Whenever we launch a new product, we seek to pinpoint the essence of it and underline what’s so special about it. Always with honesty, because our goal is to help our clients make the most of the available solutions and establish long-term relationships with them nurtured in trust and mutual respect.

By Dannos Tsakalos, Marketing Manager, TDG

Therefore, when it was time to communicate the fact that "Audience Targeting" is now available on Skype, we decided to try something different. What if I posted, in the form of an interview, the discussion I was going to have anyhow about the new offering with my colleague Panagiotis Giannakouras, International Business Development Manager? Wouldn’t it be more interesting this way, instead of the same old product description? I certainly thought so…

Have a look at what Panagiotis says and feel free to ask any questions you may have about Skype Advertising, ok?

Q: A few weeks ago, "Audience Targeting" became available on Skype. What's so special about it? As most advertisers would ask, "What's in it for me?

Panagiotis Giannakouras: I would emphasize to them that Skype allows advertisers to reach consumers while they are discussing with their friends and family and are on the move or about to make a purchase decision. Also, this uncluttered environment connects users in their everyday professional life, engaging with colleagues and partners to effectively drive communications and business forward. Therefore, to answer your question, I would say that thanks to Skype "advertisers can now talk with the people that matter to their brand", thus increasing the effectiveness and impact of their campaign, while displaying their ads in this loved communication environment.

Q:Tell me something else: How specific can the targeting of audience be?

Panagiotis Giannakouras: By "Audience Targeting", we mean that one can segment users based on their age (18+ or all) and sex (male or female)...

... which will, for sure, open the door to more brands. That said, based on the research you've done, which verticals might benefit the most from this?

Panagiotis Giannakouras: Well, the availability of "Audience Targeting" will benefit mostly those brands which have a very specific target group, such as brands from the FMCG vertical targeting solely women (e.g. cosmetics) or men (e.g. shaving foam).

Another reason why this is good news for brands has to do with the fact that it will allow various brands (e.g. beer companies), which up to now could not advertise on Skype due to minimum age restrictions, to take advantage of the impact and reach of Skype. The powerful combination along with the availability of numerous rich media, can offer an extra boost to advertisers’ goals and KPI metrics regarding the engagement of users.

Q: That's good news indeed. But how about Skype Advertising in general? How useful an "ingredient" can this be for a brand's marketing mix?

Panagiotis Giannakouras: I would definitely consider it a useful addition. Why? Let me share some interesting facts: I am sure everyone has heard about the 300+ million users. What is more impressive though is the stat that half of Skype sessions last over 30 min and that Skype users spend 2 billion minutes per day talking to their family and friends. As far as advertising is concerned, recent research has clearly shown that Skype users are interested in connecting with brands over Skype and they are likely to share brand messages with their peers or provide positive word-of-mouth. All in all, we have found that Ad exposure on Skype drives considerable lifts in both attitudinal and behavioral change amongst users, e.g. 15% in brand favorability and 26% in intent to purchase.

Q:  In your opinion, if I wanted to promote a brand, the primary reason to invest on Skype would be to help me create awareness, boost engagement or -even better- impact purchase intent?

Panagiotis Giannakouras: Based strictly on data, I would have to go with awareness. However, again from various studies on the impact of advertising on Skype, we have seen that it performs well on all brand metrics. From brand favorability and ad message recall, to recommendation and purchase, Skype delivers solid results.

Q: Let's focus back a bit more on "Audience Targeting". What are the formats in which it is available? Panagiotis Giannakouras: "Audience Targeting" can be implemented on all available formats. e.g. the Skype Home Masthead Banner, which expands from 650x170 to 650x340, the Skype Home 300x250 Display, & the 300x250 Conversation Ad.

Q: One last thing. Advertising legend Maurice Saatchi once talked about one-word equity. What’s the word you would choose in order to describe Skype as a brand? 

Panagiotis Giannakouras: “Connections”. Between all kinds of audiences: friends, colleagues, partners, family members… And, of course, connections between people and brands. That’s the essence of Skype and I am really happy that it is part of our roster at ThinkDigital.

"Audience Targeting" on Skype is available in Greece & Romania exclusively through ThinkDigital. For further info & insights on how to get into the conversation & take advantage of Skype Advertising, don't hesitate to contact us at sales-net@thinkdigital.net.