5 Steps to Successfully Targeting in Online Ad Campaigns

Today’s marketers face many challenges, regardless of industry. Because competition comes from all walks of life and consumer “ad blindness” doesn’t need to be reduced, brands need to find ways to reach niche audiences with the right message at the right time through Online Ad Campaigns.

Audience segmentation is now synonymous with online advertising. If you’re not getting your message across to a specific audience, spread the word and pray – a technique that works well if you have an unlimited budget.

What’s the next step after implementing an audience-based tool like a data management platform (DMP) and starting to segment your customers and prospects into groups?

Here are five steps to successful audience segmentation that will help you connect your audience with the right message to communicate in more personal and meaningful ways, helping you achieve your business goals.

Pixelate your campaigns

Before targeting your ads, you need to place a pixel on your properties (including your website and campaigns) to collect audience data. Pixels are small pieces of code on a webpage that allow websites to read and set cookies, which then send you anonymous information about the person’s online behavior, including the pages they viewed.

For digital marketers using Google Analytics, this process should be pretty straightforward. Google Analytics uses pixels to track your audience’s conversion path.

Most marketing technologies provide their own pixels to collect different types of data. So if you work with a DMP, an on-demand platform (DSP), or a trade show, talk to your provider and make sure you gather as much information as possible.

Identify your clickers or converters

By aligning your campaigns, you can create an audience of ‘clickers’ or ‘converters’ – members of highly engaged groups who can become your customers.

Once the audience has been created in your DMP or DSP and you have set aside a few weeks for data collection, learn the analysis or audience profile of this valuable audience to learn more.

Most marketers have a pretty good idea of who their target audience is. But the information collected about your customer’s Internet activity can tell a different story. Until you understand who your online audience really is, you may be creating the wrong people. And that doesn’t get you anywhere.

For example, you think your target audience is something like soccer moms and you’ve targeted women between 25 and 44 years old. But the public profile report could tell a different story. Perhaps the people most likely to click your ads are people (not just women) interested in financial products.

All information collected can be used for the next campaign. So, next time, try reaching a financial audience instead of watching football moms see if your click-through rate increases.

Customize your messages

In Online Ad Campaigns, one size fits all. Not all customers respond to the same message. The goal of any campaign is to get the best return on investment and send a message that best suits your audience to promote sales or leads.

The information collected from your audience can be used to customize your posts for even greater engagement or to find more people to become customers (known as “viewers”).

For example, if you’ve found that women who can click your ads also like dogs to appeal to your target audience, consider including dogs in your next marketing campaign.

Identify lookalikes

Once you’ve identified your ideal customer, you can purchase third-party data to reach more audiences that haven’t visited your site or interacted with your brand.

Similar audiences are new people who may be interested in your product because it is similar to your main customers. You can base your similar audience on a variety of sources, but the clickers and converters above are a good start.

For brands that need to grow their audience for a targeted campaign, similar models are used to create reach. It uses third-party data available from a data provider or DMP to enrich your “seed” audience (ie the basics, in this case, your clickers or converters) so that you can run your campaigns.

By targeting people who look or act like your target audience, you can focus your advertising spending on people who may be involved with your products and services.


Retargeting is the most basic public-based marketing use case: you target ads to users who have already visited your site or expressed an interest in your product or service. Retargeting refers to targeting these people in hopes of bringing them back to your site.

Amazon is an example of an excellent retargeting company, as everyone has no doubts. When you buy something from Amazon but don’t complete the purchase, you find an ad for the item on another website the next day. These ads are great for reminding you that you forgot to buy, so why not go back to the site and get the job done?

Retargeting can be based on past interactions, such as a product search or an ad click. Combined with technology from different devices, redirection can also take place on screens, allowing you to reach your audience on mobile and desktop for simple and effective messaging. Cross-targeting is very powerful, but a little more advanced than traditional targets.

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These are just five ways to put your audience data to good use to increase customer engagement and improve the effectiveness of your Online Ad Campaigns. You already have mountains of auditory data at your fingertips. Are you reaching your full potential?