Did somebody say first party? Menulog trials cookieless targeting on CTV, conversions soar
Delivery platform Menulog is putting claims of beefed-up data capabilities from publishers and agencies to the test. A first party data matching trial via CTV with Seven, IPG's Matterkind, Acxiom and LiveRamp has delivered 37 per cent conversion rate improvements and a similar sales boost, which bodes well for life after cookies.
What you need to know:
- Delivery platform Menulog is testing its first party data-led ad strategy.
- An audience matching campaign using CTV via Seven, IPG's Matterkind, Acxiom and LiveRamp has delivered almost immediate uplift in sales.
- Order conversions increased by 37 per cent. CMO Simon Cheng said the exercise proved there is life beyond cookies if channels such as CTV continue to scale.
The idea of people-based targeting is not new; it can be done on Facebook. But being able to marry up sets of data from a brand and publisher is new – and is certainly what brands should be focused on as we move away from third party cookies.
First party data beta
Menulog CMO Simon Cheng thinks first party data matching with publishers via connected TV presents an opportunity for brands to connect with audiences and drive results – and prepare for a post-cookie future.
The food delivery platform notched 37 per cent increase in campaign conversions after a CTV trial with Seven and IPG’s Kinesso. The people-based targeting trial – using people’s log-in data rather than device-level data or cookies – connected Acxiom’s first party data to Seven’s databases and inventory via LiveRamp.
"The way I describe it to people is simple: when you get to a cookieless world, the only way brands are going to be able to do effective targeting is by using publishers’ first party data," said Cheng.
"We chose CTV because it’s already a cookieless medium. If you’re not viewing through a browser but instead on a smart TV, then brands can go to a publisher like Seven and use their BVOD platforms to match data across age, geography and viewing habits."
That means advertisers can tap greater contextual targeting capability. Those watching a cooking show because they like food are therefore "more likely to order Menulog", said Cheng. Hardly groundbreaking, but by combining its own first party data with the publisher’s audience data, Menulog can marry up both sets to drill deeper – and start to take a more targeted approach, Cheng added, and drive almost instant results.
People-based, people buy
"CTV is the perfect [post-cookie] test environment, because you can’t do anything but first-party, people-based targeting and we’re in a fortunate position. We’re a tech business that gathers a lot of data already – behavioural data, what they eat, where they live and browsing habits," said Cheng.
"The idea of people-based targeting is not new; it can be done on Facebook. But being able to marry up sets of data from a brand and publisher is new – and is certainly what brands should be focused on as we move away from third party cookies."
Alongside the 37 per cent increase in campaign conversion, Cheng said Menulog saw similar uplift in sales results.
This is going to massively improve the way we channel plan. We now know how to deterministically engage a person based on multiple data points.
Massive planning gains
Matterkind CEO Clay Gill thinks the trial bodes well for the kind of approach the agency aims to take, bringing together IPG’s data with brands and publishers as a first party matchmaker – because it demonstrated that approach is viable.
While both publishers and brands have expressed concerns about being able to match up enough of their first party audience data, Gill said the initial match rate between Menulog and Seven’s data was perhaps the most impressive element of the campaign.
According to Gill several tests are usually required to break out of single figure match percentages. But in this instance, “the initial match rate was much higher than the usual benchmark, which is great,” said Gill.
“Ultimately we were trying to prove that we could do this at scale – and when you don’t manage to get a strong data match it becomes pretty troubling for the channel you’re trying to use.”
Because both publisher and brands had enough of the same people within their datasets, Gill said the campaign also demonstrated that CTV can deliver sharper results than broad run-of-network buys, laying a marker for media planners and buyers to build around.
"Menulog was quite reactive, you can see the results straight away: When we are more accurate in our targeting on a high impact medium like CTV, across a big screen, there was immediate uplift in people converting on delivery,” said Gill.
"This is going to massively improve the way we channel plan. We now know how to deterministically engage a person based on multiple data points."
How do we continually grow the percentage of audience that is coming back into our environment from a 90 day period and then really hone that down into that last 30 days? It’s about having users return, thereby yielding stronger first party data.
Solving frequency issues
The campaign also shone a light on how brands can avoid issues with frequency capping, an ongoing challenge for BVOD and CTV, where the same ad can often play multiple times, occasionally back-to-back.
While publishers are trying to lower the rate of occurrence, Gill said people-based targeting helps to reduce wastage, given that, in Menulog’s case, only relevant customers were being served ads based on the data match.
On the flip side, he said rapid, measurable results can help brands determine which content, and which publishers, deliver best return on investment.
"We can test the quality of a publisher’s content and whether high-value clients are engaging with it," said Gill.
"This is mainly because the testing we have done indicates that when there is a high level of engagement with certain content, the conversion for the brand is instantaneous. So we can see what programs provided more conversions – and when and at what frequency."
Seven's Digital Sales Officer, Nicole Bence, said the campaign adds credence to the TV networks’ collective belief that CTV is the "most underutilised marketing tool in the industry".
But she thinks that will soon change as digital advertising’s underpinning currency is removed. To maximise the chances of audience matches, Bence said Seven is now focused not only on driving top line numbers – with high hopes for the Tokyo Olympics – but also returning viewers.
"How do we continually grow the percentage of audience that is coming back into our environment from a 90 day period and then really hone that down into that last 30 days?" said Bence.
"It's not about having the user once and then they exit. It’s about having users return, thereby yielding stronger first party data. As third-party cookies deprecate, that is where we will prove our value."
Bence agrees with Nestlé’s new global media boss, Antonia Farquhar, that brands should be wary about becoming over-reliant on single platforms. She thinks first party data matching aligned with quality content will give broadcasters and publishers a better chance to show marketers that there are better ways to deliver full-funnel results than lumping it all on Facebook and Google’s platforms.
"There has been an unfair amount of spend going into the walled gardens, but now we can prove our value," said Bence.
"Data and audience identifiers have been where the platforms have had the upper hand in for some time, but it’s now starting to tilt our way.
"We are starting to get there at scale, and that will become increasingly valuable as the end of the cookie – and other privacy related changes – begin to squeeze some of these players."
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