Quantcast, an audience measurement and targeting provider for advertisers and publishers, announced on Wednesday its partnership with Guardian News & Media. The company is the first major publisher in the United Kingdom to leverage Quantcast Brand Lookalike targeting.
Quantcast Brand Lookalikes identify the unique characteristics of an advertiser’s target audience through predictive modelling in order to find other consumers across the web that most closely match these profiles. Through using this product, brands can effectively reach the people ‘most like’ their best customers and publishers can combine their premium content with audience targeting to better match their inventory to an advertiser’s audience.
Phil Macauley, Managing Director at Quantcast, has a chat with ExchangeWire about why he thinks this move is important and what it could mean for both advertisers and publishers.
Can you please outline, technically, what this announcement represents? There seems a little ambiguity in the interpretation of this announcement.
The announcement is a premium publisher making it known to the advertiser and agency community that it has added sophisticated advertising technology on top of its ad inventory. Marketers can now reach the people who are most likely to be interested in THEIR specific product, across Guardian News & Media’s (GNM) suite of sites. It’s a big message for the ad community that audience targeting is not just for performance advertising, it matters for brand advertising too, i.e. brand and consideration.
This is significant because, while most of the industry discussion is about the real time revolution (across the exchanges), the transformation has arrived for branding and premium sites too. Better audience targeting technologies and approaches are not just for programmatic buying on the exchanges, but publishers can arm themselves with these tools as well to increasingly deliver value to advertisers. Quantcast is just as dedicated to supporting the publisher community and providing them with tools to better monetise and be in control, as we are to helping advertisers find their unique audience types across the real-time environments using our RTB technology.
Isn’t the ability to serve lookalike audiences into publisher’s sites already an active product?
It is correct that Quantcast Brand Lookalikes is an active product and this is not a new product launch. Rather, it is letting the market know that The Guardian News & Media Group is leveraging Quantcast audience targeting technology to be able to match its audiences to the specific people an advertiser is trying to reach. This is important news for advertisers and agencies that value the premium content across GNM’s sites and want to have their brand visible there. Now they are able to get more precise ad buying, even in their branding efforts, and reach the people who most closely match their specific product or brand’s audience model.
Could publishers start to build their own lookalike profiles based on a primary audience they compose and extend this across programmatic channels on behalf of advertisers?
Our focus is to work with publishers to deliver the most effective audience solution for the advertiser’s campaign. Currently, advertisers can use Quantcast Brand Lookalikes to find their specific audience directly on the premium sites they love and with whom they have relationships, such as The Guardian.
More broadly, they can work with Quantcast directly to do this via programmatic buying across the real-time exchange environments, and we apply our Performance Lookalikes within this process. Rather than building publisher lookalikes, we look at scaling and adding more robust features to this core product set.
Why is this a significant move for Quantcast?
GNM is the first premium publisher in the UK to announce and use Quantcast Brand Lookalikes. From a more general perspective, Quantcast aims to create the most effective online advertising for marketers, better monetisation for web publishers and more relevant advertising experiences for consumers. This product compliments our Performance Lookalike product by empowering the publisher community to deliver compelling and effective ad packages and to be in control in the new real-time targeting landscape. It also broadens the agency’s ability to get the most from its ad spend, regardless of where they buy – direct to premium publisher or across the web via the real-time exchanges.
How does this increase value for publishers?
This offers a number of different benefits for publishers. It enables them to bring more value to current advertisers by delivering a more comprehensive and accurate target audience for wider reaching line items. For example, an advertiser may buy on the Guardian Sport page because they believe their target audience resonates with that area of the site. Quantcast lets them refine and extend this activity through identifying the unique characteristics of their actual audience and find and reach just specifically those with similar profiles across the broader portfolio of the publisher’s other sub sections and sites.
Equally, advertisers that have a very specific target audience that does not match the aggregate audience profile of a particular site or group of sites, can now reach their niche audience through leveraging Quantcast Brand Lookalikes directly with publishers.
The publisher can now therefore sell to a whole new group of advertisers. In addition, because Quantcast has the freshest and largest data set, it brings a more real-time nature to audience targeting across premium sites.
What ad forecasting tools will publishers have at their disposal? How does Quantcast help forecast future supply of these audiences and match to future supply of inventory?
There will be more to come on this soon and hopefully we will have the opportunity to talk to the advertising community about it here, on Exchangewire.
In terms of brand marketing and if for a second we visualise the proverbial sales funnel, where will this type of activity sit within that?
This sits within brand and consideration.Global Desk Editor