We’re living in the age of unparalleled access to data. From the websites you visit to the products you purchase in the grocery store, nearly every action you take that involves a computer is being recorded, stored, and sold, to various tech conglomerations for the purpose of advertising.
Though it sounds creepy on the surface, rest-assured that most data is anonymized, meaning your identity is no more than a collection of codes that make up your online persona. If you’re in the marketing industry, you should be taking advantage of the information you have available or risk less-than-optimized results for your campaigns.
In this article, I’ll go over all things microtargeting and show why you should incorporate it into your campaign strategy.
Microtargeting refers to the practice of strategically breaking down your customer base into specific groups for the sake of advertising. For example, if you’re running a marketing campaign for a sports drink company, you may want to adjust your messaging for: athletes (sometimes even athletes who play a specific sport), laborers who do strenuous jobs each day, and partiers who are frequently looking to increase their hydration levels after a night out.
Microtargeting isn’t necessarily a new idea, but has become mainstream since political campaign managers started using it during the 2012 election to reach different segments of their base. The same concepts have been applied to regular consumer brands, and results prove that it’s here to stay.
Here’s why you should try it for yourself:
1. It Reduces Wasted Ad Budget
Getting the most return on your ad spent (ROAS) means maximizing every dollar you have available. The most obvious way to avoid wasting money? Only show your ads to people who are going to be interested in your product!
As good as they are, algorithms aren’t always accurate when it comes to serving your ads to the right audience. When you break things down into smaller, more niche groups, you help facilitate the delivery process. It might take a little more work during the setup process, but once your campaign is launched, microtargeting and machine-machine learning systems combine for a 1+1 = 3 type of situation.
2. It Builds Brand Loyalty
Consumers want to purchase from brands that they can relate to when it comes to their individual lifestyle. A single parent, for example, might see an ad for a daycare center with the messaging of, “You can’t do it alone, that’s why we’re here.” Notice how much more effective that is than a general, non-specific ad that was served through the targeting parameter of just “parents.” The difference may seem insignificant, but this small variance means can mean everything when it comes to fostering brand loyalty.
Even though it might feel invasive occasionally, the overriding sentiment is that most people like to see themselves in advertisements. This has always been the case, but now brands have the ability to make it happen on a wider scale.
3. It Creates Valuable Insights
Brands are always seeking to understand more about their customer base. It might be a certain geographical demographic that they never considered as a potential source of revenue, a particular age group that takes more/less interest in their products than anticipated, or the purchasing habits of individuals that work in a certain industry. To put it succinctly, no data is bad data (assuming that it’s accurate).
When you utilize microtargeting as a strategy, you can gauge the interest levels of the specific groups you’re serving your ads to on a regular basis. This can help you in the future by influencing the way you allocate your ad budget, and the messaging your incorporate in your content strategy. You may decide that it’s better to put more of your marketing dollars toward groups “A & B” and maybe scale down your efforts on reaching group “C.”
It’s an all-too-common problem for brands: they market toward who they think will buy their products or services rather than focusing on groups who are buying them. Microtargeting can help you determine which groups fall on which side of the equation.
4. It’s Valuable for Promotional Purposes
Once you have your microtargeting “buckets” set up on your ad platforms (check out just how specific you can get with this massive infographic), you can focus on promotions that are designed for that particular group specifically.
For example, leading up to football season a sporting goods store might want to run a sale that hopes to reach high school coaches in the area, but once the season begins, the focus might turn to athletes. If you have already determined the targeting parameters for each group, you’ll be able to get your campaigns up and running with minimal effort.
5. It Helps You Conduct A/B Tests
One of the most effective digital marketing tactics is an A/B test (or split-test). If you’re not familiar with this tactic, these tests involve two ads that differ in terms of creative or targeting. Once an certain amount of time passes – which can vary based on your individual goals/budget/deadlines, etc. – you can determine which targeting parameters or creative strategy proves to be most effective.
Microtargeting allows you to conduct a de facto split-test that can provide advertisers with information they can use for future campaigns. Although the preferences of consumers may change in the future, you’ll still have a baseline of data that can give you a leg up on the competition. If you’re in the advertising industry for a long time, you’ll start to realize that audiences don’t always respond the way you anticipated. Microtargeting can help you sort it out and save you from wasted dollars on campaigns you thought would be effective, but just don’t connect.
No matter the size of your brand or budget, today’s digital ad platforms offer unparalleled capability when it comes to reaching hyper-specific audience groups…affordably. If you aren’t taking advantage of the tools you have at your disposal, there’s a good chance you aren’t getting as much out of your ad spend as you should when you break down the ROI.
If your business could benefit from a partner with expertise in reaching your business’s ideal customer base, get in touch today for customized marketing solutions that fit with your brand’s goals and budget.