The Real Business Results You Need Are Driven by the Real-World Behaviors You’re Ignoring

As digital audience targeting gets more difficult, real-world behavior becomes critical to all media plans.

I knew 2024 would bring unique challenges for all of us. Too many factors are changing, both globally and within the advertising industry, for the year to maintain the status quo. When faced with this many unknowns, my first step is always the same: talk to the customers. 

I’ve built my career on strong customer relationships. Part of this is because I love people. I want to know about our customers’ successes, their strategies, and the personal milestones they accomplish along the way. But, more importantly, keeping an open line of communication means our team can focus on the insights and product features that matter most to our customers. 

While having those conversations, one truth became clear to me: real world behavior is the foundation for the real business results advertisers need, like in-store visits and increased ROAS. While the tools and channels continue to evolve in the digital landscape, real world behavior still remains the most important driver for success. 

Let’s talk about why. 

Demands on Marketers Continue to Increase while Precision Decreases for Digital Audience Segments

The appeal of digital advertising was in how easy it is to reach the right audiences at scale, and the ease with which performance can be measured. Up until now, it’s been faster to report how many people visited your website from a mobile ad than those who visited after seeing a billboard on their way to work, a television ad, or any other traditional advertising. 

And because clear attribution matters to everyone from CFOs to board members to marketers themselves, focus has been on digital metrics—especially when advertising is more expensive than ever. But in that time, audience segmentation based on digital behavior is getting less and less precise. As a result, it costs advertisers more to get the same results they used to get. Not ideal. 

I can hear the stress in conversations I have with colleagues and customers old and new. Marketers want to know where to invest their budget to reach their goals. They don’t have time to waste guessing on audience segments or mediums without measurement. They need proven targeting and real, verifiable business results. 

And my answer is always the same: don’t focus on what’s easiest to measure. Follow where the biggest return is: inside your locations, where the majority of transactions still happen.

Real World Behavior Proves Instrumental for Long Term Success

Digital behavior may be easier to measure, but it is not the most valuable behavior to understand. In-store visits are still the most important in terms of purchases and lifetime customer value. And still, companies largely leave it out of the media plans. 

At GroundTruth, we make it impossible to overlook. Our only goal is to make our customers successful in tangible, meaningful ways—in other words, success reflected in your bottom line. Our platform builds audiences based on their habits and real world behaviors, and reaches them at the exact moment they are ready to make a decision. We don’t rely solely on predictions and estimated digital browsing history. We focus on what’s real. Because that’s what our customers are measured on. 

So far, focusing on real world behavior is the only way we know to not only withstand the changes in our industry, but grow through them. It’s why I’m such a big advocate for connected TV, and why we continue to evolve our platform to fit the new ways people live and shop. Because trends and predictions are valuable. But nothing matters more than what people do out in the real world.