Dynamic audiences

In marketing, we define customer journeys, setup and follow various sales funnels and tries to determine where in all this our potential customers are. Are they in the top of the funnel? What are their buying intents? Did they just purchase their first product from us?

We do this to group customers and potential customers into segments that we can characterize and better understand. Once we have a better understanding we can take better actions to move them down the funnel or to better serve them at the current step on their customer journey.

In theory, this makes a lot of sense and seems to be the obvious way to personalize the customer experience along the life cycle of an individual customer. However, in practice the insights and conclusions derived from this activity is hard to project on the actual customer or group of customers in advertising campaigns. Often a campaign is targeted using other characteristics than those above, such as demographical or interest based audiences. These are of course good and useful, but the idea to convey certain messages depending on where on the customer journey a customer is will not be adressed by such targeting. An improvement is the retargeting of visitors that is widely used, and in best case the use of dynamic ads based on what product was viewed or added to cart. But these audiences are often not suppressed as the customer moves along in the customer journey or funnel. I guess we've all been stalked by ads for items we already purchased.

Dynamic audiences contains a user or customer list that is kept up-to-date based on the rules applied to the audience when created, and an integration to the advertising platform that keep the audience in sync at all time. The idea is to hyper-target a very precise set of users or customers with a specific message, and then surpress that message and switch to a new one as the user takes an action, or in other ways becomes obsolete for the particular message.

Targeted advertising

A targeted advertisement is strategically crafted and placed to reach, and be relevant for the intended audience. Rather than placing a general ad anywhere on the web, ad targeting aim to bring the right ad in front of the right user. Targeted advertisement has the potential to vastly outperform regular advertising campaigns and to boost the marketers ROAS dramatically. But it also poses a challenge to avoid spending the budget on individuals that are no longer in the targeted audience. The idea is simply to convey the right message at the right time, to the right audience. It's of course easier said than done, but it is possible with precision tools such as Dynamic audiences.

Example use cases

Let's walk through two examples to showcase the use of dynamic audiences. There are many more ways to utilize dynamic audiences but this should serve as examples to spark the imagination of what can be done.

Journey based audiences

In this example we will move customers to new audiences as they complete steps on the customer journey. It starts with a simple brand awareness campaign to attract new visitors and ends with a retention campaign.

A fashion company specializes in selling second hand designer bags. They pair sellers with buyers and takes a cut in between to guarantee that the bag is authentic and well maintained. A simplified customer journey map for the business is outlined below.​

To boost sales the company decides to run ads to increase brand awareness and to attract new potential customers. They setup a reach campaign on Facebook that show case some of the bargains other customers made when shopping in their store, and they show a few items currently on sale. The audience is pretty basic and not that narrow at this point.

When someone clicks on an add and views the product page or landing page for the ad, Engage send an event indicating that the visitor has landed on the page and is viewing a certain item. Engage use this information to quickly add this visitor to the audience created for newly arrived visitors looking at a certain type of bags.​

The visitor leaves the store without taking any other actions. Since the visitor is now added to the audience for new visitors, he or she will receive ads that showcase the specific type of bag the user viewed when last visited the store. A few days later the visitor again visits the shop and this time ads a specific bag to cart, but checkout is not initiated.

The dynamic audience moves the user to a new audience for visitors with high purchase intent for a specific product and the corresponding campaign start showing ads for the bag added to cart, possibly along with a discount code or other incentives to buy. A few days later the visitor interacts with the add, returns to the shop and this time buys the bag. The visitor has become a customer and is removed from the previous audience, and added to the audience for current customers. When the customer resides in this audience no ads are targeting them.​

A few months after the bag has been delivered the customer is moved to the re-engage audience to initiate a re-purchase campaign. The campaign is somewhat similar to the initial awareness campaign and is intended to convey a message that second hand designer bags can be sold back to the store at any time.

The customer ends up selling the bag through the companies store and becomes a repeat customer. This marks the end for this customer journey based campaign. We hope it served well to showcase how marketers may use dynamic audiences to up their game.

Behavioural based audiences

In this example we will use dynamic audiences to re-engage customers and boost re-purchase rates by triggering different ads for different audiences and move customers between the audiences.

The example company sells coffee and coffee machines online. And this example starts right after a customer purchased a new coffee machine. Based on this action the customer is added to an audience for cross selling and is targeted with ads to buy coffee, mugs and other accessories. If the customer purchase anything from these ads he or she is removed from the audience in order to cease marketing activities for now.

The company's analytics team has noticed that customers buying coffee machines often replenish coffee about 60 days after the last purchase event. Based on this they create an audience that holds customers making their last purchase between 60 and 90 days ago. The audience is then used in a re-purchase campaign aimed to get customers to re-order parts or all of their latest order. To further personalize the ads they've grouped the audience based on what type of coffee was purchased so they can show relevant content in the ads.

This is a simple, yet powerful example fo what can be achieve with dynamic audiences. The audiences can be as narrow as required or as wide as possible depending on the use case. But in order to drive return on the ad spend, it is recommended to run ads for narrow audiences. Mainly to keep a simple overview and understanding of which audiences that are profitable and which are not, but also to make sure you are actually hitting your audience and not som irrelevant set of users.

Setup dynamic audiences on Engage

Dynamic audiences are complex in nature, but Engage makes them very simple to setup and maintain. Follow this guide to setup dynamics audiences in Engage.

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