Three Myths About Audience Targeting & Cookies


Last Week, Invite Media’s James Lancelot wrote an Ad Exchanger article that mentioned the current state of ‘cookie wars’ that is happening in the digital media industry.

Lancelot made a wise statement: the old model of buying multiple ad networks in order to reach 100% of your audience across the web is horrifically inefficient.

With that in mind, we wanted to debunk a few myths about buying audiences (using cookies)

So without further ado …

Buying Multiple Ad Networks Will Help Reach Your Total Audience

Some media buyers believe that buying multiple ad networks will allow them to reach their complete target audience during any given campaign.

In fact, most (if not all) ad networks have access to the inventory exchanges and are able to purchase the exact same set of cookies (i.e. audience-specific inventory).

There’s no need to purchase the inventory through multiple ad networks; each media partner will be competing against each other for the exact same set of cookies, effectively making your media cost soar through the roof.

Buying Direct from Exchanges is Your Best Option

Many media partners act as their own exchange sources – Quantcast is a great example – and it can be tempting to buy media direct from these partners.

DON’T.

Use a network or Demand Side Platform (DSP) to purchase the inventory on your behalf.

Purchasing through one of the aforementioned partners allows you to sit above all the exchanges and cherry pick ‘exchange inventory’ (i.e. audience cookies) at the most efficient price.

Blind Faith in Your Media Partners' Cookie Verticals

The granularity of audience inventory – for example, buying users who are ‘in market for buying shoes online’ – is absolutely astounding. It’s that kind of data that allows planners to tap into the true potential of their media plans to drive performance.

But don’t take your media partners cookie data on blind faith.

Ask them how they classify, sort & categorize these cookies. Great questions include:

  • Where are you collecting / buying your cookie data from?
  • What algorithm do you use to classify each user?
  • How many iterations of this algorithm have existed within your company?
  • Who built the algorithm? Why did your company tap him / her to do so?

Make sure to understand how your media partners ‘secret sauce’ works.

In your experience, what other audience buying myths did we forget to mention?

Mike Krass, CEO of MKG Media Group

  Mike Krass | CEO & All-Around Nice Guy   </span>

Aside from being the CEO of MKG Media Group, Mike is a dark beer aficionado with a healthy appetite for travel and pushing personal boundaries. A proud graduate of the Edward R. Murrow School of Communication at Washington State University, Mike currently calls San Francisco home. Feel free to contact him via Twitter & Email:         mike@mkgmediagroup.com </div>  

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