3 Targeting Tactics That Will Help Your Business Reach the Right Audience

Lee Groeger - 07/20/2023

First rule of sales: go where your audience is.

Alright, depending on who you ask, there are a lot of “first rules” of sales (go ahead, Google it!) but this is one of the big ones. And in order to effectively reach your audiences today, going where they are requires knowing how to reach them online.

Even if you know exactly where your customers and prospects are spending their digital time, whether it’s on a website, video or social media platform, because the internet is so saturated with companies vying for people’s attention and dollars, breaking through all that noise is competitive and challenging. To that end, unless your product or service is truly singular, it is almost imperative that you incorporate some form of paid promotion into your digital media mix.

The main variables that will inform your approach include your industry, the content you’re pushing, the audience(s) you are trying to reach, and what platform you are leveraging. There are loads of ways to go about implementing an audience-targeting program, but a prerequisite for doing it effectively is understanding some of the fundamental targeting strategies.


Demographic Targeting

Demographics are the parameters used to segment targeted audiences into more specific groups. Examples of standard demographics include gender, age, location, language, and income. This is probably the most commonly understood targeting method—old school, if you will.

Demographic targeting allows you to reach a specific set of people who are likely to match the demographic parameters you identify. For example, if you sell female athleisure wear, implementing a demographic targeting strategy allows you to push your content toward women. Or if you are just opened a restaurant in Morristown, New Jersey, one of the targeting parameters you can include in your campaign parameters is people in the surrounding area (towns, zip codes, or counties, depending on the platform).

This approach not only works toward driving awareness among prospective customers, it also optimizes your budget by limiting impressions delivered to undesirable audiences.

Endemic Targeting

If you’ve ever been in a meeting and found yourself confused at hearing this term, you are not alone! Endemic—also known as Vertical— targeting refers to content that is contextually relevant to the audiences and platforms it’s being delivered on. In other words, this is a way of getting your messaging in front of a targeted audience by disseminating it via platforms dedicated to the specific topics or interests at hand.

Comparing endemic targeting to demographic targeting is probably the easiest way to define it. Instead of targeting a person based on their gender or age, endemic targeting separates audience segments based on traits, interests, likes, dislikes, and similar factors. So, for example, if you want to reach people who shop for children’s clothes, you might consider targeting them on a children’s clothing retail website like The Children’s Place or Carter’s, or parenting magazine such as Parents.  

Circumstances under which a company might opt to use an endemic targeting strategy:

  • If search engine traffic for your product or services is low
  • If you are in a niche market that isn’t big enough for Google to have built audiences relevant to it
  • There are one or several websites that have totally monopolized the attention of your market

Basically, if you have a very specific niche or trade audience, endemic targeting is likely to be a productive strategy for your business.

Programmatic Targeting

What advertisers and marketers have learned over the years is that, even if you know something about a consumer, you don’t know everything about them. That’s where programmatic targeting come in. The term sounds complicated, but at its core, it is simply a form of data-based targeting. It’s a way of targeting specific audience segments with content that is personalized to them by leveraging online behavioral data.

Whereas endemic targeting is all about reaching the right audience in the right place with messaging that is all but sure to resonate with them, programmatic targeting allows you to find the right people regardless of where they are at any given time.

Think about it like this. Let’s say you, yourself, are in marketing. What percentage of your online time would you say you spend on Marketing Dive or HubSpot, or your other favorite industry websites? Certainly not all of it. Programmatic targeting allows companies to reach its audiences with messaging that’s targeted to them, and that reaches them when (and where) they’re looking at the weather forecast, catching up on news headlines, or checking the score of the game.

What sets programmatic targeting apart is its dynamic balance of specificity and breadth. This approach allows you to find your audiences wherever they actually are, not just where you they are likely to be.

Make It Count

Here’s the truth: there is value in ALL of these targeting methods. What tools and platforms you should use is dependent upon various factors—industry, timing, competition, etc.—and how successful your efforts are will be determined by how well you leverage the tools and resources at your disposal.

Speaking of resources, if you’re looking for guidance or support in cutting through the noise to reach your target audiences, we can help. You can reach me here any time!

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This