What Is Microtargeting? Microtargeting In A Nutshell

Microtargeting is a marketing strategy that utilizes consumer demographic data to identify the interests of a very specific group of individuals. Like most marketing strategies, the goal of microtargeting is to positively influence consumer behavior.

Understanding microtargeting

Microtargeting is the practice of using consumer data to create specific market segments of individuals who are then subject to targeted advertising campaigns. 

There is no standard approach to microtargeting. However, most advertisers utilize the following four components in one form or another:

  1. Data collection – data may be collected from open sources such as social media, buying databases, voter registries, and data brokers. It may also be collected from more surreptitious sources such as hidden website trackers and cookies.
  2. Profiling – which involves advertisers dividing consumers into small and specific groups according to various characteristics. These include their background, personality, opinions, influences, purchasing habits, hobbies, location, and voting behavior.
  3. Personalization – with the groups identified, the business then creates personalized content for each of them.
  4. Targeting – hyper-targeted messages are then disseminated to each group. Social media platforms are often used. Facebook, for example, allows advertisers to upload their own data and target individuals they have never encountered before that share similar traits to individuals they have encountered before. This allows the business to increase the size of its prospective target audience.

Microtargeting best practices

When used correctly, microtargeting allows businesses to craft messages that speak to consumers and make them pay attention in what is now an ultra-competitive and distracted world.

To do this, consider the following best practices:

Focus on relevance

To ensure marketing messages have the maximum effect, communication should be relevant to the target audience. It is important the business classifies every consumer into a group and develops a message for each – even if some groups contain only a few individuals.

Utilize multichannel campaigns

This enables a brand to better interact with its customers across numerous touchpoints. Multichannel campaigns should be a natural extension of relevancy. 

Understand the audience

In the context of microtargeting, this means acquiring consumer data from reputable providers. Sources that scrape websites for data should be avoided at all costs as this can damage brand reputation and may be illegal in some situations.

Be wary of data decay

Or the rate at which the quality, accuracy, and reliability of consumer data decrease. In B2C marketing, for example, data decay may be caused by a consumer moving house, using a new email address, or divorcing their spouse. While data decay cannot be avoided entirely, the business must endeavor to use up-to-date data at all times.

Remember the fundamentals

Possessing detailed personal information about a potential customer is no excuse for the business to forget the fundamentals of marketing. It should always start a conversation with the prospect that is not about sales and avoid any action that could be construed as spam. Once a sale has been completed, the business should continue to communicate with the customer in a way that builds loyalty.

Key takeaways:

  • Microtargeting is a marketing strategy that utilizes consumer demographic data to identify the interests of a very specific group of individuals. The goal of microtargeting is to positively influence consumer behavior.
  • There is no standard approach to microtargeting, but there are nevertheless four central components: data collection, profiling, personalization, and targeting.
  • Microtargeting is an effective way to cut through the noise and make consumers pay attention to a marketing message. To do this, the business should have a core focus on relevance, use a multichannel strategy, understand its audience, be wary of data decay, and remember the fundamentals of marketing.

Main Free Guides:

Marketing Glossary

Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing describes the process whereby an affiliate earns a commission for selling the products of another person or company. Here, the affiliate is simply an individual who is motivated to promote a particular product through incentivization. The business whose product is being promoted will gain in terms of sales and marketing from affiliates.

Ambush Marketing

As the name suggests, ambush marketing raises awareness for brands at events in a covert and unexpected fashion. Ambush marketing takes many forms, one common element, the brand advertising their products or services has not paid for the right to do so. Thus, the business doing the ambushing attempts to capitalize on the efforts made by the business sponsoring the event.

Brand Building

Brand building is the set of activities that help companies to build an identity that can be recognized by its audience. Thus, it works as a mechanism of identification through core values that signal trust and that help build long-term relationships between the brand and its key stakeholders.

Brand Equity

The brand equity is the premium that a customer is willing to pay for a product that has all the objective characteristics of existing alternatives, thus, making it different in terms of perception. The premium on seemingly equal products and quality is attributable to its brand equity.

Brand Positioning

Brand positioning is about creating a mental real estate in the mind of the target market. If successful, brand positioning allows a business to gain a competitive advantage. And it also works as a switching cost in favor of the brand. Consumers recognizing a brand might be less prone to switch to another brand.

Business Storytelling

Business storytelling is a critical part of developing a business model. Indeed, the way you frame the story of your organization will influence its brand in the long-term. That’s because your brand story is tied to your brand identity, and it enables people to identify with a company.

Content Marketing

Content marketing is one of the most powerful commercial activities which focuses on leveraging content production (text, audio, video, or other formats) to attract a targeted audience. Content marketing focuses on building a strong brand, but also to convert part of that targeted audience into potential customers.

Digital Marketing

A digital channel is a marketing channel, part of a distribution strategy, helping an organization to reach its potential customers via electronic means. There are several digital marketing channels, usually divided into organic and paid channels. Some organic channels are SEO, SMO, email marketing. And some paid channels comprise SEM, SMM, and display advertising.

Growth Marketing

Growth marketing is a process of rapid experimentation, which in a way has to be “scientific” by keeping in mind that it is used by startups to grow, quickly. Thus, the “scientific” here is not meant in the academic sense. Growth marketing is expected to unlock growth, quickly and with an often limited budget.

Guerrilla Marketing

Guerrilla marketing is an advertising strategy that seeks to utilize low-cost and sometimes unconventional tactics that are high impact. First coined by Jay Conrad Levinson in his 1984 book of the same title, guerrilla marketing works best on existing customers who are familiar with a brand or product and its particular characteristics.

Inbound Marketing

Inbound marketing is a marketing strategy designed to attract customers to a brand with content and experiences that they derive value from. Inbound marketing utilizes blogs, events, SEO, and social media to create brand awareness and attract targeted consumers. By attracting or “drawing in” a targeted audience, inbound marketing differs from outbound marketing which actively pushes a brand onto consumers who may have no interest in what is being offered.

Integrated Marketing

Integrated marketing describes the process of delivering consistent and relevant content to a target audience across all marketing channels. It is a cohesive, unified, and immersive marketing strategy that is cost-effective and relies on brand identity and storytelling to amplify the brand to a wider and wider audience.

Marketing Mix

The marketing mix is a term to describe the multi-faceted approach to a complete and effective marketing plan. Traditionally, this plan included the four Ps of marketing: price, product, promotion, and place. But the exact makeup of a marketing mix has undergone various changes in response to new technologies and ways of thinking. Additions to the four Ps include physical evidence, people, process, and even politics.

Marketing Personas

Marketing personas give businesses a general overview of key segments of their target audience and how these segments interact with their brand. Marketing personas are based on the data of an ideal, fictional customer whose characteristics, needs, and motivations are representative of a broader market segment.

Multi-Channel Marketing

Multichannel marketing executes a marketing strategy across multiple platforms to reach as many consumers as possible. Here, a platform may refer to product packaging, word-of-mouth advertising, mobile apps, email, websites, or promotional events, and all the other channels that can help amplify the brand to reach as many consumers as possible.

Multi-Level Marketing

Multi-level marketing (MLM), otherwise known as network or referral marketing, is a strategy in which businesses sell their products through person-to-person sales. When consumers join MLM programs, they act as distributors. Distributors make money by selling the product directly to other consumers. They earn a small percentage of sales from those that they recruit to do the same – often referred to as their “downline”.

Niche Marketing

A microniche is a subset of potential customers within a niche. In the era of dominating digital super-platforms, identifying a microniche can kick off the strategy of digital businesses to prevent competition against large platforms. As the microniche becomes a niche, then a market, scale becomes an option.

Relationship Marketing

Relationship marketing involves businesses and their brands forming long-term relationships with customers. The focus of relationship marketing is to increase customer loyalty and engagement through high-quality products and services. It differs from short-term processes focused solely on customer acquisition and individual sales.

Sustainable Marketing

Sustainable marketing describes how a business will invest in social and environmental initiatives as part of its marketing strategy. Also known as green marketing, it is often used to counteract public criticism around wastage, misleading advertising, and poor quality or unsafe products.
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