The Fine Art of Targeting

Editor Note: This article is a sample of Chapter 2 of Rob Graham’s book: Fishing From a Barrel: Using Behavioral Targeting to Reach the Right People with the Right Ads at the Right Time. The full book PDF was made available through this site for free with the consent of the author, make sure to check the link above. However, since this chapter is highly relevant to #measure people, we decided to post it separately. Below is a sample of “The Fine of Targeting”, chapter 2 of the book (full pdf: The Fine Art of Targeting).

Are You Talking To Me

Everyday we’re bombarded with an estimated 12,000 to 15,000 different branding messages. For the most part very small percentages have little to do with who we are as individuals or what we want in life.

I know who I am as an individual better than anybody else. I know what I like and what I don’t. I know what pleases me, what pisses me off and what doesn’t get a reaction from me either way. Yet I’m rarely asked by marketers about who I am and what I want, even when it’s to their advantage. Instead most of them guess who I am and what I want. More often then not, they are dead wrong.

How would they know this? Well, they have to listen to me but in a way they have never tried to listen before. You see, we need to have a conversation. I’m no longer interested in them telling me what I want. I’ve been able to figure that out for myself. Now I want them to listen to me and understand what I want so they can offer me ways to get what I want. Not a difficult concept to grasp but we need to work together to get there. Think of it as a partnership.

Advertisers also need to understand that I like being an individual. That’s not to say I don’t share tastes and beliefs with other people, because I do. But I’m unique. What’s important to me is what’s important to me. If they’re going to start a conversation with me they need to understand that the way I view the world makes a difference to me. If they ignore that fact we’re going to have a difficult time communicating and isn’t that all effective advertising is – a type of communication?

Also understand that I don’t really hate advertising. I hate irrelevancy. Not just in advertising but in all parts of my life. I don’t pay attention to most things that have nothing to do with me. Why should I? My bandwidth is limited. I’m already being bombarded with thousands of branding messages every day. My filters need to be constantly re-calibrated based on my needs and interests. I’m not trying to be fickle but I am dynamic. I’m changing constantly and will be for some time.

So how can advertisers talk with me in a way that will make me listen? It’s a great question with no single answer. The ways to reach consumers are as individual as the consumers themselves. But one approach that’s working is to watch what consumers do and from that gain a better sense of what they want and need. Sure, it’s not an exact science but it beats tagging any random consumer as a prospect just because they can fog a mirror with their breath.

Download the Full Chapter 2: The Fine Art of Targeting

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