Audience Segmentation has Led to Best Results for Publishers

BY Rachel Cagle
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2023 was not a great year for publishers’ ad revenue. According to a report by Digiday, 60% of publishers say that advertising will account for just 20% or less of their revenue in 2023. But that doesn’t mean that 2024 has to be more of the same.

If publishers can harness the power of audience segmentation, 2024 will be a much better year for ad revenue.

Audience Segmentation has Led to Best Results for Publishers

Direct-​Sold vs. Open Marketplace Deals

In 2024, direct-​sold deals are expected to account for a higher percentage of ad revenue:

  • 58% of publishers expect direct-​sold deals to account for more than 41% of ad revenue
  • 45% of publishers expect open marketplace deals to account for more than 41% of ad revenue

Why? “As users increasingly choose cookie-​blocking browsers and opt out of tracking on Chrome, addressability is dwindling and creating a challenge for open market deals as advertisers aren’t able to reach valuable audiences. Audience targeting issues will likely be exacerbated by the loss of third-​party cookies in 2024.”

An Opportunity

One of the areas hit hardest by the recent lack of audience data is the request for proposals (RFPs) pipeline. RFPs play a significant role for 98% of publishers’ typical annual revenue outcomes, and they revolve around audience factors. The challenges in the RFP dynamic when trying to win contracts include:

  • Inadequate audience insights: 51% of publishers say that this is a problem they face
  • Inadequate audience data: 40%

While the competition is struggling to find audience data without the help of cookies, audience segmentation can help publishers get ahead.

Audience Data

According to a previous SalesFuel blog with help from MailChimp, “audience segmentation is a marketing strategy based on identifying subgroups within the target audience in order to deliver more tailored messaging and build stronger connections.” Overall, it makes ads more relevant to the audience they’re actually reaching and therefore more effective.

Before they can begin a good audience strategy, publishers need to know who they are targeting. If they don’t already know that, they can look up that audience information on AudienceSCAN on AdMall by SalesFuel. AudienceSCAN holds demographic, marketing and other information such as:

  • Heavy Blog Readers
  • Heavy Podcast Listeners
  • Various types of podcast listeners
  • Heavy Radio Listeners
  • Various types of radio listeners
  • Heavy Television Watchers
  • Various types of television type and programming watchers
  • Many more

With AudienceSCAN’s demographic, interest and purchase intent data, publishers can begin the audience segmentation process.

If the publisher has first-​party data to contribute, even better. First-​party data can also be used to collect the following:

  • Demographic information
  • Behaviors or actions taken across the publisher’s platform
  • Survey data
  • Customer feedback

With that data, publishers can give potential contract signers a clearer picture of the audience they can target with their ads through the publisher’s platform.

Each user has a vast range of interest that go beyond the page they are browsing,” says Digiday. “So, it’s vital to respond to an RFP’s audience parameters.”

Driving Revenue

Audience segmentation and other audience data is exactly what publishers need to drive revenue in 2024. According to Digiday, the strategies that play the most significant role in ad revenue outcome uplifts include:

  • Data and analytics: 65% of publishers agree
  • Audience-​based campaigns/​segmentation: 52%

61% of publishers agree that audience-​based campaigns are very significant to CPM (cost per thousand impressions) uplift.

Plus, when publishers conduct audience research and look into segmentation, they have the potential to discover new audiences they can reach. Adding new audiences to the fold can expand the range of advertising partners they can approach.

Times may seem scary to publishers right now, but audience segmentation can give them the helping hand they need in 2024.

Photo by: krakenimages