As a part of a new quarterly blog series, we are recognizing an outstanding Quantcast customer who has expertise in the digital advertising world. This quarter, we are highlighting Chris because he consistently ensures his clients’ success with innovative digital solutions. Recently, we took some time to chat with him after learning of the insights he and his team gained from Quantcast’s Audience Insights and Split-Funnel Attribution solution.
Take a look at how Chris and his team at iProspect helped their client, Royal Caribbean, gain actionable insights on their audience and efficiently allocate media spend across several digital partners.

You recently participated in our Using Big Data for Audience Insights webinar where you shared how your team helped Royal Caribbean learn more about their audiences. Can you tell us how that came about?

At iProspect, data is very much at the heart of our approach and allows us to deliver the best performance and create the most successful executions for our clients. Royal Caribbean has been a partner for a number of years now, and over that time we’ve consistently used data to evolve our digital strategy with them. We first started working with Quantcast to understand when our customers could be most receptive to our message and reach them with targeted advertising. In a space where customers aren’t booking cruises frequently, and are often loyal to one cruise line, we knew how important it is to pique a customer’s interest at the exact moment of impact.

What were some of the insights you discovered?

Well first, Quantcast Audience Insights confirmed who our core converter is. We always knew that our core converter was a little on the older side, and more likely male and the insights confirmed this. However, interestingly we also learned about a second audience from Audience Insights, “cruise researchers” who, while in the same age range, are actually much more likely to be female.

How did you find these differences between the “converting” audience and “researching” audience?

Digging into the Audience Insights from tags placed on key researching pages like “Plan a Cruise,” “Price Check” or even “Destinations” versus converting pages like the “Order Confirmation Page,” we saw two different audiences. Order confirmation pages skewed much higher with older males, while the researching pages skewed higher with females. Comparing the two audiences—who is researching cruises versus actually purchasing the cruises—we can make a lot of hypotheses about households’ split duties when planning a vacation.

Those are definitely some interesting insights! How did you actually make these insights actionable?

Our takeaways were actually threefold. First, we split our campaigns to target each specific audience. We also investigated the same hypothesis across other paid media channels, like paid search and paid social, and found the same conclusion. This resulted in a consistent and holistic media strategy that targeted audiences wherever they connect online. Finally, moving forward, we will be tailoring messaging toward the two different audiences, depending on what they are looking for: for example, focusing research messaging toward women and more action-focused advertisements (like a discount or promotion) toward the older male audience.

I know you also used Quantcast’s Split-Funnel Attribution solution to test the value of multiple programmatic partners. In your own words, what is Split-Funnel Attribution and why did the iProspect team decide to implement this?

Historically, we’ve worked with several Prospecting partners and only one Retargeting partner. Our Prospecting partners should be bringing qualified traffic into the funnel, as our Retargeting partner serves targeted and relevant advertisements to those prospects who visited the Royal Caribbean website and seem most likely to purchase a cruise. Many agencies test partners by seeing if they hit a certain CPA goal—but at iProspect we believe CPA doesn’t really tell you the whole story, and a last touch CPA certainly can’t be used to assess Prospecting performance on a high-ticket item like a cruise. Quantcast’s Split-Funnel Attribution solution helps us measure and evaluate Prospecting and Retargeting separately by looking at touchpoints before and after the first site visit, which is the point where Prospecting ends and Retargeting starts. This methodology was really useful in helping us moderate our Prospecting partners activity and identify if any were also doing Retargeting in order to hit what was previously a tough end CPA goal – therefore limiting the effectiveness, as well as our control, of our Retargeting approach.

Did you make any changes to your campaigns after receiving the split-funnel insights?

Definitely. After implementing Split-Funnel we worked closely with all partners to explain how they would be assessed, shared results, and ultimately expecting a shift in activity to ensure they were doing the role they were supposed to be doing from a targeting perspective.

Do you have any recommendations for agencies and marketers that are struggling to see the value of each of their digital advertising partners?

Setting the right success metrics is very important. And even more important is setting the right success metrics for each stage in the funnel. In the upper-funnel, looking at what pages a prospect visits can tell you a lot about the quality of traffic and whether they’re a strong prospect. For example, we might look at what pages a visitor visits. If you’re looking at the “Plan a Cruise” page or “Pricing” page, you might be a better-qualified prospect than if you only went to the home page. Lower in the funnel, we would look at more traditional direct response metrics such as CPA or ROAS to drive more conversions.