How Effective Is Your Advertiser Segmentation?

Last week we looked at various ways to think about advertiser segmentation and saw how effective segmentation can shape a site’s audience, content, and partnership strategies. This week, we’ll pose a few questions that can help your site determine if your advertiser segmentation is all it could be.

  • Primary Target Markets – Can everyone in the sales organization (and ideally, in the entire company) clearly articulate the primary target markets for your advertising message? (Hint: If the answer is, “anyone who can fog a mirror and has a buck to spend,” your advertiser segmentation may need some more work.)

  • Maximize Advertising Potential – Have your sales, marketing, business development, and product development teams spent time together talking about advertiser segmentation and its impact on the company’s traffic, partnership, marketing, and site development strategies? If you have not done so, it’s a strong bet that the objectives of these areas are not sufficiently aligned to maximize advertising potential.
  • Site Information And Metrics – Does your advertiser segmentation clarify and drive the type of information and metrics you need to be capturing to provide compelling proof of your value to advertisers? Going back to our gourmet cooking site example, an advertiser who is interested in a status conscious buyer is going to expect different information about site visitors than would a demographically focused advertiser. The status conscious advertiser would probably be very interested in the visitor’s click-through and conversion behavior with the site’s high end e-commerce affiliate partners, while the same information might be much less relevant to the demographically focused advertiser. Remember that without the right data, you have limited ability to create differentiated stories and ad products for your clients.
  • Good Advertiser Segmentation – Does the way you segment your advertisers make it easier for your sales team to become knowledgeable about their current and prospective clients’ business issues and marketing objectives? Your sales team does not have the time or bandwidth to become experts on every company they call on. Good advertiser segmentation allows them to develop a deeper knowledge base and a strong sales pitch around your key segments’ interests and concerns in a way that is relevant in many different situations.

Should advertiser concerns drive everything about a site’s strategies? Of course not, successful media properties always balance the interests of advertisers and end users to create a content base that serves both.

Having a solid segmentation scheme in mind can help drive good decisions that will greatly increase a site’s chances of success with an advertising model, just as understanding your site’s visitors helps you serve them successfully.

Next week, we’ll look at how the right marketing support can make advertiser segmentation come alive.

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