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When it keeps its promises, audience targeting can be the best friend a digital marketer ever had.

By enabling digital marketers to precisely select who sees their company’s online ads — and bid those ads accordingly and cost-effectively — audience targeting can help drive motivated consumers to a company’s website, capture the flag in the search engine marketing race and seize a healthy ROI on campaign spending.

However, as your digital marketing team may have already discovered, audience targeting can be a tricky beast to master.

Why? With a wide variety of publishers on the market and an increasing number of digital marketing tools available — like demographics, similar audiences, in-market audiences and CRM data — determining which combination of them works best for each campaign can be a complicated, time-consuming task. That’s especially true for companies looking to stand apart in today’s hyper-connected, uber-competitive global business environment.

Start With The Basics

How can your digital team take control of audience targeting? Start with the basics.

Be Precise But Also Flexible

In any digital marketing campaign, audiences come in all shapes and sizes with differing objectives and changing expectations over time. As always, levels of segmentation should come with a giant asterisk, as the granularity will depend on volume. With a granular approach, you can test different creative, calls to action and content assets and measure what resonates best with each audience.

Keeping all of this in mind will better enable you to:

• Leverage behavioral and demographic overlays to create a holistic audience-centric approach across digital channels, including search, display and social.

• Build consumer profiles that constantly track audience interests, purchase behaviors and thousands of other interactions to effectively adjust messaging to match target audiences.

• Move prospective customers through the purchase funnel while retaining and engaging them post-purchase.

Using these targeting strategies can help take your marketing to the next level. Implementing and fine-tuning granular targeting methods across channels and along the different stages of the buying process enables marketers to better connect with audiences, providing a competitive advantage that can lead to better brand awareness, engagement and ROI.

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