Reaching Families ID Free: Planning and buying in the privacy-first age

Written by
Robert Webster

05 Jan, 2022

This is the time of year many advertisers turn their attention to families. Our televisions are full of adverts for families, as are print magazines and newspapers. These ads reflect the different types that exist, be they older or younger, richer or poorer, from different backgrounds and traditions, and with members that have different desires. This family diversity has long been present in the traditional planning and buying of brands. Yet online campaigns have struggled to create campaigns with the same confidence. Add to that a world where Apple has removed marketing IDs, thus barring advertising to the richest billion people on the planet, how best should advertisers now look to plan and execute their campaigns online? The answer is to combine some of the techniques of the past with next generation solutions.

Cookies can’t reach families

Cookie-based audiences have been the bedrock of online targeting for 15 years. Yet these audiences best describe individual user behaviour and are effectively unavailable to users of Apple devices and browsers. This makes them unsuitable for the job of being the base of a planning and execution approach (although they can be used as fringe tactics). Cookies in any case have only a very limited lifespan and it is past time the marketing industry looked elsewhere to build audiences and conduct best-in-breed media planning that allows brands to reach their audience and grow their businesses. Planners and buyers must look to contextual tools and technology alongside traditional planning fundamentals to best service their brands.

Keywords and vertical categories can't reach families

Contextual targeting may be the solution for targeting beyond the cookie. Yet there is a problem because traditional contextual targeting has been focussed on keywords and vertical-led categories. These category types are totally unsuitable to the job. Keywords are phenomenally effective in paid search, yet even paid search is not suited to targeting families. What keywords would you use and do they truly capture a family? How would you differentiate between different types of family? How would you seek to influence different family members?

Traditional contextual tools are also fairly blunt instruments that don’t look sufficiently at quality, true audience affinity or what will best result in marketing goals (sales, awareness, reach etc). Quality of environment is vital to reaching families as they promote a feeling of safety and coziness that advertisers are desperate to generate.

Traditional contextual and cookie based tools have no answer to these questions. This in part explains why digital display has fallen behind other online channels.

FiftyAurora marries the best of traditional techniques with cookie free programmatic technology

A screenshot of a computer  Description automatically generated with medium confidence

Offline planners have for decades planned to reach families by buying family-friendly content, tv channels, magazines and newspapers. They would use traditional data sources to understand what sort of households utilized these products and buy accordingly. They would not only understand the audiences and types of families different publishers reach, but also understand the quality of the publications and predict campaign performance.

Online this is much more difficult because, whereas a traditional planner might look at dozens of publishers, online planners need to understand thousands of publishers and hundreds of thousands of domains and URLs. Allowing these techniques to be applied online is one of the great achievements of FiftyAurora’s contextual planning and buying capabilities.

Tribes can be a revolution in planning to reach “Families” of all types

Fifty does this by having bespoke “Tribes” built out from social media interactions and modelled against the client’s own customer data or other relevant seed audience. These tribes can be selected by the planner to reflect the type of families that they are looking to target, or the individuals they are looking to target within the family. These tribes can also be modelled by looking at the social media audiences following brands, what the tribes influencers are members of, or by modelling real world customers. This provides powerful options for the modern planner, combining planning insight with real world data driven segmentation. This data is fresh too, led by actions in real time ensuring that planning is always done with the most up-to-date insights, vital for a fast moving world.

The example below shows how families can be divided into different tribes. Being able to subdivide an audience based on spending power, whether they dwell in urban environments (or not) or their interests, makes the planning far more powerful. Tribes also have related categories outside of the family unit such as “School Teachers” in this example, which can either be used or excluded as befits the needs of the campaign.

Influencers can also be analyzed from different source studies. New influencers can be added to a model and of course any influencers that do not fit can be removed. This, alongside the ability to add or remove tribes, makes the planning process incredibly powerful and dynamic in a way far beyond traditional or keyword methods.

Curation, Quality and Availability

FiftyAurora provides visibility on the domains being targeted, their quality and suitability as well as the availability and likely costs - this is transformative from a planning point of view. Now marketers can judge how well the contextual targeting works with real world sites. Curation is one of the concepts of the new privacy first age. The process of marketers selecting publishers to work with and providing best connections with allow them the use of data and control quality and fraud. Curation is only as good as the publishers select and FiftyAurora allows for marketers to pick and plan the very best publishers and add real depth. Marketers can easily choose a dozen relevant publishers, but FiftyAurora allows for hundreds of relevant publishers and thousands of URLs to be selected, dramatically increasing the depth and power of the product.

Video to the fore

Marketing for families will always have a very strong video component. Every year brands compete for the best festive video ad and this year is no different. The new breed targeting techniques listed here can take these ads into the new era, matching them to their optimal audience, allowing them to be optimized and still providing the reach required. Video ad versioning and targeting is also vital. Brands may want to reach a wide group of people, yet the people they target may have different desires and motivations. FiftyAurora works in harmony with video creative optimisation, providing the data to allow ads to be optimized to the right people. Think of fashion brands targeting families but showing different products to different family members. Think of the same concepts from supermarkets and department stores. The power of video to influence with best in breed brand led insights will take video marketing forward.

This Christmas, the best brand marketing campaigns will be powered by next-generation technology. The huge number of advertisers that want to best reach these audiences should take note. From family-led holidays and insurance, utilities and telecommunications, to consumer brands, these techniques are showing us how best to use marketing to build brands in the privacy-first era. It’s exciting being part of the leading wave, it’s even better to be shaping the future.

Book a demo today to find out more.

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