A Lot For CPG Brands To Like In Twitter

Last week, Twitter suffered a 25% drop in stock price upon the announcement of its first-quarter earnings. Remember, this is a high-growth tech stock, so despite delivering first quarter revenues of $436 million — up 74% YOY — the stock got crushed because analysts estimates were for $457 million.

Bummer for shareholders. And while I'm no stock picker, I'm enamored enough with Twitter's new product, Partner Audiences, to not only recommend using this tool for hyper-targeting a CPG client’s best shoppers, but to perhaps look at this as a good time to buy an overly devalued stock. Note: Twitter got "perfect-stormed" last week when financial data aggregator, Serenity, ironically tweeted Twitter's (did I just say that?) lower-than-expected earnings an hour before the planned release after the closing bell.

Twitter's new Partner Audiences product is another example of self-serve, one-to-one marketing. Residing on Twitter's site, any prospective CPG advertiser can search target behaviors such as purchasers of my brand's category and know instantly how many of those folks Twitter can deliver and at what projected cost. Facebook also has a self-serve, one-to-one marketing tool that gets your paid post in front of known buyers in your CPG category.



But Twitter has gone the next big step and enabled CPG marketers to hyper-target known purchasers of your competitors' brands. For example, imagine you're a brand manager for a natural pet food brand. Within a few clicks, Partner Audiences will show you, for any upcoming paid posts, that you could target the 3.2 million Twitter users who are known to buy pet food or the 1.91 million users who buy natural pet foods or the 1.07 million users who buy Iams branded pet foods. 

Some of the knock on Twitter as an ad platform has come from direct response advertisers who pay for a specific action taken such as installing an app or clicking through to a web site. But for a CPG advertiser, a paid post on Twitter is more like an ad in a magazine; it's all about lifting brand awareness and consideration for a later sale at a retailer.

However, what makes the paid post on Twitter much better than the ad in the magazine is not only the ability to target only those with a known real-world behavior (such as in-store purchase data), but the additional ability, through partners Acxiom and Datalogix, to determine how many of the Twitter users who were exposed to or engaged with the paid post went on to purchase the brand, providing true ROI. The hyper-targeting is factored into the bid, so there are no additional costs and there are no minimum spend commitments. However, to get visibility all the way from exposure/engagement to purchase, some spending thresholds will be required.

At 302 million active users to Facebook's 1.3 billion, Twitter lacks Facebook's scale, but Partner Audiences is an exciting glimpse at an incredibly easy way to leverage big data's targeting power, as well as the ability to connect the dots between paid posts and brand purchase behavior.

Magellan Fund's Peter Lynch long ago suggested investors "buy what you know." I'm liking what I now know about Twitter's Partner Audiences for CPG brand and business building.

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