Is interest-based targeting replacing demographic targeting as the new model?

Share this content:
The gloves are off
The gloves are off

NO

Liz Deutch, EVP, global director, customer engagement at Draftfcb, 25 years of marketing experience

Demographics remain a critical component of our targeting approaches.

Age still matters. Household income still matters. Ethnicity still matters. These remain leading indicators of how people consume media. However, there is no doubt that the rise of digital technology and social media is transforming how we approach marketing and communications today. Individuals' interests are transparent and data is at our fingertips. It is how and when this information is leveraged in combination with demographics that is most powerful in today's real-time world.

The more robust the data, and the more we layer our targeting approaches, the more relevant and effective we can become in our marketing efforts. So we need to think about how narrow we can make our targeting approaches: start with demographics, then overlay life-stage targeting, interest-based targeting, behavioral targeting, geotargeting. Or, start with behavioral-based or interest-based targeting and then overlay demographics. What is important is that the combination of data types is especially critical as we strive to drive deeper engagement with our audience.

Now more than ever, if we are not relevant then the audience will move on to the next brand, the next conversation. And to be relevant, we still need to understand the demographics of our audience. We need to know, for example, if we are talking to a teen, a boomer or a senior. This information will help us not only be more authentic in our creative ideas but also ensure that we are leveraging the appropriate communications channels.

In today's world, the consumer is in control of how and when they consume media. It is important to understand who we are trying to target in addition to what interests and behaviors they have in common. Relying on interests or behaviors alone could alienate an

important segment. Without an understanding of the demographics, we could miss our mark and therefore an opportunity.

So the question isn't, will interest-based targeting replace demographic targeting? The question is, how can they work together in order to develop the most powerful targeting? That is the huge win in today's model.

Direct Marketing News Decision

Demographics have long been the industry standard for segmenting and targeting specific consumer audiences. However, while demographics are often representative of interests, it is not an exact science and only tells part of the consumer's story. The new prevalence of search data, geotargeting and behavioral targeting is allowing marketers to hone their focus on those consumers most likely to buy a product or service. Demographics may still help marketers who want to cast somewhat of a wide net, but marketers who want to drill down further will likely shift their focus to interest-based targeting.

HAVE YOUR SAY. Email your topic to melissa.hoffmann@dmnews.com or comment below.

Page 4 of 4
close

Next Article in Mobile Marketing

Sign up to our newsletters

Company of the Week

Since 1985, Melissa has helped thousands of companies clean, correct and complete contact data to better target and communicate with their customers. We offer a full spectrum of data quality solutions, including global address, phone, email, and name validation, identify verification - available for batch or real-time processes, in the Cloud or on-premise. Our service bureau provides dedupe, email/phone append and geographic/demographic append services for better targeting and insight. For direct mailers, Melissa offers easy-to-use address management/postal software, list hygiene services and 100s of specialty mailing lists - all with competitive pricing and excellent customer service.

Find out more here »

Career Center

Check out hundreds of exciting professional opportunities available on DMN's Career Center.  
Explore careers in digital marketing, sales, eCommerce, marketing communications, IT, data strategies, and much more. And don't forget to update your resume so employers can contact you privately about job opportunities.

>>Click Here

Relive the 2017 Marketing Hall of Femme

Click the image above