Marketing Trends – Part 1

Welcome to the first installment of our brand new weekly blog series, Marketing Trends. Each week, we will identify a key trend in the world of marketing. We’ll discuss the trend, why it’s important, and suggest ways that you can take advantage of this trend in your company.

Today’s Trend = Audience Targeting

What do I mean by audience targeting? It used to be that companies in their advertising efforts would target a broad group of people. TV advertisers could choose time of day and networks to air on. Print advertisers can choose the type of publication to advertise in. Outdoor advertisers could choose the location where they display. And even online advertisers could target folks by keyword, or website, and even some basic behaviors.

But the world has changed, especially online. Advertisers now have a greater ability to target specific audiences they know are most likely to respond to their ads.

Now, companies like Facebook and Google, as well as many others, let you target an audience. You can do this in a number of ways.

  • Site Visitors – target marketing across the web to people who visit your site through retargeting.
  • Leads – target those people who have filled out a form on your site or requested more information through remarketing and email.
  • Past Customers – target existing customers through remarketing and email.
  • Interest Categories – take advantage of the data Google and Facebook have collected on their users to target people who have identified an interest in what you do through past purchases or browsing behavior.
  • Lookalikes – Share a list of your customers with Facebook or Google and they’ll do the data mining for you, identify those key elements that your customers all share, and then look through their users to find others who share those characteristics, letting you target people who are similar to your customers.

Using these different kinds of audience targeting allows you to have more faith that your ads are being seen by the right people. It may not be the way to reach the masses, but it’s a great way to make the most out of a limited budget.

The more targeted your ads, the greater the ROI.

While most of this audience targeting activity is still confined to the online world, expect the coming years to see this trend evolve as other channels adopt these opportunities. See also Direct Mail, which has allowed you marketers to do things like this for years.

What marketing trend should we cover next? Now accepting submissions for marketing trends that we will cover in an upcoming installment of this series. Submit your ideas via our contact page or in the comments section below.