Targeting is nothing more than accurately identifying the audience of an ad. It is defined by the most suitable target group, those that are “receptive” to the product or service. Depending on the marketing objective, targeting may be strictly sales-oriented, image-oriented, or a combination of the two.
Broad or narrow targeting?
The answer is: it depends. There is no single ideal target group size. Each approach has its own set of risks and rewards. Broad targeting, or blindly launching an advertisement to a wide variety of consumers, is not always profitable or competitive. Presenting the ad to a narrow, carefully selected and promising group of prospects is more likely to increase the odds of higher profit. The downside of a broad selection is that you can “accidentally” reach a random consumer. Alternatively, when narrowing down, there is a risk of oversaturating the target group too soon, for example, after one moderately sized campaign. After that, you may be inclined to remarket. All this depends, in short, on what you are selling and how universal, or, conversely, how exclusive it is. The key is to make informed decisions and… run A/B testing.
Effective targeting and what does it mean
To be successful, an ad must reach specific, non-random consumers. Meaning, those who are likely to show an interest in that particular good or service. An ad for innovative, ergonomic baby carriers, for example, would perform well with new parents, mainly, highly educated representatives of the middle class, and active mums living in big cities. Showing it to teenagers, university students or singles would be a waste of time. Wide targeting, on the other hand, is thought to perform well when selling something universal, such as a note-taking app.
Types and stages of targeting
The targeted audience should be identified as accurately as possible. No product is designed for all in mind. For the greatest accuracy, the marketing message should be tailored to the receiver. There are a number of popular targeting techniques that are often used in tandem or in some combination.
- Demographic targeting
That is, the process of identifying a group based on their age, gender, education, industry, social status, and the language they use. This is one of the most basic types of targeting.
This type of targeting is based on the location of prospects. You can restrict the target demographic to a certain geographical region. It can be, for example, a specific country, county, city, or even a street or address. Above all, this is particularly helpful in the tourism industry and for different local businesses, including restaurants, hotels, hairdressers, etc.
- Behavioural targeting
This is a very efficient form of targeting, since most users are… predictable. What you have to do is follow the consumer preference of your chosen target market. Then, based on your findings, predict your audience’s next move by strategically placing a targeted ad in the right place. For this reason, research the user’s behavioural profile and develop a customer persona that best represents your target group.
Psychographics has much in common with behavioural targeting, with the exception that, when building a profile, we incorporate all elements that already engage the user emotionally in the virtual space. We focus on factors like visited websites, read articles, clicked posts, likes, comments, etc. This approach puts emphasis on learning (even if only briefly) about the topics the user is interested in. Based on that information, we choose a language that speaks to the user.
What tools to use?
The main medium for advertisement is the Google search engine, as well as social media platforms, most notably Facebook. That is why marketers most often use Google AdWords and Facebook Ads tools to enforce appropriate parameters. In the case of Facebook, the ad can appear on multiple platforms. These are: Facebook (in Stories, News Feed, Marketplace, in the right side of the screen, etc.), Instagram (Stories and Explore), Messenger, and third-party sites and apps (via Facebook Audience Network).
Is it worth it?
Is the careful choice of a target market for your goods and services worth investing in? A hundred times YES! In the world of online marketing, targeting has become the gold standard. No wonder! With well-tailored advertising content, you can produce spectacularly better sales returns with your campaign while incurring little to no costs. It is important to note, though, that while targeting is incredibly helpful, it does not replace a well-thought-out strategy and an invaluable creation.