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How advertisers optimize their campaigns to achieve specific outcomes

With all of the seemingly endless ways to reach consumers, deliberate goal-setting is key to an effective advertising campaign.

Advertisers, for instance, can optimize for reach and try to contact as many people as possible with their message. They can optimize for website visits, an attempt to get consumers to visit their corporate domain. Further down the funnel, they can optimize for purchases, targeting consumers in the consideration phase and urging them to finally buy that zip-up hoodie they’ve been considering for the past week.

With all these options, goal-based buying makes the targeting and optimization process easier.

What is goal-based buying?

Goal-based buying is when an advertiser optimizes an ad campaign to achieve a certain outcome. It’s a fully integrated approach to planning and buying media.

With goal-based buying, the advertiser starts with their ultimate goal — such as attracting subscribers to its weekly email newsletter, convincing consumers to download its new ebook or driving in-store sales for a particular product — and then works backward, devising a strategy and key performance indicators (KPIs) to achieve and measure that intended effect. Starting with goals and KPIs means advertisers can point their plan in the right direction from the beginning, all while encouraging data-driven decisions along the way.

In recent years, advances in technology have enabled marketers to focus on business outcome goals in addition to traditional marketing goals. So today, for example, a sports venue can focus directly on increasing ticket sales via marketing, versus simply measuring marketing engagement.

Is there any way to execute a goal-based campaign across several sites?

This is why ad tech tools such as demand-side platforms (DSPs), supply-side platforms (SSPs) and data management platforms (DMPs) are so valuable.

These platforms allow advertisers to create specific goal parameters for a campaign, and then conduct that campaign across all digital marketing channels, not just one. This enables marketers to manage reach and frequency across web and CTV, for example, so the consumer ad experience is optimized in service of the marketer’s goals.

How can advertisers measure the results?

With independent DSPs, advertisers can use leading measurement providers to track progress against their goals in real-time, while focusing on broader business outcomes like brand lift and offline sales to help drive performance. This means an advertiser can connect ad exposure to specific actions like in-store visits and purchases.

Data-driven 101