I finished eating a tasty morsel at Chipotle (three crispy tacos) and my buddy and I headed back to our cars. He was parked near me and had a little flyer on his windshield. I didn't. The flyer -- an advertisement from a local vendor for Sirius Satellite Radio -- was only for Toyota Prius cars. Talk about targeting.
In advertising, there's nothing worse than spending ad dollars on a group of people that simply don't care about your product or service. Putting that flyer on my car (or every car in the parking garage), for example, would have been a complete waste of money. The good news is that today, you can "toyota prius target" your customers online. Tools like AdWords allow you to advertise to those searching for answers (e.g., a Google query for "brooklyn dodgers baseball cap"). You can also focus those ad dollars on specific geographic regions, cities, or areas, otherwise know as geo-targeting. That means if you only do business and have customers in Fort Myers, FL, you can advertise solely within that city. The story goes on too. You can drill down into analytics to see what paid visitors looked at after they came to your site. You can see if they took any specific actions, like downloading a brochure or filling out a contact form. And by the way, hopefully when potential customers visit your site, you have both kinds of SEO
working for you. I don't think my friend actually acted on the flyer he received but he definitely looked at it. It is tough to get people to take action. But it is even harder to get someone to act on something that is totally irrelevant to them or worse, something they intensely dislike. Note to advertisers: I went to school in Boston but if you ever send me anything related to the Red Sox, I will boycott you forever.