5
 min read

What is targeted advertising?

Find out what this advertising strategy is, and how it can benefit your business 🤑

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Let me tell you an anecdote that must have happened to you.

It was last year during the first lockdown, a time when pervasive boredom drove me to dig out my puzzles from my attic. In a fit of pride at the 1,000 pieces assembled, I went off to spread the news of my success to my friends on Snapchat. Little did I know at the time that the word "puzzle" would follow me for so long. 1 month! For 1 month I was harassed with targeted puzzle ads of all kinds on social media. 🤩

Déjà vu feeling? Has this ever happened to you? Well, like my passion for puzzles, I guess you have other interesting passions, but that's okay because every day we are subject to targeted advertising on the internet. This is a very effective marketing strategy that has become systematic in almost all companies and is constantly evolving. 

But what is targeted advertising?

According to the official definition, "targeted (or personalized) advertising is an advertising technique that aims to identify people individually in order to deliver specific advertising messages based on individual characteristics". In other words, it is an advertising strategy that focuses on a consumer's specific characteristics, interests and preferences in order to better target their potential customers, and therefore, sell more. 🛒 

How does it work?

Here's one of the most common methods: 

Let's say you go to Amazon to look for a new book. To keep track of your visit, Amazon creates a file called a "cookie" on your computer. Later, when you read a post on a blog site, automated ads read this cookie and generate ads for items related to your visit to Amazon, such as books by the same author or other books that might interest you.

However, this system is not perfect. Even if you only visit a page once, you may see ads for that particular product for some time. For example, you may continue to receive ads for maternity clothes long after you have given birth. 🤰


In addition to cookies, advertisers also learn about you in other ways, such as checking your search engine history and finding your personal information on social networks.

5 benefits of targeted advertising 

1. Better target potential customers 🎯

2. Can reach the younger generation more easily 👧🏾🧒🏼

3. Better shopping experience: customer receives relevant ads tailored to their needs and interests 💎

4. Lower cost and increased ROI 💸

5. Effectiveness of an ad can be easily evaluated 📊


However, you have to be careful with the data you use to target your customers. Indeed, a study proved that the less acceptable the data used (for example: anticipating future purchases, too personal data), the less effective your advertising will be.