Targeted Ads: How They Work

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Targeted Ads: How They Work

Businesses are finding it increasingly difficult to identify consumers and track their behaviour patterns. Large billboard signs and ads in the newspaper are no longer considered the best marketing strategies. Advertising through information and communication technology is now the preferred form of marketing as it is helps companies reach out to specific consumers or people who are truly interested in their products.

What are Targeted Ads?

Put simply, targeted ads are adverts show the right customers the products or services they’re actually interested in. Used as part of an online marketing strategy, targeted advertising reduces wasted advertising, thereby keeping marketing costs low. People who are likely to purchase the product are the ones who will receive the message. Because of its focused approach, targeted advertising has gained a lot of momentum. Companies are investing both time and money to design technologies that will help them acquire more information about web users. 

This form of advertising is not just limited to web applications either. Targeted advertising built for use on mobile devices allows companies to gather information on consumer interests, geographic locations and time. Once this information is received, businesses can schedule adverts around people’s lifestyles. For instance, some ads show up only during certain hours in the evening when most people are travelling back home. Other ads may offer location-specific deals based on a consumer’s whereabouts. Still others may target users based on socio-demographic criteria like age, gender and nationality. Once the information is harnessed it can be cleverly used to tap the right user on his or her shoulder.


Retargeting is one of the most popularly used methods of marketing online. Retargeting can show you when and where to advertise in order to maximize profits. It involves the use of a JavaScript code on a website. Once a customer visits a site, his browser is tagged with a cookie generated by this site. When the user moves away from this site to browse the web, this cookie will help the targeting provider display relevant ads in an effort to ‘follow’ the consumer so that he will return to the site. 

To give you an example, let’s say you’re looking for an easy way to earn cash online by searching for paid surveys online. Once you look up your search results and click on a survey provider’s website, the site drops a cookie on your browser. After you move away from this online survey site to another site that sell’s shoes for instance, the online survey site will track the cookie on your browser and show you ads for paid surveys on the website selling shoes. The aim of retargeting is to show your advertisements to people who have previously visited your site. 

Along with retargeting, contextual targeting is helpful in reaching out to a target audience. With this form of marketing, advertisers use software to serve ads that match the content present on a site. Companies are regularly updating their blogs to talk about things related to their specific industry. It generates more traffic and helps advertisers reach their target consumers.

Businesses also use surveys to conduct market research on a target audience. Online survey providers like MyOpinions Australia help companies develop and advertise new products by giving them the information they’re after. People complete online surveys for money and companies use the information they receive to grow their business. 

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