What's So "Advanced" About Advanced Targeting? -- Denise Larson

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Cover image for  article: What's So "Advanced" About Advanced Targeting? -- Denise Larson

Denise Larson is the President of LEAP Media Investments

Advanced targeting in the digital world is a process in which ads reach the “right” person at the right time in the right place with a relevant message.

Yeah, right.

The problem with these “advancements” is that they are the same targeting techniques the offline world has used for decades, which begs the question, “How far have we really come?”

Let’s look at “advancements” in advanced targeting as they are being applied these days:

· Demographic targeting (typically, an 18-49-year-old -- sound familiar?)

· Re-targeting (often results in a customer’s getting myriad ad messages for goods and services, but how relevant are they really?)

· Behavioral targeting (customer researched cars for months online and after finally buying one, is still being served car ads based on past online behavior)

· Geographical targeting (customer is served ads for nearby establishments, but frankly, receiving ads while standing on a street corner doesn’t necessarily drive purchase)

· Targeting the potential buyer of brands/services (we all know the difficulty of monetizing “good intentions” and “likes”)

Despite the amazing technological advancements of the “distribution systems” (computers, tablets, smartphones), as an industry are we really practicing advanced targeting or are we calling it “advanced” because we offer the same old approaches on “advanced platforms?”

The industry reality is more of the latter, and if there is any hope in delivering relevant messages to relevant targets in relevant environments, new approaches and new ways of thinking must be developed and employed.

What should be the foundation of these new approaches? Serving the right message to the right audience and activating that audience to engage, purchase and/or use the product or service.

LEAP™ (leveraging emotional attachment™ for profit) is the results of 10 years of empirical evidence that can help marketers achieve that goal. While it may not be the only offering in the marketplace to make this claim, it is one of the most foundational, proven models now being applied in the digital space.

What is so advanced about LEAP?

· It scales audiences to millions among brand loyalist, brand conquest and brand expansion targets. The key word here is “brand.” LEAP starts from the perspective that a marketer’s best prospect is someone who is willing to “listen” in the first place. Communication is a two-way street, and if someone isn’t willing to listen to a brand’s story, there will be no brand sale.

· It scales audiences to within an engaged media target. The key word here is “engaged.” If a customer thinks your content is not relevant, it will be disregarded no matter how often it is pushed through numerous cross-platform channels.

· It is “advanced” because it comes from the foundation of emotional attachment technology, in which sales success is achieved when an audience has an emotional attachment to the brand and/or content. This statement may sound like a “no brainer” but it is amazing how much time and money marketers continue to waste via the “spray and pray” method.

Consumers who are attached to a brand are 2 ½ times more likely to pay attention to an ad for that brand and significantly more likely to act on that ad message. Isn’t that what we want in the first place?

The industry is finally starting to recognize the true value and potential of digital advertising as evidenced by some pretty impressive growth statistics:

· According to e-Marketer, digital advertising will reach $61.4 billion by 2017. That’s 45 percent growth over 2013 spending.

· Additionally, digital video is expected to grow more than 100 percent to $9.2 billion.

These trends may even be conservative because they do not take into account the development of even newer and more technologically advanced devices.

However, the growing landscape and advancement of devices should not be the only aspects of advanced targeting. Audience targeting needs to make advancements as well by understanding how emotional attachment works, especially as the entire industry “leaps” into a new era.

Denise Larson is the President of LEAP™ Media Investments (a division of NewMediaMetrics), which specializes in the development of scaled LEAP™ Media Audiences for online, social and mobile advertising distribution. LEAP™ is the only company to develop audiences for brands and media properties based on the patented approach/technology of Emotional Attachment.

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