Digital segmentation: On-demand targeting

Marc O'Regan with Sameer Modha and Rosa Markarian

Demand-side platforms help brands to segment digital audiences with better reach and accuracy than a placement-driven approach.

Marketers habitually carve up their target audiences into different groups or segments in order to plan their activities more effectively, whether it's product development, pricing or communication. Researchers, charged with this task, think long and hard about how to identify distinct groups of consumers according to their needs and attitudes.

Many organisations place a great emphasis on this kind of segmentation exercise. There is a presumption that it will underpin all of their marketing activities - and certainly their communications planning. To an extent, this is fair enough. If the segmentation and strategic planning have been effectively done, then the target segments will have an above average motivation to buy the brand in question because it distinctively aligns with their needs and affinities. Target segments will perceive the brand as relevant to them, consider it good value and be generally predisposed to it. Focusing communications spend on these segments ensures marketing consistency and improves efficiency.