Do you have kids? Have you ever tried to get them to give you details about one of their friends? The conversation might go something like this:

I’m hanging out with Dylan.

Who is Dylan? Have I met him?

He’s my friend.

Is he in your class? Or do you know him from soccer?

I go to school with him.

Ok, which class do you have together?

I don’t know, I met him through Lisa.

30 minutes of questions later …

So, Dylan goes to school with you and is a boy, probably around your age?

This conversation is similar to demographic targeting as a marketing campaign approach.

Demo vs. Audience

Demographic targeting looks at limited information (usually age and gender) as a means to determine the best marketing messaging and channels. However, ask any person on the street and they will tell you that they are more than their age group and gender. Their story is much more layered, which means the way to reach them needs to be layered. This is where audience targeting comes in.

Audience targeting is a marketing tactic designed to get the right message to the right person, at the moment that makes the most sense for them. By looking at a user’s past behavior online and offline, their interests and affinities, current life point, habits, geographic location, as well as their demographic info, you can get a truer picture of your consumer. These little nuances help build messaging that will make sense for them as an individual, not as part of a generic grouping.

Audience targeting activities will tell you that Dylan is 13, plays drums in the school band, likes to play Fortnite, has a TikTok account but no other social media accounts, he never looks up anything sports related online but he does do homework research exclusively online, he lives in a medium sized suburb but he has traveled abroad, and his favorite ‘TV’ shows to watch are gaming playthroughs on YouTube.

Audience targeting is marketing due diligence; do this work before you establish your marketing strategy and you build cost efficiencies and message efficacy into your campaign. Your message would be effective for Dylan, not ‘school age male.’

55% of people search for a product on Google then learn more by going to YouTube before buying

Source: Think with Google

60% of automotive searches come from a mobile device

Source: Think with Google

74% of millennials buy groceries at convenience stores, vs. 67% at online retailers, or 66% at high-end supermarkets

Source: Think with Google

44% of Millennials are planning a family getaway, more than members of Generation X (39%) or Baby Boomers (32%)

Source: AAA

Nearly six-in-ten (57%) moms ages 18 to 34 say they are doing a very good job as a parent

Source: Pew Research Center

A clear path

One efficiency gained is through a clearer customer path to purchase. With this understanding you can narrow the channels deployed and audience list for each, saving you cost without sacrificing conversions.

Without employing audience targeting the path to purchase is truncated and a wide net is cast with your message.  But the net has large gaps because the ad message isn’t relevant to the ad viewer. In the past your customer may have seen an ad or coupon then a few days later, gone to the store and purchased your product. Today’s customer doesn’t take such a straight path, so you need to reach them at the right moment, with the right message, for them, as an individual. Audience targeting tells you where to find that customer, and when to talk to them.

With the 2020 election season already starting to clog media channels, you’ll want to create as many efficiencies in your campaigns as possible. Learn more about effectively using data to build marketing campaigns with impact, on MLive Media Group’s blog. 


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