Developer Guide: Specifying Comparison Audiences

In this guide you will learn how to specify a comparison audience for your Media Strategies API tasks.

What is a comparison audience?

Most strategies provided by the API ask that you specify a comparison audience. The comparison audience is the audience you would like to compare your analyzed audience against. This is provided by the API as for most use cases you need to compare the results for your audience against a reference audience to see what results are most relevant for your audience.

For example, if you're looking to see which content is most relevant to decision makers in the US, by comparing results for this audience to entire US audience will show which content is most relevant to decision makers only.

Specifying comparison audiences for analysis

When using the Media Strategies API you specify a comparison audience using the comparison audience parameter type.

Continuing the example above, if you're looking to see which content is most relevant to decision makers in the US for the topic of cloud you use the following parameters:

{
  "audience": {
    "countries": ["united states"],
    "seniorities": ["director", "vp", "cxo", "partner", "owner"]
  },
  "keywords": {
    "any": ["azure", "aws", "google cloud", "vmware"]
  },
  "comparison_audience": {
    "country": "united states"
  }
}

The parameters specify that you'd like to use members in the US as your comparison audience.

Using these audiences for the top_urls strategy gives us these parameters:

# POST /pylon/linkedin/task
{
  "type": "strategy",
  "subscription_id": "cd99abbc812f646c77bfd8ddf767a134f0b91e84",
  "name": "Top urls for high-tech sector",
  "parameters": {
    "strategy": "top_urls",
    "version": 1,
    "parameters": {
      "audience": {
        "countries": ["united states"],
        "seniorities": ["director", "vp", "cxo", "partner", "owner"]
      },
      "keywords": {
        "any": ["azure", "aws", "google cloud", "vmware"]
      },
      "comparison_audience": {
        "country": "united states"
      }
    }
  }
}

Supported comparison audience options

Currently you can use one of the following options for your comparison audience.

1) Global audience

Compare your audience to the entire global audience.

{
  "comparison_audience": "global"
}

2) Country

Compare your audience to all members in a particular country. See the demographic segments page for a list of valid countries you can specify.

{
  "comparison_audience": {
    "country": "germany"
  }
}

Currently you can only specify one country for comparison.

3) Minor continent

Compare your audience to all members in a minor continent. See the demographic segments page for a list of valid minor continents you can specify.

{
  "comparison_audience": {
    "minor_continent": "western europe"
  }
}

Currently you can only specify one minor continent for comparison.

Example audience comparisons

The following examples show you how you can use comparison audiences to surface insights.

1) Decision makers in a specific country, compared to that country as a whole

The following audience parameter specifies seniorities commonly known as 'decision makers' in Germany only, and compares them to all German members:

{
  "audience": {
    "seniorities": ["director", "vp", "cxo", "partner", "owner"],
    "countries": ["germany"]
  },
  "comparison_audience": {
    "country": "germany"
  }
}

2) Functions in large companies, compared to the global audience

The following audience parameter specifies members who work in large companies, who belong to the finance or accounting function, and compares them to the global market:

{
  "audience": {
    "functions": ["finance", "accounting"],
    "company_sizes": ["1001-5000", "5001-10000", "10001+"]
  },
  "comparison_audience": "global"
}

3) Custom segments in selected industries in a specific country, compared with that country as a whole

The following audience parameter specifies members classified into LinkedIn's customer segment definitions working in medical industries in the US, comparing them to the US as a whole:

{
  "audience": {
    "custom_segments": ["ceo network", "cfo network"],
    "industries": ["hospital & health care", "medical practice", "mental health care"],
    "countries": ["united states"]
  },
  "comparison_audience": {
    "country": "united states"
  }
}