Back in February, we boldly predicted that 2013 would be “the year that ad targeting would shift gears.”

Let’s play Monday morning QB and see how we faired in those predictions:

#1: Social media will reveal not only what consumers like, but what they value most in their lives.


As social media usage explodes, Facebook and Twitter are increasingly finding their way into media plans.  Understanding the underlying social motivations is important as you build your social media campaign.

People who “like” or “follow” a product or company on social media are 19% more likely to value self-esteem.*  So … are these people socially engaged because they want to know more, or because they want others to see that they like it?

Social ad revenue is front and center now that Twitter and Facebook are publicly traded and Pinterest and Foursquare are flirting with their own IPOs.

#2: Mobile data will catch up to data from PC browsing for ad targeting purposes.


This year saw a whirlwind of activity as advertisers seized the opportunity presented by this increasingly popular channel.  Mobile was the fastest growing ad format in the first half of the 2013 – doubling its portion of digital ad spend. ** As we continue to learn more about the behaviors and motivations of our mobile customers, our ability to deliver meaningful messages will only improve.

#3: Marketers will increasingly embrace and benefit from big data.

Check … ish.

Every conference, every newsletter, every publication featured marketers using big data to gather insights about their customers. But the jury is still out on them “benefitting” from these big data insights.  It’s probably fair to say that most marketers still feel like it’s just more data. And that’s simply because the established silos keep marketers from distilling the learnings.  Once those walls come down, then a real marketing renaissance can begin!

As a matter of fact, Melissa Parrish and the team at Forrester are keeping an eye on the transformation of big data into smart data.

#4: Audience targeting will have to move beyond demographics and geo-location.


The adoption of agile marketing signaled that 2013 was the year that marketers embraced a holistic view of the customer.  Who they are is now a baseline.  True customer understanding incorporates why. And as these concepts were implemented, marketers looked for a better way to connect with their audiences. This year, Resonate and Tube Mogul helped brands migrate their TV ad dollars online with the first motivations-based video platform.

Overall – solid performance. As more consumer data becomes available, the challenge remains – how do you make it actionable?  And that’s the trend to watch in 2014.

*source: 2013 Resonate data/sample size of 38,812

**source: IAB Ad Revenue Report Oct 2013