More specifically, targeting allows for:

  1. Reach/focus on most-profitable (best) customers
  2. Identifying new markets
  3. Incremental reach within a tertiary audience
  4. Justification of media spend
  5. Verification of media choice/mix
  6. Reduction of costs
  7. ROI/attribution
  8. Custom creative delivery (versioning)
  9. Building insights/modeling
  10. Relationship building

While this list includes many essential options for marketers, those options vary in importance and depend on trends, brand, timeliness, the offer and the budget. Today’s marketers are using audience targeting to find the best media mix possible in order to operate within a world of shrinking budgets, tougher competitive environments and volatile markets. The Internet, mobile and digital media in general helped boost the trend in audience targeting by showing marketers the art and benefits of behavioral targeting. Mobile and digital out-of-home have paved the way for location-based targeting, taking what newspapers first did with zip-code-based plans and now providing longitude and latitude plans all the way down to a single square foot. Finally, demographic, lifestyle and response-based targeting continues to thrive within most media plans, helping marketers target and retarget the customers and look-a-like customers of their choosing.

According to a recent survey of 304 executives by Forbes Insights/Quantcast, the most common types of targeting being used today include:

Other types of targeting include multi-channel or multi-device targeting, which allows users to model audience data from one media (or device) vehicle to find the same audience within another media (or device) vehicle, adding value frequency to the media plan. When it comes to multi-channel targeting within digital out-of-home, the best results are coming from campaigns that combine traditional out of home with digital location-based out-of-home, mobile and the Internet. Content targeting is also evolving in the marketing world as advertisers use viewing insights, product consumption, device usage and time-shifted viewing data to incorporate product placement, native content and sponsorships in a meaningful way for the audience.

One of the results from enhanced audience and media targeting is the shift in ad spending. Consider this: Ad spending on mass media dropped considerably during Q1 this year (an avg. of almost 5%) while digital remained strong.  By no coincidence, mass media has provided targeting solutions to advertisers and consumers are starting to pay attention. Captivate’s Office Pulse research reveals the most-noticed targeting channels (among 2,300+ white collar professionals in November, 2015) are:

In the "Other" category, the two most-often mentioned media were elevators (2%) and out of home/billboards (2%). Additionally, the frequency in which the average professional notices they are being targeted is staggering, with the average person being targeted at least once a day.

The opinions and points of view expressed in this commentary are exclusively the views of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of MediaVillage/MyersBizNet management or associated bloggers.