Targeted advertising is more than just demographics

Tom Dougherty, CEO – Stealing Share

3 December 2013

The more important element of targeted advertising is emotion

Despite our fears about the NSA and others spying on us (Hey, I’ve got nothing to hide! Really!), I’ve thought that most Americans aren’t overly concerned about it. There’s a weird, maybe naïve, feeling that it’s a brave new world out there and you’d better adapt to it.

To some extent, that’s been confirmed in a study conducted by Sociomantic Labs, which found that 70% of consumers are OK with receiving targeted advertising. Targeted advertising can be a little creepy, especially online. If you search, say, a company like Target (pun intended!), then you’ll find Target ads popping up as you go about surfing the net.

“That means the brand meaning must connect with the consumer on an emotional, subconscious level.”


Targeted advertisingTargeted advertising has Big Brother written all over it, but the other option is to see advertising that means nothing to you. That’s what most of TV advertising, for example, is. Even if the program slides to a particular demographic and the advertising reflects that, it’s all noise.

The same study said that 41% thought ads were poorly targeted, which means they must be more than just a reproduction of what you were just looking at. It means advertisers must dig deeper. Right now, the targeted ads just say, “You searched for Target and we know!”

Instead, like all advertising, they need to address who that “searcher” wants to be when investigating the brand. That means the brand meaning must connect with the consumer on an emotional, subconscious level.

No more “Expect More. Pay Less.” Instead, the meaning should be a version of “This is you.”

That is targeted advertising.

See more posts in the following related categories: Internet advertising social media advertising targeted advertising


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