How IAMS Developed Programmatic Strategy To Market Pet Products

So many dog breeds, so little information on targeting their owners! That was an issue the IAMS marketing team -- and  Starcom -- faced when developing the company's programmatic strategy, according to Elle Cordes, director at Starcom, speaking at the MediaPost Data & Programmatic Insider Summit on Captiva Island, Fla.

The first step was to begin gathering first-party data, which was done with a digital questionnaire sent to dog owners. Second, the team began to overlay third-party data on the first-party sets.

Once the data sets were combined, audience segments were created to inform ad targeting tactics. Creative was developed by Tribal DDB Worldwide, represented by Kinney Edwards on the panel.

With 25 newly created custom audience segments targeting dog owners with pets of all ages and sizes, IAMS developed a cross-channel programmatic strategy from scratch.

Brian Nugent, director of marketing at Mars Petcare, which now owns IAMS, explained the company's decision to go programmatic. As a legacy organization, supplying the pet market since the early 1990s, IAMS was facing the seismic shifts in the advertising and marketing space.

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With various products for dogs of various ages and sizes, his team saw "low efficiency” caused by the difficulty of “niche communications at scale.”  IAMS wanted to create a model that was both efficient and scalable, while also providing targeted messages. Voila: programmatic.

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