How Demographic Targeting can Help and Hinder Ads

We all know that location matters when ad targeting. Interests matter. These things we believe to be self evident. But what about targeting ads by age, or gender or even race or ethnicity? There are times where it can help a campaign, but there are also times where making assumptions about a certain demographic can put roadblocks in your path toward better engagement and better conversions.

Here’s a good example. Say you’re doing an ad about a bottle of wine. Stereotypically, women drink wine, so naturally you’d limit targeting to women, right? Wrong. Statistics show that US wine consumers are 55% women and 45% men. It’s certainly not good business to limit yourself to just 55% of your audience. The same applies for beer or hard liquor ads. You just can’t make those kinds of assumptions.

You just can’t make those kinds of assumptions.

That being said, running an A/B split test along gender lines is a good way to see if your ad’s graphics, text and synergy resonate better with men or with women. You may be unconsciously biasing your ad toward one gender or another and might need to retool it.

Here’s a second example. Say you’re running an ad targeting CEOs. You might reflexively untick the 18-25 year old box and run ads targeted only at people 26 and older. Who’s a CEO at that young of an age, you reason? This time, the statistics support your reasoning. The average age of CEOs appears to be rising, and is around 55 now. So you may want to deselect a few of the earlier boxes and target only older persons.

Ask yourself “what is your target market”? Who would be the ideal person that you’d want to reach with your ads? Forbes has a great article on this very subject.

Ask yourself “what is your target market”?

The bottom line is that stastistics matter, not just underlying stereotypes or assumptions about a specific demographic. Do the research, and target your ads based on your newfound knowledge. You’ll get better returns.

Get in touch with StrataBlue and we’ll target our ads to the right people, in the right way.