Audience Addressability

The notion of addressable audience refers to the estimated total number of the brand’s target customers, potentially reachable via a certain digital ad platform or across a variety of digital advertising mediums, including social media, CTV, DOOH, and more. 

What is Audience Addressability?

In plain words, the term addressability in online advertising refers to a brand’s ability to reach their target customers, who represent a certain range of common characteristics (e.g. geo, demographics, income) and behavioral patterns, instead of a generic audience cohort. In this respect, in contrast to non-addressable advertising, the key distinction of addressability, when it comes to online media and audiences, is their measurability.

The Past & Present of Audience Addressability

Similar to marketing attribution, the concept of addressable audiences isn’t new. In fact, it came into limelight decades ago, fueled by the wide use of cookies, beacons and other similar technologies, which allowed tracking end users across the Web and creating large audience cohorts, featuring a set of selected criteria, for targeted advertising purposes.

Contrarily to 2010s, the forthcoming deprecation of third-party cookies, in tandem with the growing consumers’ data privacy concerns, reflected in the stricken laws and regulations, creating addressable audiences has become a much more complex, and often challenging task for all players across the digital ad ecosystem.

In this respect, one of the major marketers’ issues implies the current absence of one unified ad technology, which would enable to harvest as much audience data elements as in case with cookies, as well as a visible lack of scalability and/or interoperability between the existing solutions, like Unified ID 2.0 and Google’s Topics API, for instance.

Online Publishers’ Outlook

From a publisher’s perspective, an ability to create addressable audience cohorts remains a cornerstone of an effective monetization strategy, hence a crucial staple of the continuous online advertising revenue stream. 

In particular, in the new digital realities, where the permissible audience tracking solutions grow more limited over time, their success primarily depends on how well they develop and execute zero-party and first-party data strategies across their digital properties.

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