Hunter Jones-Volpi

by Hunter Jones-Volpi |

When it comes to using paid channels to prospect new customers, you’re probably already trying a variety of targeting options. You’re likely using paid social to target interests and behaviors, build customer lookalike models, and create prospecting dynamic product ads. You may even be leveraging some unique capabilities like dynamic high lifetime value lookalikes. But there’s a whole wide array of different prospecting targeting types that may never be available on paid social, or paid search for that matter.

That’s where programmatic advertising comes in! Are you ready to scale? Have you maxed out your core targeting efforts on search and social platforms? Want to try something new? If you answered yes to all these questions, then you’re in the right spot.

The main goal of this post is to help you jumpstart your thinking on how to utilize different programmatic targeting to kick your brand’s growth into high gear.

Programmatic Audience Targeting
Basic Targeting Options

First, let’s start off with the most common types of programmatic targeting. When you get a pitch from a vendor, you’ll most likely see one or all of these types of targeting:

  • Lookalikes – They will model a list of users off your seed list
  • Behavioral – This focuses on what a person is doing. For example, what sites they go to, what they shop for, etc.
  • Contextual – This is based on the content of the media you’re serving ads against, and typically you can target by keyword or categorical theme.

While many social channels also have high-quality versions of the above targeting options, it’s still important to incorporate them as targeting tactics in your programmatic media plan, since you can access a broader range of inventory through programmatic.

Moving into the most popular, most developed programmatic targeting that many other channels do not offer at the moment, you have:

  • Absolute purchase data
  • IP address targeting
  • App targeting
  • Movement data
  • Weather targeting
Absolute Purchase Data

Absolute purchase data is extremely helpful for almost anyone. This involves buying audiences directly from any major card company and asking for a list of recent purchasers for a company related to yours. Some examples:

  • It’s grilling season, and you sell an AMAZING steak marinade – ask for a list of recent purchasers from Weber, BQQ Guys, CharBroil; they’re likely in-market for your marinade but would be tough to directly target on Facebook
  • You sell engagement rings, and you know that your consumers are more likely to rent an apartment than own a house – get a list of ‘rent payers’ and layer on targeting for men aged 23 to 35 who aren’t married yet.
  • You offer mortgage lending – another great product to target ‘rent payers’

The list of options goes on and on. Some of the major card holders also offer premade groups of users (for example, fashionistas, out-to-eat enthusiasts), which also can perform very well and give you a chance to target other users you would not normally reach.

IP Address Targeting

IP Address Targeting allows you to target device IDs associated with physical addresses that have been logged into a wifi network, home or work. If you’re a B2B advertiser, this targeting is useful in cases when you need to reach employees on a corporate wifi network — for example, in ABM targeting. For B2C advertisers, you can use IP address targeting to digitally supplement your direct mail efforts by targeting certain households logged into their home wifi networks.

App Targeting

App targeting is when a vendor has access to knowledge of what apps you have on your phone, how much time you spend on those apps, etc. These could be powerful in a variety of scenarios. For example:

  • Is your company a gym, weight loss brand, or health-related business? Target people who have three different food tracking apps but never use them.
  • Still launching your e-scooter brand? Target users who have the other scooter apps on their phones.
  • Selling a new type of cookware? Target users who have recipe apps on their phone.
Movement Data

Movement data is an emerging area that’s available from a specific set of data partners, but can be extremely powerful for some advertisers. All smartphones have gyroscopes, which are devices that measure phone orientation, movement, speed, and more. What makes this incredibly powerful is that you can tell if someone is:

  • Walking
  • Laying in bed
  • Exercising
  • Driving
  • Etc.

Do you work with an athletic brand? Target people after they’re done running. Want to get in on the new e-scooter fad? Target people after they ride the bus. Sell a sleep aid? Target people at 2 a.m. when they’re laying in bed. Most marketers have never even considered targeting this way before, so it opens a whole host of new opportunities for messaging!

Weather Targeting

Weather targeting allows you to utilize real-time weather data to adjust your advertising based on different weather conditions your audiences are experiencing. For example, if you’re advertising plane tickets to Hawaii, you can choose to specifically trigger your ads in locations experiencing snow storms or cold and rainy weather. Other types of businesses that weather targeting would be useful for include ski resorts, clothing retailers, outdoor equipment sellers, etc.

There are limitless options when it comes to programmatic targeting, and this post only covers four of those options. Expanding into programmatic advertising can be a major opportunity for your business to scale efficiently and effectively after you’ve exhausted other avenues.

Not sure where to start? Download our Introductory Guide to Programmatic Media or contact our team for help.