To launch an effective targeted advertising campaign, marketers need to be strategic in how and where they source their data.

By Elaina Hundley

A successful targeted advertising campaign will deliver your message to the right people at the right time, helping your company enhance your sales process. But can you be sure your paid ad program is working as it’s supposed to? According to a new study from Adalytics, many marketers are seeing waning results from their programmatic ads due to faulty or incomplete data.

A New Study On Targeted Advertising

In a recent study by Adalytics, researchers explored the effectiveness of targeted advertising—a subset of digital advertising that uses data collected about users to pinpoint who should be served which ad. While this type of advertising was design to be a more personalized approach, the study found that it may not always be as effective as we might have hoped. 

The study followed the browsing history of 25 volunteers for two weeks. At the end, researcher Krzysztof Franaszek asked the participants to take a survey that spoke to whether or not the ads served were relevant to them. Unfortunately, the survey results were pretty mixed and many participants were served irrelevant ads. One particularly telling stat was that 90.5% of ads for the shoe company Merino were served to the wrong gender. 

The reason for this? Oftentimes, targeted ad programs are based around data from big data brokers and that info is not always clean—it can be clogged by data from third-party cookies. 

Audited Data Leads To Stronger Targeting

Essentially, targeted advertising remains an effective marketing tool—but it can often get muddied if it isn’t done correctly. In order to do it right, marketers need to be strategic in how and where they source their data to use for targeting. 

The key takeaway from the study was that data used for targeted advertising campaigns needs to be audited ahead of time. Publishers, industry associations and niche data companies can all be great partners in this endeavor; there’s distinct value in advertising with an organization that speaks to the audience profile you want to reach.  

Why Publishers Offer The Original Targeted Advertising

While most publishers and associations won’t provide you with their full subscriber or membership list, the opportunity to reach a specific niche that actively engages with a trusted publication or organization is in some ways the low-tech version of targeted advertising. If that organization can provide some demographic details of the individuals within their readership, this gives you the opportunity as an advertiser to really speak to that audience with your copy. Ultimately, this approach may offer stronger results and a more relevant reach than the digital targeted advertising examined in the study.

And, if you are a association this is a great opportunity to market the value of your audience—even over more high-tech options.

That said, it’s not time to totally throw in the towel on targeted advertising because when done well and with carefully audited data, it can provide valuable exposure. 

BH Sales Group Offers More Sophisticated Targeted Advertising Services

At BH Sales Group, we offer targeted advertising opportunities that are grounded in industry-specific, first-party data. Our expert approach is carefully audited and strategically sourced to ensure that you are really reaching your targeted audience. In doing so, we can help you avoid the pitfalls of targeted advertising and start to see the results you are looking for. 

Want to learn more? Get in touch today.