Lookalike (LAL) data can be used in a variety of paid media, like social media and search. However, it can also be utilized in the programmatic space for advertisers to access via self-serve or managed platforms. The world of programmatic media can be an intimidating topic to tackle, but it’s also a goldmine of untapped targeting potential. The Trade Desk is just one of the many powerful demand-side platforms (DSP) with advanced AI technologies that empower display data. Like many of these DSPs, The Trade Desk offers LAL audience creation as one of the many components digital marketers can use to supercharge reach while maintaining cost efficiency. 

So, what is a lookalike?

Imagine a room full of consumers who already support your brand. Now, consider the ability to clone those customers. Based on their traits and behaviors, you’re confident that this new group of customers is ready to experience your brand for the first time and, most importantly, convert. That’s how LAL audiences work.

In short, an LAL is an audience segment created to mirror your customer lists; data-driven AI software like Trade Desk’s Audience Predictor evaluates first-party customer segments to make a completely new audience. This audience is full of new and active users whose data “looks like,” or matches, the customer segments of people who have converted or taken action. 

What data can we use to build a lookalike audience in The Trade Desk?

First-party data

First-party data is collected directly from your audience. It can include website visitors, customers, or the people who have interacted with your campaigns. Key types of first-party data include:

  • CRM lists: (customer retention lists): Create more refined, high-value customers based on your list of existing customers.
  • Creative engagement data: Create an LAL audience based on people who have interacted with your creatives in your past or existing campaign(s) (e.g., video viewers, users who have clicked on your display banners, etc.).
  • Website visitors or conversions: Build an audience based on users who have visited your website and taken action. 

Third-party data

Unlike first-party data, third-party data is collected and provided by publishers or ad networks that exchange consumer information. The Trade Desk is a platform that provides an abundance of partners who provide audience segments to help advertisers target specific behaviors, interests, ages, and more. 

  • Behavior: You can build your LAL audiences based on third-party behaviors (e.g., intent, interests, habits, etc.).
  • Demographics: Demographic audiences can include age and gender. In the Trade Desk, you can build an LAL audience from people who identify as males from ages 24–35.
  • Mixed: A blend of all of the above. Create an LAL audience based on any first- or third-party data.

Lookalikes are increasingly important in the modern marketing landscape.

Finding new ways to reach target audiences is crucial, especially with an impending future void of cookies. That’s where The Trade Desk’s integration of UID2 comes in—data is collected voluntarily without compromising privacy. This will allow advertisers to continue building high-value, LAL audiences that are ready to engage with your brand.