Bruner pointed out, "We read the predictive indicators of likeliness to buy pretty well (let's say).  But, most of those consumers probably would have bought the product anyway, regardless of the advertising.  The job of the advertising should be to persuade people to buy your product, not to predict which ones are about to.  Presumably, it's the creative that does the work of the persuasion, but the targeting should be directed at a class of the audience [that is] the most persuadable, not already most likely to convert.  It's the incremental contribution of ads to the exposed audience that we should measure, not the predictive power of who is already about to buy."

Sree Nagarajan, CEO of Affinity Answers, shows Lucid results supporting the ills of targeting known buyers.  In one case study, Affinity Answers fusion targets outperformed deterministic, known recent buyers of CPG products.  He explains that until the product is used up, they are out of the market (and some people buy without using shopper cards or eCom).

Under these circumstances, many canny advertisers have been using lookalikes and/or website visits to triangulate high density pools of probable next new buyers.  This testing makes sense.

The ARF plans, based on the interest of its members, to form a Causality Council to ensure that marketers are fully aware of what they need to do to maximize total sales not just sales to existing customers.  Initially they are focused on Random Controlled Trials (RCT), a.k.a. AB testing, and why it's better than backward-looking modeling in ensuring incremental sales.

605 has come forward to help the nascent Causality Council integrate TV in its work, whose member companies have been focused solely on digital RCT.  Further, 605 has been doing RCT trials at scale for TV and cross-platform, showing the ARF cases from DTC, retail and other categories combining 12 to 28 million set top box households with surveys of the same households in the 10,000-30,000 sample size range.

Marketers should realize that we are now all direct to consumer marketers, with a branding sensibility.  That means it's all measurable.  In that situation, continuous testing is the sine qua non.  RCT is the best form of it.  As Bruner points out, "It's scientific method."  ARF CEO Scott McDonald started out his posting by announcing the intention to bring science into marketing.  No surprise that RCT is now being recognized for the immense improvement it can bring. We used to know that.  Now we know it again.

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