How to Choose a Target Audience in Advertising

June 9, 2020

Location data lets us understand real-world consumer behavior. We know that the things we do, the places we go and the events that we attend tell the story of who we are. It’s what shows off our true interests, values, and loves. Location data shows how we spend our free time – and our expendable income. This information is the new imperative for marketers. As we say, it’s the marketer’s holy grail. The ability to target your ideal audiences for your next advertising campaign could make all the difference.

Yet, with a bevy of location-based data providers – and target audiences – to choose from, how can marketers choose the right audiences for their advertising campaign? It’s a question that we’re often asked by our agency and brand clients. In this series on how to select target audiences for advertising, we’ll share a few best practices from our experience in the location data space to help you better understand how target audiences are built, and prepare you to evaluate the many different offerings now available.

How to Choose a Target Audience in Advertising

Choose Which Type Of Advertising Campaign Fits Your Company’s Needs

So, where do you start? First, think about the type of advertising campaign that would best fit your company’s needs.

Types of location-based advertising can include:

Each type of location-based advertising has its advantages. After you have selected what type of ad campaign you would like to pursue, then you need to define your objectives.

Define Your Advertising Campaign Objectives

Before choosing your target audience, carefully consider the objectives of your advertising campaign.

Here are some questions to get you thinking about your advertising campaign objectives:

  • What are you planning to promote?
  • What is the total market opportunity for my product or service?
  • What are your ad campaign’s KPIs? What do you expect your ad ROI to be?
  • Where can I get the most visibility for my location-based ad? (Hint: Think about where your customers go frequently.)
  • What target audiences are you trying to reach, and where would they typically go?
  • Am I trying to acquire new customers with my ad, or to engage my current customers?

It’s important to consider these questions carefully as they will help you determine the best target audience for your campaign. After you have determined your ad campaign’s objectives, create your ad creative and finalize your messaging before you begin to evaluate location data providers and their available location-based target audience(s).

Evaluate Available Location-Based Audiences

Now that you’ve finalized the parameters of your advertising campaign, it’s time to evaluate available location-based target audiences. Every location data provider out there produces their data (and audiences) using a different recipe. Generally, there are four key attributes that you’ll want to consider when choosing a target audience for advertising:

  • Deterministic Data vs. Panel Data
  • Scale & Reach
  • Recency & Refresh Rates
  • Frequency

In the second part of this series on target audiences in advertising, we’ll discuss deterministic vs. panel data.

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