Bigger Is Better: How to Scale Up Customer Acquisition Smarter
Some of the downsides of “PA” — well it’s still advertising. That is, we’re displaying ads that are increasingly more relevant, but are they really seen? Do they have the palpability or engagement of other forms of advertising? Generally not.
Viewability is another problem, as is fraud. Often times PA’s don’t provide an accurate identification of where your ads are even being served, much less if they are served well below the fold, where basically you're paying for an ad that no one’s ever seen, or is going to see.
Also, for the highest value ads, more advertisers are likely to bid on them. Like any bid based vehicle, programmatic advertising models ultimately bid up the cost of reaching the consumer that more marketers want, effectively making for maximum competition (and again, higher ad prices) even if excess inventory may drive some ad inventory costs down today. Remember, this competition amongst advertisers bidding up programmatic advertising is in large part designed to best serve the media outlet, even while delivering better ad products to the market.
List Rental and Univariate List Selection
With the explosion of data access and availability, it’s easier than ever to rent a list and prospect to individuals who visit Morningstar mutual funds, live in New York City or are active runners, and virtually anything else you can dream up. List quality remains the challenge, and testing your way into a process is critical.
Univariate list selection is typically a select by an interest, though it can be on many other singularly focused targeting criteria. It’s a list where members share one criteria, such as an interest in sailing or presence of children.
The downside of traditional list rental is price and performance. You really have to be buttoned up to make traditional list rental on a CPM basis work well, and you tend to get it performing best when you or your agency have developed a relationship with the data source, and earn preferential pricing and terms. There are instances where the target and the list line up very well, and thoughtful univariate list rental can work well — typically these are substantially niche or “edge” cases or, very much ‘mass market” circumstances. The huge “middle” is high risk for a univariate list, in my experience.