Resonate Networks CEO Gernert On Attitudinal Targeting

Resonate NetworksResonate Networks announced that it has launched attitudinal targeting in a release on Wednesday. discussed the new targeting capabilities with Resonate Networks’ CEO Bryan Gernert. Given the rich sources of social data available today, how important is social media to creating Resonate’s dataset? Or, is it important?

BG: While social data is important for advertisers in terms of ensuring your brand, service or product is involved in the real-time conversations within social media channels, attitudes, values and beliefs are at the core of consumers’ actions, brand affinities, purchase behavior and media consumption. That said, data on audiences’ attitudes is invaluable to marketers and outweighs social information. Advertisers who leverage attitudinal data are able to connect with audiences on a deeper, more enduring level.

Considering your familiarity with your attitudinal targeting product, it might make sense for Resonate to develop its own media business, where it buys on behalf of clients? Any plans in this area?

Resonate’s Attitudinal Targeting does include placing the media buys. Here’s how it works, clients come to us with their campaign goals and target audience, we work with them to identify additional audiences that deliver on their strategy based on our research and data. We then use our proprietary Quality Visitation Indices(tm) to identify the best online properties to deliver the highest concentration of the desired target audience. Once the media plan is in place we work directly with these sites to deliver our clients advertising to highly targeted audiences through the most precise online media. Essentially we connect advertisers to consumers with a precision not otherwise possible.

What about the shelf life of attitudinal data? How long does it work? And how “real-time” is your attitudinal targeting?

Actually attitudinal data doesn’t have a short shelf life because consumers’ values remain relatively consistent. Traditional targeting and data don’t allow for advertisers to understand audiences in the same profound manner that attitudinal targeting and data allow. People’s attitudes do change over time but at a much slower pace than their purchase & search behavior. With each wave or our continual research we add new, valuable data so we not only know why consumers make decisions but our data and methodology enable us to identify trends and shifts in audience attitudes over time. Think about it this way, Contextual targeting is based mostly on intuition (i.e. people who frequently visit are environmentalists), while Behavioral Targeting is based upon assumptions (if Joe Smith searches for a camera and/or is on an electronics site he is interested in buying a camera). These types of targeting have their place and value, however knowing why people make decisions and tapping into audiences that identify with brands based on attitudes, orientations and beliefs – key elements that shape purchase behavior and brand relationship – position advertisers to develop long-term, successful connections with desired audiences. Research is at the heart of what we do but we’re not a research company, we connect advertisers with highly targeted audiences to deliver the most effective campaigns.

By John Ebbert

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  1. Nice to see another company in the space that offers targeting that is not specific to web behavior or the demographic profiling of websites. I am indeed a fan 🙂

    Bryan I am not sure why you consider social data unimportant to your attitudinal approach to targeting. Your website talks about beliefs/values/interests and frankly the social web is flush with that data. Companies like Lotame and other graphing companies, and the social networks themselves Facebook, Myspace etc. allow people to target on this info. Some target inside social sites and others target outside. Peerset (my gig) uses this data to predict more complete user profiles to build audience segments.


  2. You’re right, there is a lot that can be learned about audiences by looking at social data and I believe there’s a lot of promise in that area. Our focus, though, is on identifying audiences based on their enduring attitudes and values — attributes that we believe are better identified through in-depth survey research and a combination of several of the best targeting methods. We understand why consumers make decisions and how their values impact their behavior – purchase, engagement, etc which is more accurate for our targeting methodology. Social media and other approaches, while extremely powerful, profile and segment based on past behavior which can be limiting for what we offer.

    For example, if a brand needs to target people who are concerned about the environment and make purchase decisions based on a brands social responsibility efforts and also based on what makes them feel good about themselves we can help reach this audience. The same audience would be hard to identify based on other targeting & segmenting methods.

    What Peerset and some of the other social graphing companies are doing is very interesting. We’re a fan of yours as well!