Marketers have always known the value of delivering the right message to the right person, at the right time.

But the touch points along the path-to-purchase have grown into a web of influences and interactions, which marketers must interpret and analyse in order to properly optimise their programmes.

Linking online and offline channels and multiple devices is now an intricate process, but one that ultimately promises big rewards.

Bridging the gap, particularly between digital channels such as search and social, promises to benefit both marketers and consumers, delivering targeted ads and messages that are highly relevant to what people are looking for, and driving engagement and sales.

How can marketers integrate and link different channels and manage audiences? Here are four examples where this is working well:

1. Facebook Exchange and web site data

Reaching audiences that have responded to paid search advertising or visited a brand website via Facebook is a powerful reminder to encourage consumers along the road to purchase.

For example, a consumer might visit a specific product page on a retailer’s site, put the product in his basket but then not reach the checkout. 

Integrating Facebook Exchange (FBX) with website data enables advertisers to display a product specific message in real-time, on Facebook, to encourage the consumer to come back and complete the purchase.

2. Data Management Platforms 

Multiple channels impact the purchasing journey, meaning that brands need to integrate signals from display and email with search and social to provide a wider view.

Linking paid search campaign structures and keyword performance to your Data Management Platform (DMP), allows for extended targeting across other marketing channels, such as display and email.

For example, if an advertiser integrates paid search with a DMP, he or she could target specific audiences on display.

Consumers that have searched for the keyword “home insurance” or have searched for any keyword within a ‘home insurance’ campaign may be valuable audiences for the advertiser to target using display ads.

It could also tag high performing keywords and only target consumers that have searched on those terms. This helps the advertiser refine audiences by consumer intent – increasing the ROI of display campaigns.

3. Google Remarketing Lists for Search Ads (RLSA)

Remarketing Lists for Search Ads (RLSA) provides another opportunity to optimise search campaigns by allowing brands to tailor keyword bids and ad text for the highest value audiences – those who have visited your website in the past.

Brands simply add a remarketing tag to their sites and then segment visitors into remarketing lists for paid search and display campaigns.

You can deliver personalised adverts, dependent on which pages of the site they have visited, or target broader keywords specifically at people that have bought from you in the past.

Audience location in AdWords

4. Intent-Driven Audiences

This allows advertisers to target users who clicked their ads on search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing when they browse Facebook.

A further development of Facebook Custom Audiences (which allow brands to import first-party data such as email addresses or use a tracking pixel on their own sites to retarget their site visitors on Facebook) it brings search-intent into the mix for the first time.

Advertisers are able to segment and target users on Facebook based on the search ads that brought them to their sites.

This approach delivers other benefits as well. For example, marketers can easily create Facebook Custom Audiences of consumers who click on their paid search campaigns, automatically aggregating the users into Custom Audiences based on the campaign structure and the keywords of the ads that were clicked on.

These audiences can be expanded with Lookalikes to achieve even more reach, scale, and customers.

Reaching and engaging with consumers will always be complex in a multichannel world, with decisions influenced by a combination of interactions.

However, brands now have the tools and ability to use audience management technology to bridge the gaps between channels, such as search and social, and use the intent shown on one to enable targeting on others.

This drives higher impact campaigns, increases conversions and delivers a higher ROI for brands, whatever sector they are operating in.