Today, Twitter and several platform providers announced the official launch of Tailored Audiences, giving marketers the ability to target individuals using their own first-party data and any third-party data.

Until now, Twitter’s advertising solutions were based solely on the data they had about their users. Facebook took a similar step to open their inventory to external data with the creation of the Facebook Exchange, a move that brought them a rush of new ad dollars.

Chango_Twitter03Tailored Audiences is about giving the marketer the ability to decide who to target based on external data, and it is bought through Twitter’s new ad partners. While the decisioning is not real-time as such (my company, Chango, sends the list of targeted individuals to Twitter every 24 hours, for example), it should be seen as a new addition to the programmatic marketing family.

As I have discussed in this column before, the terms “big data” and “programmatic marketing” are often misunderstood — the former usually meaning more data than the marketer uses today, and the latter being the glue or set of rules that binds all that data together.

Many have seen programmatic as an excuse to keep spending more and more, targeting the same individuals with ads over and over again; whereas, it should really be about targeting the right user, with the right message — and now, through the right media type.

As a company, we use this programmatic approach to connect the dots across data types, media types, and devices, and therefore see Twitter as that next dot that has become accessible for the connected marketer.

Using Tailored Audiences

There are three ways for marketers to use Tailored Audiences:

1. Retargeting Existing Site Visitors. The most common source of data likely to be used by marketers is their first-party data, allowing them to target individuals who have visited their site before. This data is the easiest to come by and simply involves placing a pixel of a Twitter ads partner and then choosing which of those visitors to send a Promoted Tweet to. This rush of retargeting dollars was certainly what drove the early success of FBX.

There is no impression tracking from a Tweet, though, and most engagements we saw during our alpha testing over the last several months happened on mobile. Thus, marketers will have to think about how they measure the overall impact when they use it as part of a retargeting strategy.

If marketers are thinking the right way about programmatic, they should be seeing a chance here to reduce their display frequency cap to individuals and engage them more with this new channel.

2. Acquiring New Customers. Some ad partners are likely to refer to Tailored Audiences as “Twitter retargeting,” but they are missing the real opportunities that this new channel brings. Tailored Audiences is also an opportunity to acquire net new customers by using third-party data to send Tweets to people who may not have engaged with a brand before.

During early testing, we used searches that had taken place on Google, Yahoo and Bing to target people who had expressed intent — think search retargeting but with Tweets! Other third-party data will include look-alike models and pre-defined category segments, such as “moms,” “auto enthusiasts” or “business travelers.”

3. Augmenting A Social Strategy. Many marketers see Twitter as part of a social strategy, and Tailored Audiences certainly don’t exclude them. A marketer could choose to send a Promoted Tweet several days after someone has bought one of their products asking them to tweet a review, or perhaps even tweet back a photo of them using it.

The more adventurous can use an ad partner to create a segment of their most active Facebook engagers, encouraging them to start following them on Twitter, too, and creating an effective cross-channel marketing tactic.

What You Need To Know

  • Tailored Audiences allows you to target individuals using your criteria.
  • It can only be bought through a Twitter ad partner such as Adara, AdRoll, BlueKai, Chango, DataXu, Dstillery, Lotame, Quantcast, ValueClick, and [x+1].
  • The output of the campaign is a Promoted Tweet.

You can learn more about Tailored Audiences by reading Twitter’s official blog post. My company has also published a Twitter Tailored Audiences handbook.

Opinions expressed in the article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Marketing Land.

Related Topics: Channel: Display Advertising | Display Advertising Column | Social Media Marketing | Social Media Marketing: Advertising | Twitter | Twitter: Marketing

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About The Author: is the Chief Strategy Officer at Chango, the solution to programmatic marketing and "big data", and is based in San Francisco and London. You can follow him on Twitter @DaxHamman.



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