Untapped Ad Revenue for Ecom Brands: Identify, Target & Convert Your Market's 'Movable Middle'.

As an Ecommerce brand advertising on Meta you are fighting for the same attention from consumers as your competitors in a highly competitive market.

But what if we told you that you could tap into a pool of potential customers called the Movable Middle, who might not even be on your competitor’s radar?

By tapping into this market segment you could significantly increase your sales and profitability, optimize your ad spend and expand your brand’s market share.

However, identifying this group and optimizing your marketing strategies towards them can be challenging as even Meta’s powerful ad algorithms often fail to target this segment effectively.

So in this article, we will discuss who the Movable Middle segment of potential customers is, how you can effectively target them with your marketing efforts, and win them over to your brand as loyal, long term customers.

What is the Moveable Middle?

The 'Movable Middle' segment consists of open-minded consumers who may not be actively seeking your product yet. However, they are potential customers that are likely to purchase from you if you can reach and nurture them.

This often overlooked segment tends to have a high inclination to buy and is usually very receptive to a brand's marketing initiatives. The movable middle segment varies for every brand, and the size and nature of this segment depends on factors like your total addressable market (TAM) and your market share in the category.

Considering this group is not ready to buy yet, they are unlikely to purchase from you immediately and may not even know that your brand exists.

But that is where the opportunity lies - since they are not primed to buy yet, there aren't as many advertisers in your category competing for this group.

Hence, you may be able to reach the moveable middle more cost-effectively.

Distinguishing between Movable Middle vs. Conquesting vs. Heavy Buyers.

It's important to know the difference between the "movable middle", "conquesting" (people who switch between brands), and "heavy buyers" (loyal customers of a brand).

Unlike these groups, which are characterized solely by their past purchasing behavior, the movable middle consists of individuals across all levels of prior brand engagement and not just purchase behaviour.

In essence, many members of this audience may have never purchased from your brand before. But if you can target and convert the movable middle, then you can achieve incremental performance from your marketing budget.

Are you wasting your Upper & Mid Funnel Ad Budget on the wrong market segment?

While ad platforms like Meta are great at singularly optimizing for the goal you set them to, this could also be a disadvantage when wanting to effectively target only the movable middle.

Allow us to explain…

Often, once a brand reaches a certain scale, say around $10-$15M Gross Merchandise Value (GMV), they typically start allocating a portion of their ad-budget focused towards non-purchase, upper and mid-funnel campaigns, such as - Page view and add-to-cart optimization campaigns, with the hope to attract the movable middle to increase the pool of their engaged audiences within these walled garden platforms like Meta, so they can be converted later with additional marketing touches via retargeting.

Note - a "walled garden" refers to a closed ecosystem in which all the operations are controlled by the ecosystem operator. In digital advertising, platforms like Facebook and Google are considered "walled gardens" as they restrict data and audience information from being shared outside of their platforms.

However, there is a problem!

The machine learning algorithms of platforms like Meta and other walled gardens are really good at singularly optimizing your campaigns towards the goal you ask to optimize towards.

For example, if you are an e-commerce brand and you want more purchases, Meta ad auction will optimize your campaigns towards purchases within the attribution window you selected.

Similarly if you want add to carts, they will find people who will visit your website and add items in their cart…BUT you will see many of them will end their journey there. They might add items to their cart but won’t complete their purchase, even when you retarget them. You will observe a similar behavior if you are optimizing towards product page views.

So, in essence, when you are optimizing your ad budget towards upper and mid funnel objectives, you are wasting some of your valuable marketing dollars towards ‘Never Converters’ segment. This group of people aren’t going to purchase from you, as they don’t fit your ‘tribe’. However, they will browse and “window-shop” (for example, visit your page and even add something to the cart) before realizing the product you sell isn’t a good fit for them and you won’t get return on your ad spend.

How to identify and reach ‘Moveable Middle’ effectively on Meta?

At this point, you understand that there is a significant opportunity here by targeting this group of potential customers called the 'Movable Middle.' But you might be wondering if there is a way to reliably identify them for your brand and run your top and middle funnel campaigns towards that moveable middle exclusively?

Fortunately, there is a way!

We have discovered that you can learn from the behavioral patterns of the movable middle segment who start their discovery on your platform only to make a purchase a few days later.

By learning this pattern, we at Angler AI can identify, in near real time, the value of every visitor who clicks on your product page, adds something to their cart, or starts the checkout process.

By using powerful AI models like Angler’s that can segment audience more effectively, you can ensure they're targeting the right people - those in the 'moveable middle' who could potentially become your high-value customers.

Below is an example from an apparel Ecommerce brand, where about 6% of product page visitors end up purchasing within 7 days.

However, we can identify that the bottom 70% of product page visitors have virtually very little probability of converting, and the top 3% are very likely to purchase in the same session or day. Then there is the middle 27% that represents the moveable middle for this brand.

As we mentioned before, the movable middle segment of each brand is different, and it depends on many factors, such as your vertical, competition, your market share, the length of the consideration cycle, and so on.

Below is an illustration of the add-to-cart to 7-day purchase conversion model for three brands with roughly similar GMV. However, the conversion profiles from add-to-cart to purchase are quite different. Therefore, the high-value add-to-cart events for these brands will have quite different profiles as well.

Optimizing your Meta Upper and Mid Funnel Campaigns towards high value visitors.

So with these powerful AI modelled predictions and real time integration via Meta’s Conversion API (C-API), platforms like ours (Angler AI) can continuously identify and send high value upper and mid funnel events to Meta.

And with these powerful predictions, you will finally be able to start optimizing your add-to-cart, leads, or page views campaigns towards the ‘Movable Middle’ — the untapped segment of potential customers hidden even from your competitors that will ultimately buy from you, resulting in incremental sales for your brand.