Editor’s note: Mario X. Carrasco is co-founder and principal of ThinkNow, a market research agency based in Burbank, Calif.   

Programmatic advertising is a bridge between publishers and prospective advertisers. Unlike other forms of digital media buying, programmatic harnesses the power of AI and algorithms to accelerate the media buying process, eliminating manual tasks like bid management and rate negotiation in favor of automated placements that precisely match a set of criteria with the most suitable advertising vehicles. For marketers, this method proves useful for effectively and efficiently reaching online target audiences. But that process can be even more valuable by employing audience segmentation and utilizing relevant data. 

In this article, I will delve into the significance of audience segmentation in programmatic advertising and provide valuable tips to enhance its overall effectiveness. 

Audience segmentation dates back several decades. Early segmentation models like the PRIZM system, which groups households into neighborhood segments with perceived similar characteristics, and the VALS framework, where consumers are grouped based on their values, attitudes and lifestyles, were the precursors to the robust segmentation models we deploy today. 

With the advent of the internet and advancements in technology, audience segmentation has evolved. E-commerce and social media have given marketers unprecedented visibility into consumer behaviors, preferences and needs. As users navigate the internet, they leave behind a trail of digital breadcrumbs through their interactions, searches, purchases and social media activities. This vast amount of data presents a wealth of information for marketers to analyze and leverage for segmentation purposes. 

When applied to programmatic advertising, audience segmentation offers several key benefits, such as:

Segmenting your audie...