God help brand marketers who believe lone searches on engines at the bottom of the funnel will produce the awareness needed for consumers to find and purchase products. On Wednesday, eXelate will introduce maX Brand, a service that taps billions of consumer lifestyle, brand affinity, social and shopping behavior data points to help companies find potential customers who don't know about the brand.
It's difficult to see how one form of media can accomplish the task these days. EXelate's platform targets potential customers at the top of the marketing funnel to create awareness of products and services. It reaches for potential customers to create interest. Most audience targeting relies on reminding consumers of something they already know.
Rigid marketers not willing to explore other targeting options will have the most challenge with this model, "those who think they know their audience and are not willing to explore others," said Mark Zagorski, eXelate CEO.
These marketers are comfortable using demographics to target consumers, but building audience segments through maX gives them a new way to discover markets. "It's our crack at moving more branding dollars online and toward audience targeting," Zagorski said.
The platform pulls data to identify competitors' products and find common traits among consumers. It lets the brand identify potential customers and build audience segments based on the information. Even after hundreds of thousands of dollars spent on research, many marketers don't realize the opportunities with diverse markets.
Zagorski suggests taking a longer-term approach. That means concentrating more on building awareness for the brand, and less about the type of consumers "in-market" to purchase specific products. The tools need to look beyond the short-term success to promote long-term growth. It's about building connections and relationships.
EXelate is testing the platform with an unnamed automotive brand launching a car model in the United States who wanted to look at other models and competitive brands.