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.

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Connected Business Concepts

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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.
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