Targeting a Moving User

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runner_smallADOTAS – Users have become accustomed to free content at their fingertips and are using the online platform to “seek and assist”; they either know exactly what they are looking for or are searching until they find something to help guide them.

Assistance could be anything from a tweet, a homepage feature, or an email. One thing is sure: They are using online advertising less for “assisting” in their online user session and more for seeking out what they need.

And how are they finding what they need? Queue in customizable homepages and Facebook news feeds where users are choosing what they want to see, how much, and when. Online users are optimizing their own experiences.

And why shouldn’t marketers do the same thing?

When I go online, I am bombarded by ads for diets and insurance — neither of which has any relevance to me or my online preferences. I often wonder: What is the objective of that particular ad, and what’s the intended call to action? I am not in the market for the latest diet fad (which is most likely a result of seasonality and demo targeting to females 25-54) or insurance (which is apparently a result of buying impression volume).

Could these impressions be better served to someone who is in the market for one of these products or services? Of course, and marketers have the ability to do so.

According to eMarketer, digital spending is one of the only media predicted to experience healthy growth in 2010. One of the reasons is attributed to the data and analytics with proven success metrics. In the world today where the digital ecosystem has endless amounts of data and analytics, why not use this information to better target a message and increase performance?

Analytical insights allow us to target users further along in the purchase funnel with defined timeliness and messaging addressing their needs. It allows advertisers to recognize a consumer’s awareness, consideration, or hesitation for a brand or that of a competitor’s.

There are so many ways that we can learn from user’s actions and use those insights to target the right consumer. Targeting narrows the distribution of impressions to better serve the right message at the right time to the right person.

However, the age-old rule still applies when targeting: You need to recognize who you are targeting, the context in which you’re targeting; when will they see the message; and how you want the message communicated.

If you decide to use targeting, consider leveraging additional tools and options such as dynamic creative and attribution modeling. These allow the key who, what, where, when and how’s to increase relevancy and insight. Advanced targeting techniques such as creative, keyword and site retargeting make the experience more customized and optimized based on users’ behavior or needs.

With my upcoming fun-in-the-sun vacation planned, when I shop online at a well-known sporting goods retailer, they should recognize my search on their site for swimsuits and my history of abandoning my shopping cart with sunglasses prior to giving any personal information.

By leveraging site retargeting and dynamic creative, analytics would allow me to receive a banner in one of my upcoming user sessions featuring the sunglasses I abandoned with summer or beach imagery and an incentive offer for purchasing, such as a discount.

Now if you had a choice of seeing an ad for something you could immediately act upon — free shipping, a coupon, or a special invitation from a Web site you were recently considering a purchase on or another mass targeted ad that has nothing to do with you, what would you choose?

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