Targeting Ads on Smart Speakers, Smart Phones and Smart TVs, Are You Being Smart?

Targeting Ads on Smart Speakers, Smart Phones and Smart TVs, Are You Being Smart?

Everything you read and hear in the news right now is all about the coronavirus and it is being compared to the 1918-1920 flu pandemic, so I wanted to take a look and see how far we have come in the technology world in the past 100 years:

1920: “Extra! Extra! Read All About It!” is what people would yell to sell newspapers, which was the main source of how people got their daily news

2020: “Did you see what Karen posted about the other day on Facebook?! She’s so extra!” This is what people say on social media, the main source of how people get their daily news


1920: TV was in its infancy (in 1928 the Federal Radio Commission issues the first television station license ) and had quite a ways to go before it would start becoming the norm in houses and businesses, and programming was limited at best

2020: In most homes, there are more TVs than people, and we can binge watch an entire series in one weekend


1920: When you ran out of sugar you would ask the next-door neighbor for a cup of sugar

2020: When you run out of sugar, you ask Alexa to add sugar to your grocery list


1920: “Hello Operator, I’d like to make a call to the Johnsons over on Main Street.”

2020: “Why isn’t he answering my call?! I just texted him three seconds ago and I can see that he read the text!”

There is no doubt that we have come a long way with technology, but the neat thing is that now we can use this technology to target consumers with digital advertising.

At one-point, smartphones, smart speakers, and smart TVs were all very “Jetson-y”, but nowadays it’s the norm and we have come to expect to be targeted with digital advertising. People are constantly with their phones and they have multiple smart speakers and smart TV’s in their homes, so let’s talk about how can you utilize those three products to reach people with ads.

When it comes to targeting people on their smartphones, we can use a product called Mobile Conquesting™. With this product, we are using location based, demographic, and behavioral targeting to reach consumers with display and video ads all on their mobile devices. Mobile Conquesting™ is a product that has a lot of bells and whistles and a lot of different strategies to target consumers. The first thing that we are going to use to determine who you want to target with Mobile Conquesting™ is the geographic area. Maybe you want to reach people in certain cities, certain states, or even a radius around your location, but we don’t want to reach everyone in that area, we want to reach people that are interested in what you are offering or providing. To narrow down the target audience we are going to use Behavioral Targeting and target people by their online behaviors (targeting people who have shown specific behaviors online or are in a certain demographic) and offline behaviors (targeting people by where they have been tracked with their phone recently such as a specific location, business, or brand name store).

Some additional strategies that we can add onto a Mobile Conquesting™ digital campaign are Geo-Fencing, Geo-Retargeting, and Geo-Retargeting Lookalike. With these additional layers, you can put a tight virtual fence around an area and serve your ads to people while they are at that specific location (Geo-Fencing), continue to target people AFTER they leave those locations (Geo-Retargeting), and even continue to follow those people to their neighborhoods and target their neighbors (Geo-Retargeting Lookalike).

Another strategy that you can utilize is Address Targeting and Address Retargeting. If you have a database of households that you are interested in reaching, we can target those people when they’re in their homes (Address Targeting), and the continue to show them ads when they leave their home (Address Retargeting). If you have a list of current customers or past customers that you would like to reach out to with ads, this is a great strategy to utilize.

Remember the 2009 commercial for Apple that was based around the slogan “There’s an app for that?” Well, Mobile Conquesting™ is kind of like that; if you have a business that is weather dependent, there is a strategy for that too, and that is called a Weather Trigger. This is where we would target people within the geographic area of your choice, and then only show them your ads when a certain type of weather event or condition takes place or is forecasted to take place.

I mentioned that Mobile Conquesting™ has a lot of bells and whistles, and one of the reasons that a lot of businesses like to use this particular product is because it is a great way to track your return on investment with On-Site Visit Tracking. We will be able to give you an idea of how your digital advertising is working by showing you how many people saw your ad, and then came into your location within a two week period, on a monthly report.

Phones have come a long way from the 1920’s from just making phone calls to now being able to target people by addresses, by their location, interests, behaviors, and even weather. Now let’s talk a little about smart TV’s.

An acronym that gets thrown around a lot in the digital world is OTT (not OPP), but what does that stand for? OTT stands for Over The Top and it means video programming that people watch by streaming that content through an internet connection. It’s going to work in a similar manner to watching TV via a cable or broadcast connection where you watch your programming and then it goes to a commercial break, but in this case you are streaming content through an internet connected device like a Roku, Fire TV Stick, SmartTV’s, and more. The ads that appear within the programming with OTT are going to be :15 or :30, and we are going to use two targeting strategies to reach people while they are watching streaming content.

The first step to targeting consumers by using OTT is to determine the geographic area. You will choose from cities, states, countries, zip codes, or a radius around a certain location and then we are going to use a combination of Behavioral Targeting and Artificial Intelligence. With Behavioral Targeting, we are going to show your :15 or :30 video ad in OTT programming to specific people you want to target, and then we are also going to use Artificial Intelligence that will use machine learning to target consumers based on who is engaging with the ad.

The best way to explain how Artificial Intelligence works is to think of it as a funnel. The targeting is going to start out wide and then it gets more narrow as the machine learning algorithm gathers more data about who or what is causing clicks and conversions. With our OTT platform, a majority of the ads are going to be served on connected TV’s where a user can’t necessarily “click” on an ad, so in this case, the machine learning technology doesn’t just look at clicks in order to optimize, but it also looks at pacing impressions and optimizing towards when users are online.

It is also going to look at what type of device they are using and what kind of browser they’re using. Another way that it optimizes is by looking at the types of websites and apps that people are coming from, and then it will start to show the ad on more of those websites and apps. Some other metrics that the machine algorithm is going to look at is the geography, ad creative, and audience behaviors and characteristics, along with how frequent and how recent that user has been served impressions from certain advertisers. All of these elements are what goes into the Artificial Intelligence targeting and what the system is looking at to make sure that it gets that ad to the correct types of people that you should be reaching.

Now that we’ve talked about smartphones and smart TV’s, let’s shift gears to smart speakers. I will fully admit that I was one of those people that didn’t want a smart speaker in my house for the longest time, but back in March when my almost 2 year old son was eating lunch and kept saying “Less-A” (Alexa) and then putting his chubby little hands together for “Baby Shark”, I caved and now I use it every single day. I became part of the statistic that 27% of the U.S population now owns a smart speaker.

The way we are able to place ads within content that is playing through a smart speaker is by Online Audio Ads. These are audio ads served to targeted online listeners who are consuming audio content across all types of devices such as desktops, laptops, phones, and smart speakers. These ads work very similar to the way radio commercials work in that you are listening to your favorite station and it goes to a commercial break, but in this sense it could be the user is listening to music, podcasts, or even sporting events, and in between that programming is where we would play a :15 or :30 audio ad. Some of the major streaming services that we have partnered with are Spotify, Triton, TuneIn, iHeart, SoundCloud, and many others. The targeting strategies that we are going to use to target users that are listening to online audio are going to mirror the same strategies that we use for OTT; Behavioral Targeting and Artificial Intelligence.

While technology has certainly come a long way in the past 100 years, it is crazy to think the advances that we have made just in the past few years when it comes to digital marketing and advertising, and I am excited to see where it leads us to next!

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