87% of Americans, almost 278 million individuals, have access to the internet on at least one device. With a total digital universe of that size, chances are you will want to narrow your audience to only those most likely to respond vs. deploying a campaign to everyone.
One of the major ways marketers are targeting individuals online is through "Technographic Targeting" and "Content Targeting."
What is Technographic Targeting?
Technographic targeting is the process of serving digital ads to individuals based on their device's characteristics. While these characteristics encompass a wide range of categories, some of most commonly used technographic targeting elements include the type of device (desktop, table, mobile), the maker of the device (Apple, Samsung, Microsoft), the browser used on the device (Chrome, Safari, Firefox, IE), and the operating system of the device (iOS, Android, Windows).
For many marketers, having this level of targeting is vital as it opens the doors to help accomplish some very specific needs.
One of the more classic examples of technographic targeting was that of Orbitz.com. The online travel agency used technographic targeting to display ads with higher hotel prices to Mac users because their internal research showed that "people who use Apple Inc.'s Mac computers spend as much as 30% more a night on hotels." While somewhat controversial, the campaign allowed Orbitz to be more profitable based on Technographic targeting.
Geographic targeting is an important sub-set of technographic targeting that is used very frequently by marketers. From your mobile device to your desktop computer, various device specifications are used to determine your approximate geographic location. From there, certain ads are displayed based on where you are currently located.
For businesses with physical locations, especially local and regional businesses, this targeting is imperative to help drive foot traffic.
What is Content Targeting?
Content targeting is when the objective is to display ads to only those who are viewing or searching for a specific topic or theme.
Targeting ads based on a specific topic is an easy way to determine who has a high probability to be interested in your products or service. For example, if an individual is reading an article on ConsumerReports.com about snow blowers, it is safe to say that the individual is in the market for one.
For marketers, serving ads based on this simple connection early on in the buying process could mean the difference between winning a new customer or losing one to the competition.
About the Digital Nugget Series:
Digital Marketing is a growing, constantly evolving area. For marketers trying to keep up with the latest trends, it can be exhausting!
LiftEngine's bi-weekly Digital Nugget, published every other Monday, is a series of articles that will educate and shed light on the Digital Marketing world and when a fit exists, relate it is back to direct marketing. The series will start with the very basics of digital - popular acronyms, channels, terms and strategies - and progress to the latest and greatest trends.