eBay identifies geoTribes for online advertising

Published on Mon, 04/06/2012, 08:53:43

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By Aimee Chanthadavong

Audience segmentation has long been used as a way to deliver more targeted offline advertising, such as through catalogues, but now eBay has introduced a micro-site that can do the same but for online advertisers.

eBay’s introduction of geoTribes will be the first time Australian marketers can target advertising online based on socio-economic status, lifestyle stages and needs.

David Ogdens, eBay sales and marketing director, tells RetailBiz the platform has been a long time coming and can offer different depth of customer information based on the advertiser’s needs.

“Just as retailers are getting use to an ever changing world and increasing importance of online we’re able to transition what is available in the offline world from an advertising point of view into the online world and to do so in a retail specific environment,” he said.

“It’s taking tools that have been refining over a long period of time and bringing it into the offline world where theoretically in which the ways you can use it are more exciting and advance way than the traditional space.”

Drawing from a wealth of government data including the Australian census, the geoTribes profiles are split into 15 segments to allow advertises an easy way to understand and differentiate the different types of target audiences based on their age, address and status. For example, ‘the crusaders’ are profiled career orientated singles and couples while ‘twixters’ are mature children living at home.

According Ogdens, by having this segmentation and level of understanding, it connects advertisers to the right consumers and allows them to send them relevant messaging to maximise their performance and increase their return on investment. In effect, it allows advertisers to reach individual targets in blended households.

“It’s a test and learn environment so you can tailor your message and offer to see what people respond to in just the same way a whole market has been doing indirect marketing for years. The neat thing about this for retailers is that you’re taking the tools you already have and not starting from scratch but you’re just applying it into the online world where frankly a lot of retailers are struggling knowing how to use online,” he said.

“Advertising should be a space where it’s most easy to transition to. It’s clearly a space where customers are making purchase decisions so if you’re not present there then it’s going to be a struggle. “

During the introduction phase, results that were achieved were four-fold increases in CTR (click through rate) compared with prior performance and ROI has doubled as a result of eBay’s geoTribes geo-demographic targeting. 

The company emphasised that its commitment to customer privacy remains paramount and that it maintains a strict policy of never sharing members’ personal information with third parties. 

“In the online space what’s unusual is we’re using explicit data so we know who the user is as they have entrusted us with a certain amount of information versus other online publishers, which uses cookies that is easily able to flash or they’re making assumptions with IP address that therefore you must be female or male because you have looked at these sites, that’s how direct marketing has worked where I’m going to leave a catalogue at this house and not at that house, so it’s really taking that mentality.

“The other elements to this is retailers are struggling to understand their customers particularly as the world is changing and this is a tool that you use to learn more about who your target customer is and what they’re going to respond to. “


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