How dynamic audience insights deliver the holy grail of advertising (and marketing)


Wouldn’t it be amazing if you always knew the right thing to say in social settings?

You’d be a rock star, always with the perfect joke at the party, the most fitting words at that tough, awkward time. Dynamic audience insights is a little bit like that, except it’s for your brand … and we call it relevant content. Or, good advertising creating out-performing ad campaigns via good data.

Plus, of course, there’s no party.

Or a super-tough, awkward time.

The reality is, as a mobile marketer you want to connect and engage with your audiences. They’re living in your mobile apps — or they used to — and you want to communicate with them.

When you do, you want that message to stick. Which, of course, is the holy grail of advertising: the right message to the right person at the right time.

Maybe they haven’t opened your app in a while and you want to re-engage them with retargeted ads. Maybe you want to cross-promote something else to them. Or maybe you just want to connect with them in multiple places to incentivize an upgrade, or a subscription, or a purchase.

Either way, you need audience insights. You need audience insights that out-perform the competition. You need audience segments to target that align with buyer personas that you think have value. And Singular delivers those via a remarketing list that you build with Audience Management.

Let’s explore audience insights and Singular’s Audience Management:

  • What is an audience?
  • What are audience insights?
  • How do you set up Audience Management in Singular?
  • Why do your audience insights need to be dynamic?
  • How big a lift does dynamic updating provide?
  • What about privacy?
  • Next steps

What is an audience?

An audience is pretty much what you think it is: a group of people. It’s not a group of people at a concert or play, however. It’s a group of people that have one or more common factors. And a custom audience is one that you define yourself.

If you’re doing Facebook Audience Insights for example as part of a social media campaign, those common factors might include:

  • Geography (location)
  • Demographics (age, sex, education, job, household size, household income, relationship status)
  • Language
  • Purchase behavior and activity (including where they purchase, like online or in-store)
  • Language
  • Page likes
  • Interests
  • And more …

If you’re using Google Ads Audience Insights for a search campaign, there’s a slightly different list, although with some significant overlap:

  • Demographics
  • Locations
  • Devices people use
  • Interests based on search habits
  • Affinity groups (for example, “outdoor enthusiasts”)
  • Age
  • And more … likely including purchase behavior

It’s pretty clear how you can build customer personas out of these kinds of interests and building blocks, often with an audience insights tool.

Singular’s not like that. We don’t collect data on people’s likes or dislikes. We don’t collect data on their demographics or ages, languages, or affinity groups.

What we do, however, is make the groups of people that use your apps available to you for customized marketing activities elsewhere: on the web, and on mobile. We call that Audience Management, and we do that dynamically (more on that later) so that you can build a niche custom audience that is perfect for your needs.

What are audience insights?

This is fairly simple. Audiences are groups of people, and audience insights are insights you have about them … knowledge about what they do and what they like.

Singular doesn’t collect the kind of data that Google and Facebook collect, and you don’t either. You essentially know one primary thing about your audiences: that they liked your app enough to install it. And you know plenty of secondary things about your audiences: whether they use your app daily or weekly, or just a few times and stop. You know if they buy things. You know if they watch ads. You know if they subscribe to services.

You also know if they grind through levels in a game, or skip through by buying advantages. You know if they like to customize their avatar or car, or add detail to their account.

That’s actually quite a lot of audience data.

And, of course, once you know one thing or a few things about a person, you likely know other things too. For example, you don’t need an audience insights tool to know that if someone likes NASCAR, it’s not a stretch to assume they have an affinity for cars, and maybe even muscle cars. If they love weddings, flowers are probably high on their list of likes as well.

So even limited knowledge translates into inferences: hypotheses about what people might like and other things they might want to do. Hypotheses about what would constitute relevant content and a strong advertising campaign.

That’s where retargeting and remarketing come into play: they liked your app, maybe they’ll like another one. They used your app a few times; maybe they’ll come back and re-engage. They bought two pairs of shoes … maybe they’ll buy another a few months from now. So you actually have purchase behavior too, even if for most of your audience segments that purchase behavior is $0 spent. For the rest, you might even have actionable buyer personas which you can target content to.

In addition, your users might even have connected social media accounts to share victories or purchases or events in your app to their friends on Facebook or Twitter.

The bottom line: you have more audience insights than you probably credit yourself with. You can create a custom audience that is better that perhaps you thought possible. And thanks to the personas you’ve filtered for, you have some good ideas on what content the people on your remarketing list might be interested in.

How do you set up Audience Management in Singular?

Activating audience insights for use in retargeting campaigns in Singular happens in our Audience Management product.

First, you start with segments. Segments aren’t actually customer personas, but they can be used to build something similar.

audience insights

Start building your customer audience by creating a segment. It begins by defining which app you want to collect an audience from. Pick the locations you’re looking for and the device model, if you like, as well as the operating system version the users are on. (All of this, by the way, is relevant to the content you might want to eventually drive and the buyer personas you’re building.

Then it gets interesting.

Now you can apply filters to really fine-tune the group you want. When people installed your app, how many sessions they’ve used your app in a given timeframe, events that they’ve triggered, and revenue that they’ve generated. (All of this can be part of the customer personas that you’re targeting.

That gets you a list of advertising IDs — IDFAs on iOS, and GAID on Android — for your ad campaigns. What you have right now is a remarketing list with audience segments for your ads manager that you can take to the next step: distributions.

You can distribute your extracted segment to Facebook, AdColony, Snapchat, ironSource, MediaMath, aaki, Applovin, Amazon, Criteo, or multiple other supported partners. You’ll need your account IDs and APIs keys, plus any passwords or security requirements, but once you’ve set that up, you and your audience data are good to go.

Why do your audience insights need to be dynamic?

You might think: great. I’ve exported a list of users and I’m going to retarget them or otherwise send them messages, but how do I keep that list up to date?

After all, you want to have the right joke at the party, or say the right thing at that awkward moment, right?

The last thing you want to do is to ask someone who just returned to your app and bought your biggest loot box to come back to your app. That does not make your marketing messages, your marketing campaigns — or your brand — look smart.

Quite the opposite.

Fortunately, Singular’s Audience Management is dynamic.

Most often, an audience insights tool will deliver exports of segments of customers or users that a brand has engaged with, either in an app, on a website, or on social media. And those exports are frozen … they don’t sync regularly with the source (in this case, Singular) to know when things change. The result, when you use that list for marketing purposes, are wasted impressions and irrelevant campaigns. You’re essentially mistargeting customers or users because you don’t have relevant content. Not shockingly, that translates pretty quickly to poor marketing performance.

So Singular uses dynamic audiences to create and constantly re-create your custom audience. We re-sync the lists of devices IDs with your chosen distribution audiences every single hour. That makes you much more likely to be relevant and timely with your messages, and offers much less opportunity for looking clueless with irrelevant or frankly confusing messaging.

How big a lift does dynamic updating provide?

Dynamic targeting is such a big deal that we’ve seen up to a 20% improvement in clickthough rate. That means you’re driving more engagement with your ads, and that means that ultimately you’re driving more conversions.

Which should translate to more revenue.

The holy grail of advertising is a holy grail precisely because it’s so ridiculously hard to achieve. (After all, no-one ever found the holy grail … at least not outside of an Indiana Jones movie.) Delivering the right message to the right person at the right time is difficult.

With audience insights you can pretty sure you are getting the right person. With your instincts as a marketer, you’ve got a good shot at delivering the right message. What dynamic updating does is give you a better shot at finding just the right time.

And that’s the holy grail.

What about privacy?

Privacy is a critical thing to think about whenever marketers are doing audience insights and using Singular’s Audience Management.

Singular does collect device data as well as potentially user-level data, if you as a marketer want that. Every customer, however, needs to follow local regulations — like the GDPR — in collecting and using personal data, and Singular does as well.

That’s why we provide multiple APIs to get, delete, or update personal data that may reside in a Singular system, and why we are fully compatible with OpenGDPR. In addition, we use encryption and two-factor authentication for sensitive data.

In other words: all data in Singular systems is subject to appropriate privacy laws, and we do comply with them.

Next steps

Are you looking to activate audiences and use audience insights to retarget or otherwise communicate with your users, wherever they might be around the web or mobile ecosystem?

If remarketing or re-engagement is part of your planned marketing strategy or marketing campaigns, get in touch with us to find out how.