Perfect Audience has opened up a shrewd new advertising capability to UK marketers.

If you can wrap you head around it – it’s genius. A way to potentially reach your audiences at a fraction of the cost of route-one content promotion channels such as LinkedIn and PPC.

But first… a bit of context

For the last twenty-odd years there have only ever been three categories of digital traffic:

  1. Traffic you can control

– PPC, digital advertising etc.

 

  1. Traffic you can’t control

– SEO, organic posts on social media etc.

 

  1. Traffic you own

– opt-in email lists etc.

 

Affectionately known as paid, earned and owned.

But now there is a fourth category:

  1. Traffic you can trade

 

Welcome to the cookie trade

Perfect Audience Connect allows you to team up with a partner to retarget each other’s visitors. In essence, you share your ‘cookied traffic’ with a nominated partner – and vice versa.

If your website or content hubs are both reaching out to the same audiences, your website visitor profiles are likely to be useful to both parties.

The result? Accurate audience profiling – all managed through a third party platform, and all within privacy laws.

Until now, joint ventures for content distribution have always been hard work. A highly profitable traffic source – but difficult to get up and running properly.

A typical JV approach goes along the lines of:

“We talk to the same audiences so why don’t we come to a reciprocal arrangement? Let’s cut out the media middle man – you promote our content to your audiences and we’ll do the same. We’ve got a great new whitepaper for your next customer newsletter. Can you get a speaker for our next webinar?”.

 

Cue lots of running around which often results in being let down at the final moment. The harsh reality is that people like to commit to JVs in principal but it’s never their number one priority to help promote your content.

Now with partner retargeting, you simply install a single line of code on both websites and your very low touch JV is up and running.

You still pay for the media on Facebook, GDN network, Twitter etc. but the costs are negligible compared to the current alternatives (ask anyone forking out £5 a click to reach audiences on LinkedIn Sponsored Updates at the moment.)

Making it happen

1. Rethink the ecosystem

To get this operational you should really start with the basics. Revisit persona profiles to think through the answer to the question:

Who else is talking to them?

Think laterally about the whole ecosystem of partners you could potentially approach: could a HR software company partner with a specialist HR recruiter? Why not? Chances are they are talking to exactly the same prospects.

2. Position the win-win while acknowledging inequality

In reaching out to potential partners, it’s important to balance the opportunity with the reality – you’ll rarely see an equal return for both parties. But as long as both parties are winning does it really matter?

3. Be patient

Like any activity that falls under ‘channel’ or ‘partnership’ you could find yourself kissing a lot of frogs to find the prince charming who delivers you a highly responsive audience on a regular and sustained basis.

 

It could of course be a hiding to nothing – another approach that ends up shelved under the category of ‘cool things that never really took off.’

But if you do get in early on partner retargeting, just think about the potential prize for very little effort.