Snapchat Ad Targeting Incorporates Offline Sales Data

New Features

Last week, Snap Inc. announced that brands can now access offline sales data for targeting efforts through a partnership with Oracle Data Cloud. This is the first time the platform has partnered with third-party data provider, such as credit card networks, loyalty card programs, or other information captured at purchase. This announcement comes at a prime time as the company is set to IPO in March, causing many to believe it’s a last-ditch effort to become a more attractive stock option.

With access to offline sales data, advertisers on Snapchat can better target users interested in their products. These users will not see ads for the exact product they purchased—they will fall into a category and get served ads for products similar to what they purchased. Currently, Honda, STX Entertainment, Kia, and The Honest Company are testing the new targeting options, with STX Entertainment capitalizing on those who purchase movie theater tickets.

This update in targeting capabilities is like that of Facebook, Twitter, and Google, so it’s nothing new to digital citizens. However, it will be interesting to see how users receive the new ads as Snapchat ventures into a more targeted territory that CEO Evan Spiegel once called “creepy”.

“I got an ad this morning for something I was thinking about buying yesterday, and it’s really annoying,” Spiegel said. “We care about not being creepy. That’s something that’s really important to us.” Reported by VentureBeat from the 2015 Cannes Lions marketing festival.

This new update increases Snapchat’s current targeting capabilities, which includes Snap Audience Match, Snapchat Lifestyle categories, and lookalike audiences. Snap Audience Match uses email databases and mobile device IDs to anonymously target consumers based on Snapchat’s user data. Snapchat Lifestyle categories allow advertisers to serve ads to users based on which Discover and Life Stories they watch across a multitude of categories, including music genres, hobbies, and sports. Lastly, lookalike audiences let advertisers target Snapchat users with similar characteristics to their current customers.

Something of note is that Snapchat users can opt out of seeing ads by changing their settings.


/ What this means for marketers

The online and offline worlds are merging to provide greater results. This puts Snapchat is on the same playing field as channels such as programmatic TV. Now advertisers are not only able to target people who visit their site, they can also retarget people who have made an offline purchase.

Five years ago, brands would have used this offline purchase data to broadly target consumers with a message that falls into a one-size-fits-all category. But now brands can take a personalized approach through tailored, 1-to-1 conversations on channels consumers frequent, which builds loyalty and repeat purchases.

Finally, because marketers now know more about what their consumers are buying offline, they’re able to cater creative to specific audiences. For example, someone who is 35 years old with two kids might favor more family oriented messaging about cold medicine than a 23-year-old who’s just looking to kick the illness and get back on their feet.

The consolidation of online and offline intelligence isn’t slowing down. Stay nimble and be ready to adjust as new offerings and capabilities are announced.





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