Predictive Marketing Blog

Transparency In Marketing Is Knowing Who You’re Reaching

Transparency in marketing means knowing who you’re communicating with. In a digital world, it’s easy to lose track of who you’re actually marketing to, as you drown in a sea of aggregate target audiences whom you’ve been told are your ideal prospects—but are they?

When I think of problems in transparency, I’m reminded of Shutterfly’s targeting gaffe back 2014. After Mother’s Day that year, the company sent out a mass marketing email congratulating tons of people on their newborn babies. The email would have been thoughtful except that many of the recipients hadn’t given birth and weren’t expecting to.

Surely the company thought they were targeting only new or expecting moms. But clearly not accurately enough.

An Ongoing Battle

But that was 2014, you say? Nope. Fast forward to now and this still goes on. Even when it doesn’t make headlines, we still see brands and agencies mistargeting consumers too often with poor results.

Marketers use cloudy data more than ever, in order to target consumers for campaigns, and have come to accept that they’re being forced to give a certain level of blind trust to platforms like Facebook, Google AdWords or a DMP to select their best targets for campaigns.

In this digital world, marketers often lose track of who they’re actually marketing to. It’s great that Facebook Ads Manager lets you expand an audience based on an input list, but they give you no visibility into who that new expanded audience is or any details about who you are really reaching. They don’t disclose those targets. The black box approach is worrisome, especially when Facebook claims that they can reach 25 million more American millennials that the Census believes exist.

Beyond just mistargeting to irrelevant audiences, click fraud is also a real issue and is estimated to cost advertisers over $11 billion per year, it is more important than ever that marketers understand exactly who they are marketing to. If you’re not using verified lists of real consumers, then some level of fake audience is a near certainty.

Demand Transparency

Brands should be embracing transparency and demanding more where there is none. There is a huge difference between marketing to unnamed people in an audience that you can’t analyze and having a marketing list with names of the actual people you will be marketing to.

True transparency ultimately enables marketers to send laser-targeted messages to the right people at the right time. This hyper-targeted, 1:1 approach opens the door to more personalized messaging and interactions between brands and their prospects.

Recent Epsilon research found that in 2018 80% of consumers will be more likely to do business with companies offering personalized experiences. Our lives are dependent on 1:1 relationships, and marketing is no different. As personalization is further embraced in 2018, brands will need not just big data, but smarter data—data that’s been properly wrangled and modeled—in order to accurately engage consumers based on their unique interests and preferences.

Always Get Better

Consumer targeting will continue to be a challenge in 2018 and beyond. It’s not easy. But working towards transparent marketing that is actually 1:1, has enormous potential to help brand marketers stay ahead of the pack by reaching out to their top prospects with an on-topic message that rings true.

Reach’s predictive platform uses best-in-class AI to target your best audience and generate predictive profiles which help you identify and reach consumers who are most likely to become a customer and respond to your campaigns.

And importantly, we provide complete transparency in our marketing lists. Every prospect or customer list downloaded from the Reach platform contains names and addresses for injection into your campaigns.

Request a demo or sign up to try it for yourself.