Targeting Your Market: Not Creepy

Looking for a really new idea for your Halloween costume this year? How about dressing up as a digital marketer?

I don’t know what that costume would look like, but it might scare people, judging by the number of times clients have told us that targeted marketing feels creepy.

Here’s what people have said about the spooky:

  • “I’m an open-minded guy.” We get it — you don’t want to act like girls are not allowed when it comes to your product. You don’t want to suggest that Latino customers need something different from non-Hispanic customers. I have to admit that the way some marketers talk about demographic targeting creeps me out, too. But telling Facebook to direct your ads toward women doesn’t make you a sexist, if you know that your typical customer is a woman. It just saves you money.
  • “Remarketing is creepy.” We understand this feeling, too. There your customer is, happily surfing the web, and you suddenly pop up in his face with some reminder of the stuff he looked at earlier in the day. How creepy is that? But your customer’s experience, assuming you do remarketing right, is nothing like that. Instead, he’s been thinking about buying a particular product, and you’re offering him some products targeted to his needs. That’s helpful.
  • “Shouldn’t this be a more thoughtful process?”  If you’re accustomed to artfully-crafted legacy marketing messages, you might find it a bit soulless to look at a chart and say, “Your followers on this social platform are 87% women between the ages of 25 and 34, so that’s who you should talk to. Oh, and they’re engaging with you most between 4:00 and 5:00 p.m., so a lot of them are thinking about what to make for dinner.” Data-driven decisions don’t have to get in the way of creativity or even artistry, but they help you show messages that are of interest to your customer.

You’re not a bigot, a stalker, or a soulless robot if you target your messages to your audience as well as you possibly can. You’re being a good steward of your marketing funds and caring for your customers. Modern digital marketing technology gives you the tools to do this better.






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