Point Of View | Published June 6, 2017

The Importance of Targeting

Annie Arendes

By: Annie Arendes

Alexander Talleur

Alexander Talleur

When requests come to trim the bottom line, marketing dollars are often the first to be cut. This requires marketers to spend less but achieve the same (or better) results. Many then choose to broaden their messaging and associated channel plan to reach all potential audiences with the intention of “filling the funnel.” Unfortunately, this tactic can actually produce adverse results, such as wasted dollars or inadequate frequency. As budgets tighten, marketers would be better served to narrow the focus of their audience targeting and messaging.

As stewards of brands in industries that consumers often find difficult to navigate and understand, it’s imperative that we speak to audiences with targeted, relevant and relatable messaging. Strong response with a smaller, yet more highly engaged audience can better serve a client’s objectives than a mediocre response from a mass audience.

Here’s why focused targeting – rather than mass marketing – is effective for brands:

  • When brands aim to talk to all consumers at once, they aren’t really talking to anyone in a meaningful way. Broad messaging can dilute content, making the overall consumer experience less impactful and less relevant – which can ultimately result in the loss of valuable customers. Through quantitative and qualitative research, marketers can gain a deeper understanding of their consumers, uncover the unique mindsets and motivators that drive their actions, and develop strategies to drive engagement – and ultimately, conversion.
  • Focusing budgets on a targeted, more engaged audience helps to prevent waste. Rather than taking a one-size-fits-all approach to media planning, marketers can reach the consumers who present the greatest sales potential to their business by targeting them in the channels they engage with most. This strategy helps to ensure marketing dollars aren’t spent on reaching individuals who are unlikely to convert.
  • More-precise targeting allows marketers to stretch their dollars to extend the life of their campaign, increasing the opportunity for the target audience to see the brand’s message at the most compelling moment. Advertisers need to create more than just the “opportunity to see a message.” The message must also break through and resonate. If dollars are spread too thin in an attempt to reach all potential audiences, brands are much less likely to achieve the effective frequency needed for the consumer to take action, and in turn, less likely to achieve their overall marketing goals.


Although it may seem counterintuitive, more does not always mean better when it comes to reaching the right audience. Leverage the strategies we’ve outlined here to implement focused targeting (rather than mass marketing) and realize greater business results – even when marketing budgets are tight.

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