Ready, Aim, Target: A Guide to Internet Ad Targeting

Humans are creatures of habit – it is an undisputed fact. From rituals like brushing your teeth to watching the game on Sunday afternoons, there is definite comfort in routine. It’s no different on the Internet either. We visit the same websites, during the same time frequencies and patterns as we did the prior week (more or less) leaving a trail of data in our path. As we navigate the Internet, we are being tracked by a series of measures such as Cookies, IP address activity, Tracking and Targeting Pixels to name a few.

Additionally, tracking consumer patterns by collecting data with the wide array of technology that is now available makes the process of predictive targeting quite simple. If we can gauge what a customer likes, does not like, or has repeatedly purchased, we have better chances at predicting what they will do in the future, and discover how to best target them with our ads. How can we, as marketers and advertisers, use this data to our advantage in order to know where and when our consumers are surfing the web during an opportune time for our ad to be served?

As far as Internet advertising goes, there are different strategies you can use to implement your CRM to target these future customers. Here are a few we at Primary Design like to use:

Social Media

With Facebook boasting over 1 billion active users globally (Desktop and Mobile), it’s an important tool for marketers. Facebook allows marketers to target users by zip codes (or radius’ around cities), age, gender, languages, interests, and behaviors such as charitable donations and purchase behavior (like clothing, health and beauty, etc.). In addition, Facebook’s Power Editor allows you to create custom audiences to further target your campaigns.

Ad Exchange Advertising

Defined as “a digital marketplace that enables advertisers and publishers to buy and sell advertising space, often through real-time auctions,” these are “most often used to sell display, video and mobile ad inventory.” Examples are BingAds (Bing and Yahoo) and DoubleClick Ad Exchange (Google). See this effective and easily digestible explanation on Ad Exchanges from

Programmatic Media Buying Platforms

These platforms function by using software that allows them to filter through millions of data points (such as household income brackets, age, interests, past purchases, geography, content, etc.) in order to reach the core group of potential future customers (based on your CRM data).

SmartPhone / Tablet

This type of advertising is usually targeted by combinations of geofencing or geotargeting and monitoring SmartPhone behavior (purchases made, apps downloaded, etc.). There are endless companies that offer this service. Smaato and Millenial Media are both widely used.

Banner Buys on Individual Websites

This type of media buying allows advertisers to reach audiences at a very local/community level. These individual publishers might include local blogs or hyper local news sites, both of which sometimes allow content targeting, such as confining the banner(s) to a Real Estate page or a Lifestyle page.

As a marketer, the types of targeting you’ll want to implement are determined by the product you’re marketing. For example, if you’re marketing a luxury automobile, you’ll likely not want to filter by age group, since someone in their 30’s may be just as likely to make this type of purchase as someone in their 50’s.  If the product happens to be a surfboard, however, it would make sense to aim for groups that live near the coast. Targeting helps businesses zero in on the consumers most likely to make a purchase.

By applying these strategies, you’ll drive more qualified traffic to your website, which will lead to a higher customer conversion rate and a lower cost per customer acquired. Get in touch with us if you’d like to learn more!

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