Understanding who your target market is and where they are is a fundamental part of the marketing challenge. Before the invention of the social web targeting your market was pricey and slow-moving. It was difficult to collect and curate content and deliver it across multiple media platforms. To this day, marketers attempting to get in touch with individuals of tightly-defined service places throughout numerous niches have relied upon “mostly-accurate” geo-targeting techniques like IP address codes and cookie data based on opt-in information.
Marketers know that targeting is one of the most fundamental dimensions of any advertising strategy or campaign. To maximize the effectiveness of a given marketing channel, brands need to deliver their message to the right consumers — potential buyers who are receptive to and interested in the products or services being offered.
As marketing technology has evolved and improved, the targeting capabilities available to marketers have improved as well. In some cases, such as with digital channels and the addition of multiple third-party data sources, targeting can be taken to an extreme level — also known as hyper-targeting. While it may not be appropriate in all circumstances, increasingly brands are taking advantage of hyper-targeting to tackle various marketing challenges.
Advertisers today have the ability to target based on:
- Geographic location (by address, postal code or DMA)
- Primary and secondary demographic characteristics — gender, age, ethnicity, children, income, occupation, etc.
- Psychographic characteristics, such as brand and category attitudes, hobbies and interests
- Social profile information, including posting frequency, connections, and interest graphs
- Behavioral data, like purchase or browsing history