Why Targeted Advertising Always Works

Targeting advertising isn’t an invention of the internet. Instead, it’s something that companies have been using for a lot longer. It’s just that it was in a much more subtle form.

This is a contributed post. Please refer to my disclosure for more information.

For instance, companies would often send mail to specific addresses they knew had certain demographic characteristics. Estate agents would use direct mail, for instance, to advertise to property owners living in specific areas. It was a way for them to increase their marketing returns and provide customers with more relevant information.

Today targeted advertising is most prominent in the digital realm. Firms track users as never before. But it is worth pointing out that targeted advertising can comprise virtually any form of advertising. Address Intelligence direct mail, for example, is also a form of targeted advertising.

But why is this form of marketing so effective? Why does it always work?

That’s a great question, and there isn’t a single answer to it. In this post, we take a look at some of the reasons why it always works and what it means for your enterprise.

It Changes How Customers See Themselves

While there are many benefits of targeted advertising, perhaps the most profound is that it changes the way that consumers see themselves. They begin to form a new narrative around what type of shopper they are, all based on the relevance of your ads.

Experimenters investigated how targeted ads affected students. In study after study, they found that it adjusted their self-expectations. Students who bought green products began to see themselves as eco-conscious consumers.

The change in behavior was also long-lasting. When ads were more personal, they were able to alter how people behaved in other areas of their life. So brands that convinced their audiences that they were more “green” saw their audiences donating more to environmental charities.

It Improves Relevance

Targeted advertising is also much more relevant to consumers than traditional advertising. More than 90 percent of ads that people see are irrelevant – they are never going to buy the product. Only around 10 percent actually make a difference to their lives.

By personalizing ads, companies can improve their returns. They can avoid situations where they are advertising to large numbers of customers who are never going to buy and instead focus on those with the means and reasons to do so.

It Provides More Reasons To Buy

Shoppers will often refrain from buying products because they don’t know how they will work in the context of their lives. They like the idea, but it is a lot of money to spend on a whim.

But targeted advertising changes all that. Take glasses, for instance. Some people want to be able to try on glasses before they buy them. So now online retailers are sending out tools in their email marketing that allow consumers to do just that. They simply upload a photo or video and the app will show them what they look like.

In short, targeted advertising always works. If there’s an opportunity for your business to use it, you should take it.

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