• McKenna Sweazey

Gender targeting - Better than a coin flip?

It seems like a pretty common marketing strategy to measure the success of your campaign based on reaching the right gender for many consumer goods, particularly since women control or influence 85% of consumer spending.(1) So it’s surprising, that after all these years of post-campaign measurement of gender, the targeting using 3rd party data segments isn’t as accurate as you might hope. How inaccurate?

We’ve found, looking at 70+ segments from a wide variety of providers, that the accuracy ranges from 12% to 79% for gender attributes.



And the average accuracy is 60.5%! The average incidence of male vs female in the census is 49% for males and 51% for females. With that limited increase in accuracy, you’re almost better off not spending money on audience targeting at all!



Why aren’t more people talking about this? How would an advertiser know which segment reached 79% male records and which was a waste of money, reaching only 12% male records. At Truthset, we built a sophisticated measurement tool using a panel of data providers and a Wisdom-of-the-Crowd methodology to determine a likelihood that a record of a user fits a demographic attribute (age range, gender, household income, pet ownership, etc...) A Truthscore ™ is Truthset’s proprietary measurement that quantifies this likelihood between 0.00 and 1.00, with 0.00 being not at all likely, and 1.00 being the highest. With this technology, we can score any data for demographic attributes and assess its accuracy. And sometimes what we find makes your head spin.



What can marketers do better

In general, marketers should be careful to work with reputable data providers, understanding the accuracy and the reach of the segments, and the quality of the underlying inputs. Better yet, they can use Truthset to pre-select accurate segments based on Truthscores ™, buy only the records that are what they say they are before spending, optimize during the campaign, and measure after to ensure the right audiences were reached.



Truthset is a data intelligence company focused exclusively on validating the accuracy of consumer data. Truthset can help advertisers to select and improve segments from 3rd party providers for most demographic attributes, as well as measuring campaigns after the fact, not just age and gender.


Contact us to find out how to more accurately reach the male or female consumers you’re targeting online.




1. Source, Forbes 2019

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