Everywhere you turn, you’re being sold something. Literally everywhere. On your TV, smartphones, tablets, laptops, billboards, and even those crazy sign flippers on the street corners; they are all mediums used to sell you something.

You are constantly inundated with advertising, and for many, these these advertisements seemingly fall on deaf ears. Why is that?

Do you ever mute commercials during your favorite TV show? Or quadruple tap the fast-forward button? I certainly have, and that’s okay!

But what are businesses doing to mitigate the muddling of unfocused advertising? In a day where marketers need to work twice as smart to reach their target audience, there emerges a wave of new methods for targeting specific audiences, methods that utilize existing web-based platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, and many more.

Targeted Advertising: Creating a Personalized Experience

As we approach 2015, things are a little bit different than they were in the early 2000s. People are unique and advertisers know that they have to maximize their brief opportunity to catch your eye. Online advertisements you see today are often specifically targeted to you based on your interests and activity online. Behavioral targeted advertising has proven to be highly effective.

In a 2010 report conducted by the NAI, economist Howard Beales asserts:

“Based on proprietary data provided by twelve major advertising networks, the study found that in 2009, behaviorally-targeted advertising secured an average of 2.68 times as much revenue per ad as non-targeted “run of network” advertising. The study also found that behaviorally-targeted advertising is more than twice as effective at converting users who click on the ads into buyers (6.8% conversion vs. 2.8% for run-of-network ads), and that behavioral advertising accounted for approximately 18% of advertising revenue.”

In the consumer market industry, these numbers are significant and directly translate to massive ROIs for producers.

As a producer, there is nothing more important than knowing who you are selling your product to, what catches their eye, what doesn’t, what makes them chirp, and what makes them hit that red dot at the top of their browser.

Jon Gibbs of Hugeinc.com has this to say about the personalized experience:

“Digital personalization offers users content and experiences specific to their profile, interests, habits and behaviors. When done well, personalization drives higher conversion and customer satisfaction.”

The start-up and small business industry is booming today. Unfortunately, in many ways, it’s difficult for these budding companies to be able to track analytics in the same manner as major corporations and in turn utilize those analytics to entice current and additional consumers with the same highly sophisticated, and generally expensive, campaigns and strategies.

For these small businesses, we suggest these three tips:

1. Know your Target Audience

To successfully advertise and market to your target audience you must know who they are. Decide who exactly you want to target.

  • What do they do for a living?
  • Where do they go?
  • What do they read?
  • What are they interested in?
  • What websites do they frequent?
  • What challenges do they have?

Understanding your target audience allows you to find them, speak their language and increases your odds of being heard.

2. Decide Which Metrics are Important to You

As an organization, determine which goals are most important to you. How will you track your progress? It’s is best to closely monitor a few key metrics, rather than analyze every possible number. Consider key metrics such as:

  • Unique Visitors to your Website
  • Conversion of Unique Visitors
  • Average Session Duration
  • Cost per Conversion

Being data-driven allows for easier, informed decisions as you continually optimize your strategies.

3. Treat Each Potential Customer Like Gold

Your strategies will flourish if you work to achieve higher than expected conversion rates. Once you have someone’s attention, you want to stand out by being helpful and resourceful. Unlike large corporations, you want to show your leads that they are more than just a number to you. Consumers’ desire to consume inherently useful information has never been greater.

Jay Baer notes in his recent book, “Youtility“,

“There are only two ways for companies to break through in an environment that is unprecedented in its competitiveness and cacophony. They can be ‘amazing’ or they can be useful… While amazing can work, it’s difficult to do and doesn’t produce reliable, linear results.

If you know your audience well, prove to be useful in their time of need and you closely monitor your ability to attract and convert them, your business will be able to successfully compete against sizable behavioral marketing techniques.