Marketers today face many challenges, no matter their industry. With competition coming from all angles and unshakable consumer "ad blindness," brands must find ways to reach niche audiences with the right messaging at the right time.

Audience targeting is synonymous with online advertising today. If you aren't sending your message to a specific audience, you are "spraying and praying"—a technique that works well if you have an unlimited budget and no one to answer to for campaign performance.

After you've implemented an audience-based tool, such as a data management platform (DMP), and started segmenting your customers and prospects into audiences, what's next?

Here are five steps for successful audience targeting, enabling you to pair audiences with the right messaging to communicate in more personal and meaningful ways, ultimately allowing you to reach your business goals.

Pixel your campaigns

Before you can start targeting your ads, you need to place a pixel on your properties (including your website and campaigns) to gather data about the audience. Pixels are small blocks of code on a webpage that allow websites to read and place cookies, which then passes anonymous information back to you about the person's behaviors online, including what pages they viewed.

For digital marketers who have used Google Analytics, this process should be fairly straightforward. Google Analytics uses pixels to track the path to conversion of your audience.

Most marketing technologies offer their own pixels to collect different types of data. So whether you are working with a DMP, a demand-side platform (DSP), or an exchange, talk to your vendor and make sure you are gathering the most information available.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
image of Michel Benjamin

Michel Benjamin is director of Marketing at Lotame, a data-management platform (DMP) that lets marketers harness audience data to make smarter decisions.

LinkedIn: Michel Benjamin