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Think BR: Consumers are coming round to targeted advertising

A shift in consumer understanding means that the public is now more aware of the benefits of targeted advertising, writes Ellie Edwards, managing director, Quisma.

Ellie Edwards, managing director, Quisma

Ellie Edwards, managing director, Quisma

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Recently in the Observer David Mitchell appeared as a surprising but very welcome advocate of targeted advertising, a topic that doesn’t often crop up in the national press, except in the business and tech pages.

In his piece Mitchell writes, among other things, about how it is wiser to be served targeted advertising rather than untargeted advertising - both for the consumer and the advertiser. A great comment to see for everyone in the world of marketing and advertising.

Much of this new positivity follows on from huge improvements in the world of online advertising, while there has also been a shift in consumer understanding.

The facebook generation interacts with brands very differently to their parents, sharing their movements and likes, so brands know their purchasing patterns and also when they are in their shop.

This means that the brand can serve an offer that the consumer can redeem while shopping; something that is profitable to both the consumer and the brand.

What consumers refer to as targeted advertising will tend to actually break into two categories.

That is targeted advertising proper, which is based on user data, and this can be as simple as gender, age and location, or as complex as salary brackets and whether you are a driver or a homeowner.

This data enables the advertiser to target their advertising better, avoiding wastage, for example, showing an ad for a car to someone without a driving licence. As Mitchell points out this benefits the consumer too as they are shown products they are really interested in.

The other category is retargeting or remarketing, a way for advertisers to keep their brand in front of consumers who have expressed some form of interest in it, based on the consumer visiting their website, searching for their brand or a keyword associated with their brand.

This is especially key in the online retail sector, which has embraced retargeting. For online retailers it is much more cost-effective to show relevant ads to smaller audience who will give 5 to 10 times the response than the ‘spray and pay’ methodology of old.

Retargeting is also beneficial to consumers, as those who may not have been able to purchase something as it was too expensive will be alerted when there is a sale on, or those who have just purchased a camera will be served advertising for lenses, cases or tripods.

Brands and consumers are getting savvy as to the benefits of targeted advertising and brands are using it to distribute budgets more efficiently.

In the last couple of years, with the ever tightening economy and marketers feeling the pinch on their budgets, advertisers need to deliver ROI in the most cost efficient method and targeted advertising falls into this camp.

So it’s not just David Mitchell who thinks that targeted advertising is the way forward.

 Ellie Edwards, managing director, Quisma

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