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Use targeted data to discover your ideal customers

Business, Markets | October 1, 2017 | By:

Make your advertising dollars work harder by using targeted data to find the ideal customer.

You’ve just spent $500 with your neighborhood mechanic, making another repair on your aging vehicle. You may not be ready to take the plunge and trade it in for a new car just yet, but a person can dream, right? So you hop online to check out all the bells and whistles on the latest models—and get a dose of reality when you see how much those bells and whistles will cost you. With your head back in the real world, you move on to your favorite news site and check out the forecast for the weekend. All of a sudden you notice an online display ad for the make and model of the vehicle you were just viewing. How did that happen?

Most likely you were part of a marketing tactic called retargeting. Retargeting is the ability to serve ads to people who have shown a particular behavior that qualifies them as a potential customer. People qualify as entrants to a retargeting pool through various actions such as searching specific keywords, visiting specific sites or consuming relevant content. It is just one of the ways that businesses are using consumer data to reach their ideal customer and getting more value from their marketing dollars.

The world of online advertising has opened up possibilities for reaching the ideal customer that weren’t available with traditional media such as television and print. The introduction of big data has brought both apprehension and opportunities for many people and businesses. On the one hand, some people worry that the information provided is too vast, and they have concerns about how the information will be used. On the other hand, big data offers marketers and business owners the ability to reach people in a more targeted way than ever before and increase the likelihood that their advertising efforts will be successful in bringing new customer leads. Both sides make valid points, and the discussion around big data evolves as more opportunities arise. Regardless, the ability to glean information about consumers’ buying affinities is extremely valuable to business owners. When a marketer is trustworthy in delivering messaging, the results can be beneficial for both the consumer and the business owner.

The goal of any digital marketing campaign is to target a company’s ideal customer and encourage that person to take a particular action, whether it be joining an email list, making a purchase or just learning more about a product or service. Because digital marketing has distinct metrics that are trackable, the ability to gauge whether a campaign is successful or not is viewable in the numbers. Return on investment (ROI) is a term that marketers use when measuring whether a campaign has returned the results a business was expecting from its financial investment. Metrics decide the ROI value and include benchmarks such as the number of impressions delivered (how many ads were served), the clicks (how many people clicked on the ad and entered the business’s website) and the click-through rate (the ratio of clicks to impressions delivered). The higher the click-through rate, the more successful a campaign.

These metrics are the most basic, but also the most used. The analysis can go much deeper, but for most tent and party rental companies, these metrics have low value if they don’t translate into customer leads. Arguably, the biggest benefit offered by digital marketing is the ability to deliver the people most likely to convert into sales without wasting messaging on people who are the least likely to be interested in event rental.

The ability to target a user who has an affinity for tent rental crosses many forms of digital advertising. The most used vehicles for delivering messaging with targeting parameters are:

  • display ads
  • targeted email
  • social media advertising
  • geofencing

See the tab for descriptions of each of these.

The implementation for each of these tactics varies drastically. They are served in different places, reach people at different points of the sales funnel and engage the user in various ways, but they all offer the same benefit. That benefit is the ability to serve message-specific advertising to the right person at the right time. If a business’s digital presence is in order, an enticing offer has been created, and the messaging is being delivered to the ideal customer, the business should inevitably see positive returns from these efforts.

By Kate Doty, sales and marketing strategist for Morgan Murphy Media of Madison, Wis. Doty is available at

Display ads: Static or animated ads, served through tactics such as retargeting, can be targeted to specific geographic locations and use strong call-to-action design creatives.

Targeted email: Email messaging can be designed to promote a specific offer or event and sent to a particular demographic of users such as women aged 25-54, living in a specific geographic location who have incomes of $50,000+.

Social media advertising: A demographic audience is built and served ads in the newsfeed of Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest or Twitter. Integrated to look like content, it delivers where online activity is high.

Geofencing: Building a digital “fence” around a physical location or event; ads are served to anybody who enters the fenced area. This tactic works well when a large group of like-minded people will be together.

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