Online customers leave a veritable flood of data behind when they make purchases. If advertising companies succeed in collecting and analysing these data, and then draw strategic conclusions from them, they can tailor individual marketing measures. Artificial Intelligence (AI) is an exciting tool to help achieve this goal, because it enables hypertargeting.
Hypertargeting is in principle nothing more than the best possible individual adaptation of advertising content to target groups – automated and, if necessary, using location-based techniques. Anyone who buys online uses different devices at very different touchpoints, from laptops to smartphones to tablets. In the process, users leave behind a variety of information such as their age and gender. This in itself is nothing new. The advantage of hypertargeting, however, consists of determining data, such as the time of day of a purchase, the type of terminal device or the average shopping cart. Even short data strings allow for further derivations and can be used to form patterns. The more data is available, the more it is possible to display content in an individual and targeted way. Even the phase of the purchase decision process reached in each case can be mapped in this way. The more data is merged, the better AI can understand the user and their environment. Hypertargeting thus enables an extremely detailed form of target group segmentation, which works very well especially in B2C transactions.
How hypertargeting works
Hypertargeting analyses the customer journey and, based on this, advertising environments can be understood and the most effective advertising timing estimated. In order to achieve this, AI analyses the surfing behaviour of users and then classifies websites and content accordingly. Based on existing data, AI identifies and evaluates these according to its brand safety, i.e. the appropriate advertising environment. For this purpose, AI analyses the user data and can even determine which step of the purchasing process the customers are in, and adjust the advertising material accordingly. These are the most important approaches:
Targeting based on demographic data: Advertisers can narrow down target groups based on basic data such as age, gender, marital status, occupation, job title, income or family size.
Geotargeting: Based on certain parameters, companies can filter their potential customers for a specific geographical area. Thus, they only include those persons who live close enough to be relevant to their company.
Interest Based Targeting: Online users share, like and publish content, and reveal a lot about themselves in the process. Companies can benefit from this knowledge by using the social media activities of their target groups (e.g., contributions that they link or share) for targeting.
Hypertargeting: Google Ads
Apart from methods such as tracking via social media, Google in particular offers good anchor points for hypertargeting: advertisers can pay for ads as paid placements on Google’s Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) or place ads on third-party websites. Using pay-per-click (PPC) or display ads, they can target users based on:
- the search terms they enter
- their country, city or postal code
- their current location (via geofencing)
- the type of device they are using
- sites they have visited on the Internet
- the activities on the websites visited (length of stay, abandonment rate, etc.)
Facebook also offers advanced targeting capabilities for hypertargeting campaigns by way of its advertising capabilities. Companies can reach specific people by creating a variety of target audience lists based on different selection criteria.
Customer Audience: Facebook creates a target group of people who correspond to the advertising company’s buyer persona. You can choose from a variety of criteria, ranging from life events (recently married, just changed jobs…) to shopping behaviour (if you buy online, how often you buy and what you buy…).
Saved Audience: This allows companies to address people who are already on their e-mail or marketing mailing lists. Facebook compares users with the relevant customer contact information and enables them to display their Facebook ads to this target group.
Lookalike Audience: Facebook uses existing target groups of advertisers to find similar target groups. Facebook takes the properties of the current list and creates another list of new audiences that match those properties.
Remarketing Audience: With Facebook Retargeting, companies can target people who have previously been involved with their brand, for example, by visiting the company’s Facebook page or website.
Working well: Adidas relies on hypertargeting
Adidas demonstrates what a successful hypertargeting campaign can look like. The company used a hypertargeting-based outdoor advertising campaign for Adidas Originals to promote a new sneaker model. Influencers and testimonials usually receive a sample of the new product by post. In this campaign, Adidas displayed outdoor advertising campaigns in New York City and Los Angeles that contained individual messages for the respective target groups.
Hypertargeting requires planning and data
With hypertargeting, target groups can be more precisely targeted and even further optimized over time. However, hypertargeting is not a panacea. The principle will only work in combination with the right campaign idea. After all, if you address people directly, you should have something to say to them. Focusing on target groups in the B2B area is also becoming more difficult, as Google and Facebook only provide limited usable data for this. Audience Marketing is one solution for this. You can find out what is behind it and how it works here.