Reach Thousands More People without Spending Thousands More Dollars

How We Told People We Were Closing a Bridge Using Programmatic/RTB

Recently, Seventh Point helped develop a public awareness campaign for a year-long bridge closure. Community outreach was done, including community engagement, press releases, and digital and print ads in the newspaper. But media is changing. We needed to make sure we reached the people who used the bridge often or drove through the area, even if they didn’t read the paper or attend public hearings.

Mobile Message: Phones, Tablets, and Computers

Maximizing the budget was a priority. Print ads and TV spots are effective, but expensive, with a lot of wasted impressions.  Anyone not watching that channel or reading that publication misses the announcement. We needed to spend less and get more. Where do people get their news now? On their phone, tablets, or computers. Checking social media, shopping, searching. Our full-service agency is the first in Virginia to operate an in-house agency trade desk using programmatic buying/real-time bidding (RTB), targeting the exact person we want to reach, almost anywhere they go online. We decided to use a digital RTB campaign – we would geo-target people and push the message out to only those people who lived close to the bridge or drove through the area.

Reach People Who Care About Your Message

Ever been served an ad that seemed strangely customized to you? For example, those red sneakers you were looking for pop up again when you’re researching recipes a day later. That type of re-targeting is part of Programmatic buying and RTB. If each person is “driving” through different sites online, we can follow the data “exhaust” of that driver, the story of each person online, and we can track the right person. To reach relevant people who lived close to the bridge, we geo-targeted a radius of the population of the affected town within 30 miles of the bridge closure. Specific audience targeting meant people in the town received ads for the closure, on 98% of the Internet. From social media to news sites, gaming, shopping, even cat videos, we make sure the right people see our client’s message. Once a person left our radius bubble, they stopped getting ads.

Measure How and Where You Reach People

In real time, our data platform shows us how many people see and click on the bridge closing ad. At the end of the day, we knew exactly how much it cost to tell someone we were closing a bridge. During the first week of the public outreach, for $0.97 per ad click, we reached over 645,000 people – for a price that made our client happy. Not only was that better than expected, it beat the pants off the average $5 – $8 typical cost per click (CPC). Real reporting on impressions made a big impression on the client. After the project, they started requiring programmatic ad spends in other public outreach efforts. We reached the right group of people with a message that hit home.