Meet the Moveable Middle: Mastering Advertising for the In-Between Audience

Throughout the pandemic, many of us found ourselves discovering and researching new brands selling items we’ve been buying for years. For example, moving to a fully remote work environment, I was now in the market for a whole new work wardrobe that consisted pretty much exclusively of athleisure or straight up pajamas. I started by online shopping at some standard go-to brands in this category, but upon seeing lengthy delivery times, inventory dwindling, and prices skyrocketing I, along with probably some of you reading, became part of an interesting audience pool for brands – the moveable middle.

What is the moveable middle? 

The moveable middle is a group of consumers that sit between the extremes of brand loyalty and disinterest. They don’t necessarily show brand loyalty and are open to trying out different brands based on a variety of typical factors, such as: 

  • Price
  • Product Quality
  • Customer Service Capabilities
  • Convenience
  • Sustainability Practices 
  • Emotional Appeal

Just to name a few! 

How do I captivate the moveable middle audience? 

Engaging and capturing the attention of the moveable middle requires a delicate balance of understanding their preferences, motivations, and desires, and tailoring advertising efforts to resonate with their specific needs. Advertisers can even convert this group into loyalists if they play their cards right and provide a seamless experience. In fact, a recent PwC consumer survey found that 32% of consumers stated they would drop a company if it provided inconsistent experiences. 

So how do you reach the moveable middle in the right way? By prioritizing personalization

Putting Personalization into Play

This is where zero-party data in advertising comes in handy. Zero-party data is information that consumers willingly provide to a brand. Advertisers can collect zero-party data such as consumer preferences, behaviors and interests by offering surveys within their advertisements. Once they’ve collected the data (in a privacy-friendly way we might add), they can then segment into audiences based on their responses. This will help advertisers create targeted messaging that resonates best with each group. 

For example, we recently helped an electric vehicle charging station provider leverage their video ads to generate awareness and promote their charging stations across the country. Throughout their awareness campaign, the company used a survey to gauge viewer interest and segment responders into zero-party audiences – low, mid and high interest.  Check out the example below. 

High interest responders (5 stars) were directed to a map of charging stations. To optimize budget, they sequentially messaged the moveable middle (2-4 star responders), with additional video ads, aiming to persuade viewers to try their charging stations. 

The ads targeting the moveable middle drove more efficient, qualified traffic to the brand’s website, with 6-7x higher engagement and 6x lower cost per engagement than the original video ad. By segmenting their zero-party audiences, the brand was able to see which regions were most interested in their charging stations and which needed more brand awareness. 

You might be thinking, “ok, but how many people will actually answer a survey within an ad?” A PwC consumer study actually found that 82% of consumers are willing to share some type of personal data for a more personalized experience from a brand. And remember how many consumers also said would drop a company if it provided inconsistent experiences earlier in this post?

The moveable middle is a critical group of consumers that shouldn’t be overlooked. With zero-party data, personalized messaging, and the right budgeting strategy, advertisers can turn this group into brand loyalists. Just take me for example. I found a whole new brand for my remote work attire that’s now my go-to when looking for new loungewear. All because the brand reached me with their advertising at the right time when I was sitting in the moveable middle. 

So, what are you waiting for? Let’s turn the moveable middle into your brand’s loyal customers today! Reach out to us at for a free proposal!

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