IAB defines “Liquid Audience” in new whitepaper, calls for nuanced measurement

iab logo big canvasThe Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) is previewing a presentation scheduled for Wednesday at the Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity, with a whitepaper called Digital Advertising Audiences: The New “Liquid Consumer” Paradigm. The whitepaper is a production of the IAB and digital advertising company YuMe, in collaboration with the IAB Agency Advisory Board.

Though not directed to the audio industries particularly, the audience understanding paradigm sketched out in the paper is thought-provoking for any company or industry involved in streaming media advertising. (View the free nine-page whitepaper here.)

The main thrust of the paper is that digital media audiences are increasingly transient, moving among brands, platforms, devices, and categories with so little friction that their behavior resembles water. As such, measuring and targeting audiences requires new standards, methods, and baseline understandings.

Not shy about phrasie coinage, the paper offers and explains concepts like “phases of reverberation” and “generational ping.” (“Consumer behavior is like an active sonar ping.”)

In the context of advanced data, the paper’s authors put standard age/gender/location registration at the bottom of the food chain. New Key Performance indicators are required: “It’s not about static KPIs, it’s about a measurement and optimization system that helps adjust messaging and experience by device in real time.”

One example is understanding why and how the “path to platform” is important. A visit is not just a visit, it is nuanced by where the visit came from, and as a consequence the mindset of the visitor when arriving. “As audiences have become less about basic demographics, and more about the context and behaviors around the consumption of media, consumers act more like member of tribes.”

A key takeaway: “A broader definition of audience that incorporates intent, habits and psychographics will be more robust and directional than gender/age definitions.”


Brad Hill