Not All Target Segments are Created Equal

The excitement around advanced targeting has spawned an industry of thousands of commercially-available segments sourced from scores of third-party data suppliers. These segments are based on things like credit card and loyalty card purchases, location-based mobile tracking, online search and shopping activity. The quality of these consumer segments varies dramatically. Marketers don’t always know what they’re getting and segments don’t always deliver the target. And that impacts ROI.

What portion of the consumers in these segments are in-target vs. out-of-target? And how does that ratio vary across different data supplier? Jolt! discovered a 40-point swing in the delivery of in-target audiences within segments across a number of brands and categories. Over-delivery and under-delivery of audiences are not unusual. But it impacts ROI.
What’s the answer? A lot more transparency in segment data.

Download jolt! data label disclosures

How much does this matter? Research shows that improving advertising targets and identifying the right consumer will increase ROI by five to 10 times.

Predicting Target Segment Potential Impact

Jolt! teamed up with Lucid to create a scalable way to determine the actual percent of a segment that possesses the attribute a marketer wants. Like people who intend to buy a new car, or are in-market for new appliances. In the auto intender example below, segments from 3 providers were tagged online and consumers were sent a short survey to determine whether they were in the market for an SUV. All of these providers over-delivered compared to the incidence of SUV intenders in the general population.

Target Segment Goal: New SUV Owners, Upper Income

But what happens when segment providers under-deliver the audience? In-target rates can vary wildly and advertisers miss the mark.


In-market for large or small appliance


Likely in market for new cars


Participated in yoga in the past year

Quantifying the Marketing Value of a Segment

The Jolt! Wattage ScoreTM was created to quantify the value of target segments through by combining attribute density and predictive ROI. Five factors determine drive the value of a target segment:

By identifying category segments, gaining access to segment IDs and surveying the consumers within the segments about critical questions about recent brand buying behavior and intent, Jolt! feeds a predictive ROI model and assigns each segment a Jolt! Wattage ScoreTM

Jolt! Wattage ScoreTM can predict segment ROAS. We know this for sure. We validated it on 27 case studies. And the predicted return on ad spend was very highly correlated to actual ROAS. And the Jolt! Wattage ScoreTM clearly discriminated best from worst performing target segments.

Actual Roas indices Jolt! wattage scoreTM predicted Roas indices
Top 10 Best Segment Performers (Average) 745 808
Top 10 Worst Segment Performers (Average) 17 44

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