February 5

How Strategic Ad Targeting Saves Money


Boy, I get frustrated when I try to explain marketing concepts to non-marketers. Sometimes when you really know something, it becomes second nature, and therefore hard to put into words. This phenomenon actually has a name, it’s called “The Curse of Knowledge.”

Then there’s the fact that everyone thinks they know about marketing just because all their friends love their cheeky memes on Facebook.

Another misconception: most people think that advertising is about artistic visuals or catchy slogans; that there’s a magic formula or some inspired creative genius required to deploy effective ad campaigns. Those elements can be a small part of long-haul brand awareness but doesn’t do much to drive conversions in the near future.

The truth is much more boring than that. In reality, it’s a long, slow, repetitive slog. Start with logical, strategic ad targeting—and for goodness sake, don’t try to sell to “everyone.”

Targeting seems so obvious to me, yet apparently, I’m not good at explaining it. That being the case, I created this quick video to demonstrate by example.  

Strategic Ad Targeting

Strategic ad targeting is by far the most important element in setting up a marketing campaign. Later, other ingredients feed in, like click through rates, remarketing, customer feedback. But in the beginning, targeting is your best tool.

What are some ways we can target? We can target geographically if we have a local product or service. We can use demographic parameters such as age, gender, and income levels. Often we can use online behavior, such as purchase history, websites visited, and other affinities.

The best marketing? Create a product or service that people really want. Better yet, find out what they’re already searching for and create your product or service around that need and the market will be eagerly waiting for you once you launch.

No agency or marketing guru has a crystal ball or magic wand. It’s foolish to jump from one bigshot agency to another in hopes that someone else’s brilliant marketing will compensate for a product or service that nobody really wants in the first place.

As the saying goes, “Nothing will make a poor product fail faster than good marketing.”

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Clients or bosses always want to find (or expect their marketing consultant to find) that perfect image or clever turn of phrase that will suddenly convince the world that their product or service will change their life. Instead, they should focus on the solid fundamentals like, strategic ad targeting, split testing, and tweaking the message based on real life feedback.

Those things aren't sexy, artsy, or exciting. But they work, if only they’d give it a chance.

About the author 

Rick Zullo

Web designer, copywriter, content strategist, funnel builder, and teacher helping individuals and businesses create results-oriented digital marketing campaigns. [email protected]

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