In my last post I gave an overview of the main key metrics in use to measure reach in online marketing, pointing out though that web traffic metrics don’t provide much insight on “who” our audience is.
When it comes to defining audience demographics, marketers need to turn somewhere else.
For example, email sign-ups and website subscriptions are among the most common tools in use to retrieve audience information such as gender, age, level of education and income.
Another commonly used source of information for audience demographics is alexa.com.
If we look up daft.ie – one of the main property sites in Ireland – we can see for example that, according to Alexa, “relative to the general Internet population, 25-34 year olds are over-represented at daft.ie.”
Another popular resource for audience measurement is Google Display Network AdPlanner, a free tool that helps advertisers/media buyers identify appropriate ad placements for their target audience and plan their ad campaigns as well as do research and competitor analysis.
Publishers also use GDN Ad Planner to provide an overview on reach and audience and other information about their websites.
Another option is panel-based surveys, which use small size, people-based panels to represent the behavior of the larger Internet population. It is to be taken into account that usually panel members are offered incentives to participate in the surveys, which introduces an element of bias in the sample.
Ultimately, from a publisher’s perspective, being able to provide an accurate audience profile of your website – as well as detailed information on your web traffic – is vital to attract advertisers’ interest, whereas for advertisers, identifying the most appropriate ad placements is vital for the success of an advertising campaign.