Commentary

Even Coupons Have Gone Programmatic

News America Marketing’s announcement that it has partnered with OwnerIQ to develop a way to target shoppers online with coupon offers brings programmatic ad tech use cases full circle. We’ve gone from from digital display to video, mobile, social, radio, television, print and now coupons -- delivered via digital display.

News America, a division of News Corp., is one of the biggest distributors of FSIs -- Free Standing Inserts, i.e. coupons distributed via newspaper supplements. News America says it partners with over 1,700 newspaper, including the Tribune Group, Gannett, and McClatchy.

Its partnership with OwnerIQ will “change the way coupons reach us online,” a company representative asserts.

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The offering -- called News America Programmatic Advertising -- ties OwnerIQ’s real-time data on over 200 million shoppers with News America’s existing database. “The data is used to create audiences that can then be programmatically targeted via digital display,” Real-Time Daily notes.

The programmatic platform is expected to be announced on Tuesday and will be made available immediately.

The cornerstone of the partnership is location-based data. News America has its own “geo-scoring” technology, and says the targeting process on its new programmatic platform begins by identifying the “optimal geography” to send certain coupons to.

It’s more than just lat-long coordinates, however. It’s vague, and perhaps intentionally so, but News America says it identifies the “optimal geography” by using store location information, demographic data, point of sale data, third-party research and “many other sources.”

That “optimal geography” is linked with OwnerIQ’s data on 200 million shoppers to find shopping behaviors, which helps marketers decide which coupons to offer to which audiences.

“Our clients are looking to capitalize on the opportunities available in digital channels,” stated Marty Garofalo, CEO, News America Marketing. “Our partnership with OwnerIQ will allow us to offer News America clients a new tool to accurately reach the online audience that they are seeking.”

The partnership is further proof that bridging the offline and online worlds is a reality, even if it’s a small (yet growing) reality. 

Oracle’s recent acquisition of Datalogix was the biggest indicator that marketers are eager to measure the offline impact of online ads. At the time, Yory Wurmser, analyst at eMarketer, called the ability to link online ads to offline sales is “very important” to the future of the market.

Last month, Collective received a patent “as the rightful owner of a process enabling it to connect TV audience behavior to Internet … audiences.” 

News America’s announcement is yet another example of using programmatic audience targeting technology to retarget analogue media users online.

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