What are tracking pixel services?
Chances are if you’re reading this you are between the ages of 18 and 44, live in Orlando, have earned a college degree and work in business leadership or marketing, are a frequent traveler despite a household income lower than $100K per year (maybe because you likely don’t have children), and watch 60 Minutes, NFL football, and Nashville. You might not realize it yet but you’re also 13 times more likely than the national average to own a car bought in 2014, 6 times as likely to have moved recently, 5 times as likely to use Yelp, 4 times as likely to own Vans and watch Bob’s Burgers, 3 times as likely to be vegetarian, and 2 times as likely to be an NHL hockey fan.
If any of these apply to you, you may be wondering how it’s possible that we know this. Some may seem obvious – it certainly makes sense to guess that the majority of people reading a blog article from an Orlando advertising agency would be college grads living in Orlando and working in business and marketing – but clearly we have more data on you than just what educated guesses are likely to provide. After all, although we would love to hear your recommendations in the comments, we haven’t asked you to give us any information about your favorite TV shows or sports, what clothing brands you wear, when you bought your car, or whether you like Yelp. So how did we know?
We know, because at BIGEYE we utilize tracking pixel services both for ourselves and for our clients to get better understanding of our audience. Tracking pixel services utilize a small, transparent 1 x 1 transparent pixel image or GIF that is downloaded by each unique IP address that views a piece of online content that is affixed with the tracking pixel code. In order to load the content, a user’s browser has to reach out to an advertiser’s server with a unique request including the IP address. This offers advertisers the ability to track the number of pixels that have been shown in the server logs.
How do tracking pixel services work?
While tracking pixels have been utilized for counting impressions and pageviews for over a decade, it’s only in the last year that pixel tracking services have transformed into an integral part of persona marketing and understanding your audience. By utilizing IP addresses as unique identifiers, advertising networks have been able to create an audience grid identifying what consumers are viewing what content online by analyzing the unique tracking pixels that they are carrying. Furthermore by entering into agreements with credit companies like Experian, TV providers such as TiVo, and research companies such as DLX advertisers are able to integrate offline and demographic information through IP matching.
However, once the data has been run through an audience grid, the IP addresses are scrubbed from the data and it is fully anonymized with no personal identification information (PII) provided to the advertisers who are utilizing pixel tracking services. So while we are able to identify what segments of our audience are interested in, we are able to identify what any characteristics of any unique users to our site. So yes, Carl, you’re in luck – we can’t tell your boss that you’ve spent the past three hours on Facebook or about your abiding love for telenovas.
What are the benefits of tracking pixel services?
While it’s certainly interesting just to take a look and see what your website visitors are interested in when they’re perusing your blog, tracking pixel services are also an extremely powerful tool for media planning and persona marketing.
If you are currently running broadcast or cable television buys, how certain are you that the programs your ads are appearing in are the programs that your audience is watching? With tracking pixel services you can be guaranteed to purchase only televisions shows that a majority or a plurality of our audience watches. Or if you’re looking for a way to reach your audience at a lower cost utilize the affinity information to identify what lower-cost and GRP programs your audience is significantly more likely than the average to view.
And the benefits to persona marketing are clear. Having a greater understanding of different segments of your target audience and what their demographic and affinity interests are gives you a more built-out and developed persona.
Let us know how we can help you utilize tracking pixel services to your company’s advantage.