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An Introductory Guide to Targeted Advertising

An Introductory Guide to Targeted Advertising

The concept of targeted advertising is to have the ideal consumer in mind, equipped with as much knowledge and insight into that consumer as you can be, and use that understanding to reach and resonate with them. As Corporate Business Coach Rasheed Ogunlaru said, "Until you understand your customers — deeply and genuinely — you cannot truly serve them." And that's what a targeted advertising campaign does.

To give you more perspective, here are ways to pinpoint a target audience for advertising campaigns and the top benefits of targeted advertising that you should consider.

Why Advertise with McClatchy? Learn Why Here.


How Does Targeted Advertising Work?

How Targeted Advertising WorksThe concept is essentially the same regardless of your goal — targeted digital advertising, mobile advertising, etc. You want to learn more about your ideal audience to target your communications and interactions better.

When you're confident you have enough insight, it's time to set up a campaign to show users ads based on their data/demographics. You'll want to advertise on the platforms most relevant to your brand and audience.

Data is collected from different sources — the most common being tracking cookies (i.e., a cookie with the ability to track visitors across multiple sites). However, marketing with tracking cookies is about to change when Google removes them in 2024. Another source of info is search engine data, which can gather data on user behavior through everything from location and online 'fingerprints' to search and click-through histories.

It's also common for advertising platforms to get data from social media profiles to help establish demographics and other traits. This data can be useful when targeting and retargeting your target audience.


Ad Retargeting with McClatchyRetargeting refers to the methods and strategies you take to target consumers who have already visited your website, interacted on your social media account, or otherwise shown interest in your brand or products/services.

Most popularly, brands use targeted ads to show consumers the products they've looked at before. This can be a great way to encourage a sale among a consumer who is genuinely interested but still deciding. The extra push could be the deciding factor. In fact, studies show retargeting has increased eCommerce sales by an average of 20% for many companies while reducing cart abandonment by at least 6.5%.

Types of Targeted Advertising

Despite how nice it would be, Seth Godin's saying that "everyone is not your customer" couldn't be more accurate in today's market. It's also an important reminder to have on hand while implementing ad targeting into your marketing. There are six types of targeted advertising you can segment your customers to narrow down your ideal customer.


Targeted Demographic AdvertisingJust as it sounds, demographic targeting refers to targeting your customers by their demographics. Some examples of demographic data that would be important for this segmentation include:

  • Age
  • Income
  • Gender
  • Family Size


Behavioral TargetingA behavioral targeting approach would focus more on your ideal customer's shopping and browsing behaviors to better personalize their experience with your brand. This could be their actions on your website (adding products to their cart, subscribing, downloading, contacting, etc.), history of search inquiries, past purchases, and more. An excellent example of this strategy is Netflix's ability to provide show or movie recommendations based on past behaviors.


Contextual TargetingContextual targeting, on the other hand, is more focused on the content surrounding your advertisements. It isn't just placed on any site hoping that the right people see it. It is more strategically placed based on content and interests relevant to your audience. This is important because the audience of your targeted ads matches the typical audience on the publisher's website. So when a visitor comes in contact with your ad, you can rest assured it was seen by a relevant consumer who is more likely to be interested in your offers.


Geographic Targeted AdvertisingGeographic targeting allows you to reach people near you or in a specific location with relevant messaging, which is especially helpful for local businesses.

A great example is local search ads on Google for inquiries related to you and your solutions. This would also be a good time to mention the importance of a free Google My Business profile with how to contact your business, hours of operation, reviews, ratings, a brief overview of who you are, and a link to your website.


Time targeted advertisingTime targeting refers to targeting your consumers at a certain time or day of the week. Typically, this includes scheduling ads to reach your consumers when they are most active on the internet. This could be before and after work or on the weekends if your target audience works the traditional 9-to-5.


Device targeted advertisingDevice targeting takes your insight into the devices your audience prefers to target them better where they are most active. You determine when, where, and on what device your ads will be delivered, allowing you to communicate more effectively with your consumers and measure the effectiveness according to your campaign goals.

The Benefits of Targeted Advertising

Benefits of Targeted AdvertisingHaving accurate and specific insight into your target audience will always be beneficial. Today, consumers choose brands by how well they meet their needs and expectations. Data shows that (88% expect brands to set new standards to meet their expectations) and whether their values align (72% believe that companies that reflect their values are 'more important than ever before'). You can do that if you know your target audience.

The more you know about your consumers, the better your brand will be positioned to solve their problems and align your business with their goals, expectations, values, and beliefs.

Aside from catering to consumer needs better than ever before, the most important benefits of targeted advertising include:

  • Personalization
  • Increased Brand Awareness
  • Streamlined Efforts
  • The Ability to Target New Markets

Targeted Advertising Campaigns with McClatchy

McClatchy knows consumers inside and out. We have decades of experience and expertise in marketing strategies that get results. While reaching the right consumers is often the biggest challenge for brands, there's no greater challenge than resonating with them in a way that shows you truly understand them, what they need from you, and how you can continue to add value to their lives. We can do that and more with our many solutions. Moreover, you’ll get access to McClatchy’s total audience reach, both locally and nationally, so you can truly pinpoint the consumers you need.


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