What is targeting?

Targeting helps marketers send their messages to a particular group, or segment, of visitors from the target audience.

Since your target audience probably has many different types of people in it, you need to identify audience segments that share something in common. After you identify these groups, you can send targeted messages that appeal to the interests of these specific segments of users.

In this way, advertisers and marketers can increase their success by communicating with their potential customers more effectively.

Why is targeting important?

Targeting ensures that the marketing content you show to users will be relevant for them. 

Once you’ve done the research and figured out what your customers need, you can tailor your marketing messages by crafting them to fit those needs.

Targeting can lead to many benefits, including:

  • Higher-quality, more personalized interactions with your customers
  • Better marketing outcomes, both in terms of greater customer response and a higher ROI
  • More customer loyalty, as your customers appreciate that you approach them on a personal, human level 
  • An increase in conversions and revenue

Targeting types

You can use several types of factors to target your key audiences. Let’s break down the most common ones:

1. Demographic targeting

Demographics are all the essential facts about a person, including age, gender, education, economic status, income, and more. Demographic targeting is the process of using this information to target specific groups with your ads and campaigns.

Using different types of segments, such as age and gender groups, can hugely increase the effectiveness of your communication.

For example, your company might want to sell luxury bags to women between the ages of 35 and 45 whose yearly income is around $80,000. By focusing your marketing efforts on this target audience, you’ll avoid wasting resources.

2. Geographic targeting

Geographic or location-based targeting sends your marketing campaigns to users who live in a certain area. This can be an entire country, a city, or even a specific neighborhood. 

Targeting a specific area allows marketers to send their offers to people who are in the right place.

Sticking with our example, a store could target women between 35 and 45 with an income around $80,000 who live in Los Angeles. This would be a great strategy for a brick and mortar store located in the city.

3. Psychological and behavioral targeting

Psychological and behavioral targeting uses people’s psychological traits and online activities to determine which types of messaging will resonate with them.

A consumer’s personality affects their shopping behavior. Some people are impulse buyers and others are more conscious about their purchases. Similarly, the answers to all the following questions can also inform your targeting:

  • What are their political views?
  • Do they care about the environmental impact of their purchases?
  • What websites and blogs are they currently following?

You can also use their online data to inform your targeting. This can include things like past purchases, search history, or their Facebook or Instagram browsing.

What is an example of a target market?

Finding the right target market is one of the most important components of success.

Let’s imagine a city with four different restaurants: an old-fashioned white tablecloth restaurant (for the older generation), a hip fine dining place (for younger folks), a simple pizza place (for families), and a pub with traditional Sunday roasts (for people who want a casual atmosphere).

These four restaurants have different target markets. That means that their menus, advertising, and decor should all appeal to the kind of customers they’re trying to attract.