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How Targeted Programmatic Display Can Help Grow Your Business Digital awareness, particularly in marketing, has become essential, and with programmatic display advertising, you can reach potential customers much more efficiently.

By Jessica Wong

entrepreneur daily

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Technology has transformed consumer behavior, leading to evolutions in marketing strategies. Among the major shifts in recent years is the adoption of targeted programmatic display, which sounds complicated, but simply means an automated way of selling or buying digital advertising.

A surging number of marketers are diverting their ad budgets towards digital channels, in part because digital advertising is based upon precise data that enables marketers to reach out to prospective customers effectively. According to PwC's Global Entertainment & Media Outlook report, just over 50% of current advertising budgets are spent on digital platforms, and anticipated a rise to 54.4% in 2022 (it was 47.7% in 2018).

Ad spend follows attention

Digital marketing is always changing: what's working today may become obsolete in the coming year. To know what trend is "taking", you need to follow where the attention or focus of the people is. A recent report by Statista included the astonishing statistic that "nearly half of [survey] respondents stated that on average they spent five to six hours on their phone on a daily basis, not including work-related smartphone use", and that more hours are spent in app-based environments than in browsers. Other report data shows that consumers on average have more than 30 phone apps, but spend 97% of mobile time on their ten preferred — satisfying varied interests, including social media, games, information, news, music, calendars, etc. This trend has prompted marketers to redirect more than two-thirds of programmatic advertising budgets towards mobile devices instead of desktop ads.

Related: How Digital Marketing and Advertising Can Help Grow Your Ecommerce Business

Tactics for effective targeted programmatic display

Programmatic display advertising is an effective digital marketing platform that enables marketers to interpret target demographic data from different places on the Internet. Methods that have proven successful include:

  • Content audience selection: Programmatic display that aims towards content audiences relies on finding prospects that consume the same content, use similar apps and visit the same websites. (If people visit the same site, they get informed by the same things and are influenced the same way.) To marketers, if people have the same viewpoint, similar persuasions can be used to engage an audience to a brand. Content audience targets a demographic that's inclined to see you in a favorable way and respond positively.

Related: Know Your Audience – Tips for Tailored Communications

  • Location targeting: This term boils down to aiming at prospective customers from a predetermined location. Location targeting works best for brick-and-mortar businesses because the targets are people within a given geographical radius. For instance, if your business is located in Lafayette, Indiana, what's the point of advertising in San Francisco? These limitations also primarily apply to digital businesses that don't have a physical space. Depending on the brand, it might be best to target certain regions: For example, if you are selling ski gear, your audience is from Alaska, the Pacific Northwest, New England, and other snow regions. Advertising in the warm countryside of Hawaii won't increase conversions.
  • Interest targeting: Instead of targeting the general population, look within your own — find out what products your target audience enjoys besides your own, along with activities they engage in. If people enjoy "interest X" as well as your product, targeting those people may lead to conversion. Here, emphasis is based on contextual environments. For instance, a brewery company can focus on people interested in lifestyle, food, entertainment and sports.

Interest targeting enables marketers to filter audiences by identifying interests that overlap with their product, hence they target audiences likely to persuade and allocate resources towards conversion. This technique has demonstrated a favorable conversion rate over targeting the general population, and can be used in both physical and digital spaces.

Related: How Personal Values Will Shape the Future of Marketing

• Retargeting: Targeting a random consumer from the general population will require more resources and lead to fewer conversion rates. Instead, this technique focuses on people who have recently visited a digital platform or website. Those who visit your digital space are likely to become future conversions, and retargeting diverts advertising resources to individuals who have already shown interest in your product and are aware of your brand.

It's important to note that, though retargeting is efficient, it's low on the conversion pecking order, principally because it doesn't increase consumer volume.

With the advancement of new technology, the need for digital awareness is sending marketers into a frenzy. And while digital ads are a great way to drive brand awareness, customers (who are increasingly applying adblocking methods) can quickly deem them repetitive and irritating. Marketers require innovation and creative ways to pass information without appearing to be in the face of the people they want to attract, and targeted digital ads can go unseen, even as they focus on the perfect audience.

Jessica Wong

Entrepreneur Leadership Network® Contributor

Founder and CEO of Valux Digital and uPro Digital.

Jessica is the Founder and CEO of nationally recognized marketing and PR firms, Valux Digital and uPro Digital. She is a digital marketing and PR expert with more than 20 years of success driving bottom-line results for clients through innovative marketing programs aligned with emerging strategies.

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