Targeted Advertising

How Targeted Advertising Works

If you’re a marketer in the 21st Century, the online world is your oyster. Gone are the ways of traditional marketing methods — newspaper, radio, television. Now, you have the ability to learn about your audience with a few clicks of a button and scroll of a computer mouse.

If you’re on the opposite end, realizing that your Facebook page and other social media habits can be tracked by someone you don’t know can sound a bit scary, like Big Brother, right?

As a marketer or a run-of-the-mill individual just browsing the Internet, how does targeted advertising influence your work and personal life? And how do you plan for it and around it?

The two forms of marketing that impact you the most are search advertising and targeted advertising. Search advertising bases its advertising on internet searches like Google. It uses keywords to toggle the content; but, keywords and search terms can have more than one meaning. This is where advertising can get interesting! How do you give consumers the right amount of advertising that is specifically targeted to their interests and needs? Targeted advertisement is the key!

There are various types of targeted advertising, including:


Geofencing is location-based technology that can be a highly cost-effective, engaging component of your business marketing strategy. If you want to market to a specific audience, targeted ads can help you reach audiences as broad as an entire nation or as small-scale as one or two ZIP codes. For example, if you’re marketing a local frozen yogurt shop, it makes sense to only market to those people within the immediate vicinity. Someone across the nation may not want to see that ad. Major brands like Nike or Netflix often use messages targeting the entire globe — with strategic advertisements promoting specific products in clear-cut markets.


Have you ever wondered why that dress you searched for on Macy’s website or that new kitchen gadget you saw on Amazon comes up on third-party websites? You have behavioral marketing to thank for that! Marketers use various technologies and strategies to target users with website-specific behaviors in order to market a product or service. Marketers keep track of pages consumers visit, the time spent on each webpage, click-through links from page to page, and more, allowing marketers to create their own “user profiles” to build upon their current customer base, as well as expand to other demographics.


Content reigns with contextual advertising. While behavioral advertisements pull products and behaviors from a consumer’s search history, contextual advertising pertains to what the consumer is actually reading so the flow is natural. For example, a consumer researching refrigerators for purchase, similar advertisements will pop up in the form of pop-up windows, banner ads, and more. This type of advertising is heavily based on the content creator and their relationships with advertisers and other web publishers.

Start connecting your messages with the right people at the right time with targeted advertising. While search advertising is useful, targeted advertising will continue to expand as technology exponentially grows.

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