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DSPs, Data Providers Top Sources for Lookalike Modeling

Majority of ad agencies and advertisers using lookalike modeling

May 14, 2014 | Media Buying

Advertisers are continuing to adopt audience targeting, according to a March 2014 study by eXelate in conjunction with Digiday, which found that brands had upped audience targeting on all platforms—including computers, smartphones and tablets—from 2013.

US Ad Agencies vs. Advertisers that Use Lookalike Modeling, March 2014 (% of total)

As a result, lookalike modeling—which increases audience targeting capabilities by creating custom-built audiences that brands can reach with high accuracy—was picking up the pace, with 73% of US ad agencies and 64% of advertisers saying they used it. Those using lookalike modeling were seeing success, with nearly half saying they had seen between a two- and three-time lift in performance.

To conduct lookalike marketing, both ad agencies and advertisers were mostly turning to data providers and demand-side platforms (DSPs), with 64% of respondents from each group citing these as sources they used.

Sources Used by US Ad Agencies vs. Advertisers to Conduct Lookalike Modeling, March 2014 (% of respondents)

In-house sources, trading desks and data management platforms all trailed, with agencies slightly more likely than advertisers to use each source.

DSPs have proven successful for targeting overall, so it makes sense that they’re popular for lookalike modeling. A September 2013 study by Econsultancy and the Rubicon Project found that the No. 1 benefit of working with DSPs, according to marketers worldwide, was improved targeting, cited by more than two-thirds of respondents.

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