Defining Purchase Intent in the Digital Age is Key

An interesting article was written by Toby McKenna last week regarding how to measure purchase intent in the digital age. His line of thinking was that with so much data out there it’s easy to lose focus and start looking at the wrong signals. And to add to all this, it doesn’t help that social platforms such as Facebook and Twitter aren’t being held accountable for incorrect metrics they show their advertisers. Therefore, McKenna states that “data providers and planners still lack clarity and confidence in the type of data they’re using”.

He suggests that it’s time for advertisers to go back to the basics. An advertiser really needs to first look at what they are trying to achieve (is it increase in awareness, website visits or sales?) and then look at all the available data they can use to track and support this objective. “As digital advertising has advanced, advertisers have additional data layers at their disposal to create more sophisticated audience segments. When advertisers evaluate what type of data they’re using in their campaigns, they should think about which factors are in play and poke around to learn how they are weighted. Where does my ad data come from? When was it last refreshed?” he continues.

McKenna also states that retailers with an online presence do a much better job at advertising to its users compared to other digital platforms (ie. social). This is because they measure actual and direct purchases, rather than inferring from a probability model or lookalike audience. It’s because of their rich first-party data which can include both in-store and online transactional data, players such as Amazon and Walmart have a huge advantage over platforms that don’t have this kind of data at hand.

McKenna goes on to suggest that if “advertisers could access shopper data across multiple websites, product pages, and categories, they’d achieve massive scale and reach. Furthermore, advertisers could build sophisticated and robust shopper profiles based on consumer activity across the entire online universe, not just one retailer’s website“. This is what we aim to do at Personalyze. To understand people’s interests and behaviours across their digital footprint so that they are delivered the most relevant content, offers and experiences wherever they are. We also help advertisers with a one-stop platform for all of their audience insights and activation needs. It’s called TopicDNA, and you can try it out for free now.