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The rising importance of micro targeting

16th Oct 2017
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Micro targeting is the use of data to very specifically pinpoint the wants and needs of a small target audience, and tailor messaging and advertising to that audience. The practice of micro targeting isn’t new. Marketers have been using the technique for decades. In fact, the concept behind mailing promotional flyers only to households in specific zip codes is an example of geographic microtargeting.

Today the data used in microtargeting is much bigger and has a far wider reach. As a result, marketers have a greater ability to very specifically target the audiences they need with both advertising and content.

Considering that targeted advertisements are clicked 670% more often than other ads, it’s no wonder that the use of microtargeting is becoming more and more important.

Data And Micro Targeting

Early efforts at microtargeting (before and after the existence of online marketing) was largely hit or miss. The reason for this was lack of data as well as lack of sharing of data. That’s not the case any more. Anyone who uses Facebook has seen this in action. You search Google for washers and dryers in one tab. Then, a few minutes later you click over to Facebook, and you see an ad for an appliance megastore near you. Scroll through your newsfeed, and you see a sponsored post from a well-known appliance manufacturer.

By working with paid advertising platforms, social media, and the data they collect themselves, marketers are able to very specifically target audiences using all or some of the following information:

  • Your demographic information
  • Your hobbies and interests
  • Your search history
  • Your location
  • Your employer
  • Your social media profile information
  • Posts that you’ve reacted to
  • Your shopping history
  • Web pages you have visited
  • Your emotions

For example, a local business catering to women could target social media ads to females within a specific zip code, between the ages of 18 and 44, who have searched for yoga apparel.

Micro Targeting And Personalization of Content

Data doesn’t simply inform marketers on who and where to send their messages. It also provides extremely useful information on what those messages should contain. After all, personalization pays of. When it comes to ROI, it pays off at a rate of five to eight times.  

Thanks to the advent of customer data platforms where data supplied by the customer as well as data from third party sources can be stored, it’s now possible to identify which marketing segments are most worth targeting as well as how they should be targeted.

This personalization can be applied in a variety of ways. For example, a survey showed that companies who personalized emails showed as much as a 90% boost in conversions. Then there’s DemandBase. This company uses data to present landing page visitors with very personalized content. This includes adding a personalized message to users based upon their employment information.

How is this accomplished? Marketers use dynamic content to personalize messaging on websites and landing pages. Amazon uses dynamic content to recommend products to you based on your previous purchases and search history. It is also used to personalize newsletters and emails. It’s a matter of simply placing HTML code on a web page that will offer up a personalized message for each visitor.

Micro Targeting Can Improve SEO

Micro Targeting allows you to create content that is most relevant to your target audience. Whether that’s a sponsored post on Facebook, landing page content, or a blog post, relevant content leads to better SEO. Marketers can use micro targeting to determine the best content format, which longtail keywords will have the most impact, even where and when to post content. According to 720 Digital, “In order to get the best search engine rankings, businesses must think beyond keywords. It’s imperative that content can answer whatever question the user has. When content is created with this in mind, SEO improves naturally.”

Micro Targeting And Micro Moments

When combined with customer journey mapping, micro targeting can be a powerful tool. Marketers can use these together to identify potential micro moments where they can get in front of customers with the right offer or the right information. One company taking advantage of this opportunity is Red Roof Inn. They track flight information in airports near their hotels. When they learn of delayed or cancelled flights they target ads to travelers in those areas who just might need a place to stay.

The idea is to use a combination of stored and real time data, along with predictive analysis to find opportunities to meet customer’s needs in the moment. When done correctly, this can create the kind of ‘oh wow!’ moments that truly impress customers.

Micro Targeting And User Experience

Imagine visiting a website that sells educational software. You click on a button to download a free trial of grade school math and reading software. Rather than spending ten minutes filling out a form, you decide to sign up using Facebook. The moment you do this, Facebook shares your profile information with the website. This includes that fact that you are an elementary school teacher.

Later, you visit the same site on your phone. This time you’re routed to a page that’s specifically designed for educators. Instead of seeing products and content intended for a general audience, you see products specifically intended for teachers to use in the classroom.

Marketing to the right customer segment has always been a priority. It’s more cost effective, and it gets better results. Customers are also more receptive to marketing content that is relevant to them. Dynamic landing pages, personalized marketing email content, targeted advertising are just a few things that become more effective the more marketers understand about their target audience.

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