The Importance of Target Audience Testing in Advertising

The Importance of Target Audience Testing in Advertising

Why Advertisers Should Test Their Target Audiences?

Throughout this series, we’ve examined how to best select target audiences for your advertising campaigns. Yet, no matter how carefully you choose your location-based audiences, you will still want to test your ad campaign before committing to just one audience or vendor. Target audience testing is important because it reduces the chances of wasting ad spend on your campaigns, but also prevents your ad from reaching uninterested customers.


As you are evaluating target audiences from various location data providers, you’ll need to make sure that you have enough time to test them before shifting your advertising campaign into high gear. So, always kick off your advertising campaign with a short test period (and a small test budget) that can be used to validate the performance of your top audience choices. This allows you to test the composition of audiences which you think would be the best to target.

Even if you’ve carefully vetted the location data used to build your selected audiences, there will be variances in audience composition. These variances between audiences can impact the effectiveness of your ad campaign. For example, a retail wine chain tested three of our location-based audiences in support of a new campaign; the audiences selected were ‘Wine Lovers’, ‘Beer Lovers’ and ‘Happy Hour Adventurers’. Two of the advertising audiences performed strongly, while the third proved to be less of a fit. By testing their target audiences, the retail chain was able to focus their ad campaign on the two audiences that performed well, ‘Wine Lovers’ and ‘Beer Lovers’, rather than ‘Happy Hour Adventurers.’


Without a test plan, there’s no way to tell ahead of time which audience or audiences will perform well. You might expect the most directly-relevant audience – in this case, ‘Wine Lovers’ – to outperform all others.  That may indeed be the case, but the best location-based audience for your ad campaign is not always the obvious choice. Other off-the-shelf audiences, like ‘Foodies’, may prove just as effective at reaching wine drinkers.


Although target audience testing adds a week or two to your campaign timeline, there’s no better way to ensure the performance of your location-based audience(s) and to maximize the return on your marketing investment. Testing allows you to confirm both the quality of the underlying data and the performance of your selected audiences prior to a full campaign rollout. It also allows you to allocate the balance of your campaign budget toward the audience(s) that perform best under real-world conditions.

It’s Important to Continue to Test Target Audiences

Your advertising campaign shouldn’t just include one phase of testing. Target audience composition isn’t static. It’ll continue to shift depending on consumer trends. Always keep in mind that audience composition can change over time, so it may be necessary to repeat your tests in the future. When you test your target audiences, you can launch your advertising campaign with confidence.

Previous: Frequency

Talk with a Gravy Analytics sales representative to learn how location intelligence can benefit your business.

Scroll to Top