The days of blanketing the Internet with the same display or mobile app have ended. Customers are looking for more subtle types of advertising, focused on their needs, wants, and on their stage in the purchasing journey.
To reach more customers with a higher purchasing potential, it is necessary to understand what they want and how you can provide it. This is where Contextual Targeting Advertising comes in. AdMedia, a digital marketing agency from Los Angeles, CA, explains how this form of advertising works and how your company can improve its marketing campaign to increase sales, customer loyalty, and return on investment.
Effective Forms of Digital Marketing
Over the years, best practices in digital marketing have shifted. In the early days of SEO and ad placement, advertisements were far less targeted. Customers were often annoyed by a barrage of advertising messages that did not match up with their interests. They turned to adblocker programs to help them blunt the effect of these intrusive marketing messages.
As the science of digital marketing matured, it became clear that targeted advertising was the way to go. Many companies began to produce highly targeted advertisements.
In some cases, these marketing messages were too intrusive. Target’s marketing engine mailed pregnancy-related information to a customer, inadvertently revealing her expectations and causing family problems. As long as targeted advertising is not too “creepy,” it is highly effective and increases sales.
According to a study by Amazon’s Mechanical Turk program, an ad that was considered too intrusive was 17 percent less effective than a comparable ad. The difference lies in whether an ad was targeted based on information the customer supplied, like interests and past purchases, and whether it was based on information that the recommendation engine inferred on its own. Customers balk at having websites guess about their interests, even if they are often quite accurate.
Digital advertising must strike a delicate balance between being too intrusive and accurately targeting the customer’s wishes. Targeted online marketing companies accomplish this through sophisticated design and common-sense provisions.
Driven by Algorithms
AdMedia’s contextual targeting advertising works through the power of algorithms. These algorithms pull user shopping interest signals from customer data. This high-value data can then be used to serve ads that reflect the customer’s current interests.
An algorithm works to parse data based on its analysis of its characteristics. Data points that can be used include behavioral information like purchases made, demographic attributes like age and location, and personally identifiable information.
According to a spokesperson for AdMedia, “AdMedia processes over 1.8 trillion data calls per day, so delivering performance at scale is in our DNA.”
Algorithmic tools used to target advertising must be carefully constructed to avoid bias and promote fairness. For example, suppose an algorithm presents an engineering job advertisement based on the information that men should be interested in. In that case, the job will get fewer applications from women and serve to further inequality.
Targeted to the Customer Journey
Rather than blanketing the customer with unwanted marketing messages as in the past, companies like AdMedia can serve highly targeted communications targeted to specific points in the customer journey. For example, an ad may be served to a customer based on their past purchase history and the items they may have dormant in their shopping carts. Encouraging customers to go back to their shopping carts and resume the purchasing process can significantly improve sales.
Customers who are in the process of researching a product purchase will be served more broad-based ads showing the range of a company’s products. As the customer narrows down what they want, the ads will become more and more targeted.
Improving Your Marketing Campaign Performance
Here are methods that are recommended to improve your company’s online marketing campaign using targeted advertising strategies:
Customer Pain Points
Look at your customer’s pain points and think about why they need your product-simulating the customer’s purchase requirements and the reasons why they need or want your product is one of the most important aspects of targeted marketing.
Decide How Specific You Want to Be
Not all customers appreciate having the contents of their shopping carts served back to them in the form of an advertisement. It may be a good idea to be a little less specific and present other products from your company that could be a viable alternative.
Deciding On Ad Techniques
In the realm of targeted advertising, there are several techniques that you can employ. These include social media advertising, email advertising, and display ads. Email can be personalized more easily than display ads, but it does not necessarily have a compelling quality that makes customers want to open it. Social media, when it is integrated with your general advertising campaign, might be a better bet.
Another comment made by the AdMedia spokesperson is that “Digital marketing is an industry that has always been advancing. The moment you stop innovating, you’re obsolete. However, as long as you have a growth mindset, you should not be worried, but should always be testing and learning.”
Striking a Balance
You will be a successful online marketer if you can strike the right balance between intrusively targeted ads and useful messages. Targeted online marketing companies are ready to help your company take advantage of today’s sophisticated algorithms to target your advertising for maximum results.
Originally published at https://patch.com on September 30, 2021.