Digital Targeting Six Ways

June 23, 2016 | blog | By Mike Sullivan

Your banner ad is one in a billion; 5.3 billion last year to be exact, according to ComScore. The same study also reports that the typical internet user is served 1,707 banner ads each month. The digital advertising landscape is cluttered, crowded and not slowing down any time soon. In fact, eMarketer predicts that digital media buying will eek past TV next year by 2.6 percent. PwC agrees.

The industry looks at Millennials as an indicator of future behavior. Thirty-six percent of Millennials said that digital ads are more effective than traditional ads, but the majority also said they ignored banner ads and search engine ads. As a Millennial myself, I agree.

Digital advertising has become a game of catch me if you can. With ad blockers increasing 41 percent and rampant banner blindness, it’s important to get the most clicks for your buck. Relevance is the key, and it’s achieved through targeting.

Following are six types of digital targeting that will help your ad break through.

Audience Segmentation

Breaking up people into homogeneous groups based on past purchasing behavior, demographics, psychographics and other behaviors makes it easier to market to each group. Even though you are dividing them into different groups, you are essentially pairing everyone who shares similar attributes, which makes it easier to match your message to the intended target.

Purchasing Behavior

A smart way to forecast how a customer will behave in the future is to look into their past. Tracking customers’ past purchasing behavior allows marketers to create specific, high-quality ads based on the purchasing preferences of the customers. One way to do this is to provide purchase recommendations for items frequently bought together or items that go in pairs, such as a printer and ink cartridges. An example would be to send an offer for a discount on printer ink three months after the printer was purchased.

Search Targeting

Search targeting allows consumers to view numerous related ads based on certain keywords or phrases and geographic location. For example, if you own an athletic training company in Dallas, you could add keywords such as “sports training, athletics, workout, and Dallas” to enhance your target location. When people in the Dallas area type in “sports training” on any search engine, they could see your company’s ad.

Contextual Targeting

When your ad is automatically matched to digital content, that’s contextual targeting in action. Ads are served to consumers at the moment they demonstrate interest. Whatever they search, there will be keywords that are scanned and related ads will served up. For example, if a consumer is on a site about sports, there will be ads for sports related vendors, such as ticket sellers and fan shops, etc.

Geo Targeting

Geo targeting is the exercise of carrying different content to a site user based on an individual’s geographic location. This can be extremely helpful to target a market because geo tagging can get you the specifics of your target market. The search can go as specific as a ZIP code. Geo targeting is similar to search targeting and mobile targeting in terms of utilizing geographic and language locations, but instead of using keywords to highlight specific ads you are matching keywords, your location and a consumer’s browsing history. You can leverage geo targeting to help consumers find a store near them.


Mobile Targeting

Why is mobile targeting so successful? Well, one, it allows you to touch a highly targeted audience and have direct communication with them. And two, 68 percent of Americans have a smartphone according to the Pew Research Center. It’s also why most website development begins by prioritizing the mobile experience. What makes mobile targeting so great is that you can reach your customers in many different ways–email, text messaging, social media, and apps and more. Mobile offers are an easy way to start. Offer a coupon that’s easily viewed and scanned through a smartphone.

Digital is revolutionizing how we advertise, but that doesn’t mean that there’s no place for traditional advertising. The best campaigns are integrated campaigns, so while your considering your digital marketing approach remember, don’t put all your eggs in one basket.Posted by Michael Gardiner

Mike Gardiner is an intern at LOOMIS, the country’s leading challenger brand advertising agency.

Mike Sullivan

President at LOOMIS, the country’s leading challenger brand advertising agency


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