who, or what is the target?
Wherever you go
Whatever you do
I will be right here waiting for you
Today, a target audience largely depends upon the capabilities, processes and systems employed by the medium doing the targeting. The following summarizes the primary marketing (targeting) approaches.
- Demographic – This is traditional targeting of consumers based upon commonly accepted media currencies such as their age, gender, income and ethnicity.
- Geo-targeting – Targets a consumer in a certain geographic area using location data mined from the ISP or IP address. This is a powerful tool for local businesses to leverage new rich-media ads. This approach enables the display of local product inventories to customers and is especially valuable for promotional and impulse type buys.
- Behavioral – Sometime called ‘profiling’ and it works by tracking the actions large numbers of users as they surf the web and aggregates their behavior for trends. These patterns signal behaviors that become the basis for targeting and often include purchase history. For example: A visit to an on-line car site can be the basis for serving an auto ad after a consumer moves onto a non-auto-related site. Behavioral targeting allows a Web publisher, for example, to charge premium rates for a luxury-car ad even on a lightly visited site about needlepoint, especially if the user’s previous Web activity shows an interest in buying an automobile.
- Contextual – This matches the ad to the content actually being consumed regardless of format. For example, an article about buying homes serves up an insurance ad or a documentary film on animals provides a good place to inject a public service ad for animal protection.
- Affinity – This is very similar to contextual but tends to match ad to the theme or genre of the published content. For example, a digital camera marketer may choose to advertise on sites or video channels dedicated to consumer electronics.
- Daypart – This is used to focuses on people’s work and lifestyle schedules. For example, serving ads for coffee to commuters between 7-10 a.m. This type of targeting also works well for impending product releases and roadblock campaigns, but is generally directed to an audience to increase the candidate consumer base as prospects for more refined future targeting. Alternatively, it may also me used in conjunction with other approaches to refine those consumers being targeted.
- Purchase-based – Tracks the purchase history of users to establish trends, much like behavioral. People who bought one brand’s shoes might be interested in more of the same or of another brand.
- Retargeting – Aims to locate consumers who dropped off midway through the path to a purchase and serve them a new ad in the hopes they will complete the purchase. Called remarketing in the offline world and sometimes classified as part of behavioral targeting online.
Note that the above approaches, along with their highlighted examples make no mention of medium specific subtleties. Often these have been institutionalized by work practices or by consumer-medium interactions, but they have also been imposed by the constraints of the medium’s infrastructure capabilities. Consequently, the more different mediums consolidated by an organization’s business model, the more difficult it is to price, offer, deliver and measure multi-media advertising offerings to buyers. Even more difficult is to create meaningful cross-medium targeted buys.
Even more difficult is getting close enough to the consumer to be relevant at an affordable transaction cost. Today, the web is clearly most efficient. Why? Because the consumer’s web device does the targeting! IP is marketing magic. IPTV will become the way of the future, eventually surpassing broadcast in terms of cost/reach efficiency.
And for a change in humor, check out his video on the state of the media industry’s (in)ability to cope with this mess…
Tell me it isn’t so… I’m listening.