Finding Your Moment: Unlocking Audience Mindset Is The Key To Engaging More Customers

by Jacqui Wallis Illuma

Marketers have always understood that effective ad campaigns – be that the first-ever TV ad delivered in the UK on 22 September 1955, for Gibbs toothpaste or today’s data-driven digital ads – they need to deliver across three dimensions: the right message, to the right audience, at the right time.

Today, there is a fourth dimension – mindset – that marketers can tap into using artificial intelligence-based technology.

Why Is Mindset So Important?

The problem with today’s audience buying techniques is that the data that underpins the execution of campaigns is often flawed in at least one of the following ways: it can be outdated; based on the interests of your competitors’ prospects; or seeks to identify past trends to create future buying patterns. This approach assumes that similar people present a limited range of predictable behaviours. For example, everyone in the target audience only reads about a particular set of subjects, in an unwavering and consistent pattern.

The truth is that we, as human beings, behave inconsistently, have random interests, and engage in different subject matters, on different days, at different times.

Understanding what drives one person to engage with your brand’s message on a particular day, but not on another, underpins the very nature of true consumer insight. Being able to adapt your campaign messaging and be flexible to your audiences’ seemingly random online behaviour drives better campaign outcomes and better consumer experiences.

Ensuring your brand message is appealing to your potential customers in the environment in which the message appears in, in a brand safe way, is vital to enable your campaign to scale effectively.

Looking at the context, time of day, day of week, mindset, and sentiment rather than just the semantic nature of the environment, enables brands to understand exactly what works for their prospects and customers and apply that to media planning to reach new customers in a cost-effective way.

Here Comes The Science Bit

Left brain memory encoding, which processes words and detail, is 42 per cent stronger when people view ads on premium editorial sites than when they see the same ads on social media sites, according to a study by Newsworks and the Association for Online Publishing (AOP).

Furthermore, right brain memory encoding (the more emotional and global aspects of processing) is strong for both premium sites and social media, but ads on premium sites generate a nine per cent stronger response.

Out Of Reach

Using mindset to plan and buy media requires technology that identifies, in real-time, when a consumer engages with an ad and also captures the context of the page beyond words and tags. At illuma we have built a proprietary technology to do exactly this. The cutting-edge nature of the work we do has seen us included in various future vision documents this year, including Carat’s Top 10 Trends for 2019, as well with The Guardian’s Trends for 2019 presentation, as well as being included in a recent MIT training session.

These aspects allow us to understand the mindset of a consumer, based on real-time behaviour. Illuma’s AI technology understands the DNA of pages that perform well in any given campaign, is flexible and follows the changing nature of audience behaviour, scaling every campaign using unique, individual, and fleeting ever-changing content signals.

This is not audience targeting, this is not contextual targeting, this is mindset targeting – the previously out of reach – fourth marketing dimension.

Mindset And Brand Safety

Often audience and contextual are seen as opposite ends of the spectrum when actually every targeting method seeks to do the same thing – to effectively reach your audience. Last month, Nick Ashley, Tesco’s Head of Media and Campaign Planning expressed his frustration, lamenting that his media spend is increasingly being “siphoned off” and spent on ad verification technology and “bits of tech”. One of Ashley’s priorities is to operate within a publisher environment in which he knows that the ad impressions bought are safe and suitable for the Tesco brand.

In a piece written for Marketing Week, Ashley said:

“People use phrases like ‘audience buying’ whereas what media is about is the people consuming the message at the end of it, the channel or platform they are consuming it on and the context in which they’re receiving it. All three are equally important. That context could be the environment, the mood they’re in or the day of the week. But it’s become far too much focused on audience and that’s why we’ve got some of these problems.”

Mindset targeting is a highly effective way to protect brand safety as it can be used in conjunction with whitelists, blacklists, and on-page brand safety tools.

We believe the work we are doing at illuma is changing the way brands find new audiences. Allowing brands to tap into the mindset of their potential customers, provides every campaign with access to a unique composition of pages, a competitive advantage, better results, and an enhanced experience for your customers.

We believe this is a win-win situation for everyone.

Jacqui will be speaking about unlocking audience mindset at our Digital Marketing Summit on Thursday 25 April 2019. For more information regarding the event you can view the full agenda here.