How ad targeting puts you in the crosshairs

| March 31, 2016

How ad targeting puts you in the crosshairs
"The tantalizing promise of online advertising has always been to deliver the right message at the right time to the right person. But for all the big talk about “big data” and consumer targeting, finding the perfect message can still be a guessing game. Tangerine executives knew this as they tried to figure out how to promote the bank’s first ever money-back credit card, which launched this week. So rather than making one ad, they made 70. The online campaign for the new card will be testing out dozens of different messages and images to attract potential consumers to its new rewards card. Some of them will focus on the specific cash-back percentage (2 per cent in two categories of purchases, and 1 per cent on all others), while others will communicate that same offer, not as a percentage but as “double” the usual rewards-card offerings. Other ads will focus more on the categories in which people can accrue rewards, depending on a person’s interests – look up recipes, and you might be more likely to see an ad focusing on rewards for spending at grocery stores, for example; if you’re a young person living in a city, you might be more likely to see rewards for restaurant spending. Tangerine will be using customer information from Environics to help target those ads, and use Google’s dynamic targeting to test them. The point of making so many different ads is that, as the campaign continues, the targeting can get better. If women in urban areas of Ontario respond better to a certain message, the bank will use customer data to deliver that same message to other women in those areas, or in other places which have similar characteristics. Messages that perform poorly could be jettisoned altogether."

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