By Ryan Mach and Lauren Pappas, LMO Advertising
Targeted advertising to a consumer has always been a desire of marketers. Some techniques have been in place for years. Yet in today’s digital world, we’re able to drill down much further — to the bold new world of hypertargeting.
No matter your budget or campaign size hypertargeting can help your marketing dollars go further and achieve better results.
Hypertargeting refers to delivering customized messaging to a very defined or niche audience across various advertising mediums. Advertisers can reach these audiences by leveraging audience segment data and advanced technologies.
So how can you get started? Hypertargeting begins with defining and fully understanding exactly who your target audience is. This includes both concrete attributes of your audience, such as age, gender and location; and intangible attributes that may include hobbies, interests, beliefs and sentiments.
Today, we have advanced methods of collecting audience data via social media channels, as well as third-party data providers. For example, not only can we target “music lovers” but we can also specifically target “Beatles lovers.” We can also leverage behavioral attributes, such as whether a person may be in the market for a product, whether they have searched for a product or if they have purchased a product in the past.
Once you have decided on your audience segment, the next step is developing the strategy to reach this audience. The tactics need to make sense to reach your given audience. It is imperative to know what communication mediums your target uses and how they use them.
One example is utilizing geofencing to serve specific mobile ads to your audience when they are at a particular location. In the advertising world, geofencing is when an advertiser uses the location-based data available from smartphones to target ads to users in a defined geographic area. An example of this is when a store located in a mall sends a mobile ad to an individual when they enter the mall.
It is also important to make sure the messaging and creative for your advertising speaks to your specific audience, to further encourage them to act upon the information or offer you are directing them to.
Over the past several years, there has been an evolution in targeting from being content-centric to audience-centric. Ten years ago, advertisers would make an ad buy based on the publication and its audience. For example, we knew that women between the ages of 25 and 49 would be more likely to read Good Housekeeping than readers of other ages. This was an imperfect science because we could not absolutely confirm that they were the only group reading the publication.
Five years ago, the development of digital advertising allowed advertisers to buy digitally based on demographics. An advertiser could buy digital placements on Good Housekeeping online and be guaranteed that they were reaching the desired audience within the desired age range.
Today, we can buy advertising based on a specific audience, regardless of what web property they are using to consume content. We can target based on demographics (the coveted women 25-49 market, for example), of course. But more importantly, we can drill down to even more specific and important consumer factors, such as whether an individual owns a home, if she is in the market for a new appliance, and even whether that individual has been searching consumer reviews to find which dishwashers have the best rating. Then, we can make sure the ad is only delivered to the consumer when they are in within 25 miles of a retailer.
Another example of this evolution is with regards to geography. Ten years ago, we would buy based on a DMA or Designated Market Area, a geographic region in the U.S. defined by Nielsen Media Research for television viewing. Five years ago, we could target down to a zip code or neighborhood. Today, we can target down to specific IP addresses or down to a brick-and-mortar building.
Say you are a local bank or credit union looking to promote car loans. You could geofence ads on mobile devices to serve to potential customers while they are physically at car dealerships within a 15-mile radius of your building. You could also retarget users who have already visited your website to research car loans. Retargeting is when a banner ad is served to a user who has already visited an advertiser’s site. It is also best to customize the ad creative based on what the user last viewed on your website, for example interest rates or a loan calculator. Hypertargeting also comes into play when you target users across devices based on their search history and online behavior, for example if they have searched for new or used cars online, searched Consumer Reports for car safety ratings or browsed car dealer sites for used cars. Additional targeting that could be layered in includes demographics, geography and household income.
The bottom line: By wisely using today’s digital tools and the powerful data and metrics they can provide for determining the best target audience, even those with limited marketing budgets can find a way to make their ad dollars stretch.
Want to learn more? Join us, along with the DC Ad Club, at the Best of DC Hypertargeting event on Nov. 5. Information and registration can be found here.