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July 25, 2016

Developing a detailed audience profile and mobile targeting ad strategy is no small task. And the tools at your fingertips have never been more sophisticated or accurate. Here's a closer look at how to align your level of mobile targeting with your desired business outcomes.

Determine Your Program Goals
What are your campaign goals? Generalized goals such as raising brand awareness with a broad audience segment benefit from wider exposure. When your goals focus on conversions or reaching a more specific demographic, audience targeting helps you maximize the impact of your ad budget. Define measurable campaign goals for each mobile ad campaign, see how you do, and develop a targeting hypothesis on what will deliver the best results.

Mobile Ads recommends building measurement into your campaign as you're designing it. Depending on what industry you're in, it might be good to keep secondary action rates (which measure purchase funnel actions the customer takes after the initial click-through) and visitation lift (which tracks in-store traffic that spawns from your campaign) on your radar. Once you have your strategy in place, it's time to get to know your customer.

Focus on Driving Purchase Intent
Econsultancy notes that the customer's path to purchase is complex, especially on mobile devices, as cited in a recent study in which a survey shows just how unique every consumer's journey is. Respondents were asked: "Where do you look for ideas and inspiration," and answered with seven different reasons, showing exactly how complicated it can be to pin down an audience.

Campaign targeting can help, as it determines two things: who sees your ads and how likely you are to be spending money on people who will buy from you. Tight targeting helps you get more mileage out of your ad budget and gets more leads into your buying funnel. Look at past buyer behavioral data to better understand which customers have converted through mobile ads, and who your most loyal customers are. Use those demographics to develop a targeting methodology.

Be Realistic About How Clear Your Audience Profile Is
Certain companies can pinpoint their ideal customer to a precise set of characteristics that almost guarantees a purchase. Previous research and experience have helped them understand exactly whom they need to reach.

A Mobile Marketer article looks at how Walmart uses mobile targeting to fine-tune the picture of the audience they're aiming for. They see a lot of visitation lift from their ads, and that's because they use geographic data, not only to see when consumers are near their stores, but to gain insight into what they're doing the rest of the time.

For others, the ideal customer is more loosely defined, or there's some ambiguity about where a mobile strategy will resonate with an audience. Typically, this happens with new start-ups, or when established companies are introducing whole new product categories. In this case, it may pay off to use looser targeting criteria. Over time, you'll collect data on what's working and be able to refine your campaign.

≥≥ Need a Shortcut?
1. Mobile campaigns can be broadly targeted to reach a wide variety of people. These campaigns support business goals like raising brand awareness of new products or in new markets.
2. More narrowly targeted ad campaign criteria help companies reach specific buyers, drive purchase intent, and measure conversions.
3. Your program goals and existing audience profile help determine the level of targeting that's right for you.
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