How to win with category acquisition

In a world of entrenched incumbents and startups focusing on winning a certain category, marketers are looking for any advantage to grow share of category.

Oftentimes, communications (targeted ads, emails, etc.) are sent from brands about a variety of different clothing items, electronics, banking options or trending travel destinations. But are these communications tailored to the unique individual interests of the customer?

For the clients we work with, these individual interests equate to categories and the goal is to drive sales in a particular category, or what we refer to as category acquisition.

Incorporating a category acquisition strategy into your marketing program has many benefits, including detecting signs of purchase behavior, understanding campaign ROI and reducing media spend waste. Read on for more about each.

Detecting signs of early purchase behavior

Several marketers are on stand-by, waiting for Facebook posts or search terms to appear to help guide their advertising decisions. The challenge here is that at this point in time, the majority of consumers have already made their purchases.

Leveraging over 200 billion daily observations including contextual data, we observe early signs of entering a category. The result is you can reach and influence these customers weeks before your competition.

From having insights into early behavior, we’re able to see what consumers are browsing and can identify their potential category purchases.

Further, from offline data sets, we perform data appends to understand unique behaviors of target audiences for a specific brand category and then compare it to the overall brand. These insights are gleaned through our audience visualization; here's an example of a women's retailer looking at the unique behavior of those most likely to purchase in their dresses category

Audience Visualization example

Understanding your campaign ROI

With these deep, real-time insights of your consumers, you can leverage strong identification and optimization strategies to drive category acquisition (by understanding early signs of someone entering a category).

And you also have the ability to understand your campaign ROI with specific metrics around intent (category web page visits) and category sales.

Reduces wasted media spend

Let’s face it, advertising is an expensive marketing strategy. When marketers rely on cookie-based targeting or large broad-based demographics and site buys of consumers that are not ready to buy or have already bought in the intended category, they generate so much ad waste.

As my colleague shared in his blog, ad waste continues to be prevalent in the system largely due to a lack of integration across channels and is missing the full picture of the individual.

Incorporating a category acquisition strategy allows you to reduce your spend waste, better reach individuals with an intent to buy and ultimately increase your ROI.

Case in point: How one of the largest pharmacy retailers achieved success with category acquisition

We recently worked with a large pharmacy retailer who was looking to drive sales in their category of cough and cold medicine.

When they partnered with us, they were only measuring on impressions.

From leveraging predictive behavior of individuals most likely to get sick, including past purchase behavior, contextual cues (e.g. articles they read, video they watch), location data and more, our team was able to determine the early signs of intent to enter the cough and cold category and deliver category sales.

As a result, the retailer achieved an increase of $2.7M in sales vs. only $800K of all its other partners combined.

So as you’re evaluating your category acquisition strategy, think about how you can drive sales to your most important categories whether they’re associated with life events, a large purchase decision, are specific to your business or based on evolving preferences.

To learn more about how category acquisition works, watch the video below or visit the webpage.