New Trends in Targeting: Are You in Marketers' Crosshairs?

Feb 21, 2019

Article ImageAudience data is as good as gold to marketers, and they are willing to pay for it. In fact, the data brands are buying can tell us a lot about marketing trends and the world at large. Lotame, owner of the Lotame Data Exchange (LDX), released stats on what audience segments U.S. marketers bought in 2018, and a few interesting trends emerged.

For instance, marketers are getting more specific with who they’re targeting. According to Lotame, Advanced Demographics (more granular demo targets) made up the highest amount of US audience data spend in 2018 at 23%.”Evgeny Popov, Global Vice President, Data Solutions at Lotame, says, “sophisticated marketers are becoming more interested in the quality and precision of data to ensure they are reaching the right customers,  while reducing wasted ad spend. Advanced demographic targeting gives them the ability to granularly engage with their preferred audience and maximize the value of their investment. For example, if you’re a marketer of a baby product that’s great for moms with more than two children and can target a quality segment that specifically reaches moms with multiple children, it’s much more likely that you’ll get a return on your spend than targeting a general parent category.”

But it’s not parents marketers seem to be after. The AD segments that saw the most revenue growth YoY were Pet Owners (89%) and Hispanic Audience/Spanish Speakers (96%). At first glance, these might seem pretty broad groups of people but, Popov says that’s not the case: “Candidly, most targeting is general. Historically, marketers created campaigns based on broader demographic data points like age and gender. Now, the shift has been towards more niche, focused segments that can maximize their campaign and ensure they’re getting in front of the best audience. So, while Pet Lovers or Spanish Speakers might seem broad, it’s actually a more sophisticated approach.”


Age is More Than a Number

It will come as no surprise that age accounted for 11% of spend, and that Millenials and younger Gen Xers saw increased ad spend of 32% and 29% respectively. But Popov found a different stat more interesting, saying,  “even more interesting was that targeting older Boomers at 65+ increased by 25% in 2018. Previously only 10% of marketing budgets targeted Boomers and it seems like marketers realized that was a mistake! Although Millennials may have surpassed boomers in number of members, more than 70% of the disposable income in the U.S. comes from baby boomers--that’s an estimated 3.2 trillion dollars per year. Marketers in 2018 made moves to chase those dollars.”

Other generational differences account for other spending differences. Lotame found that targeting of multiple parent segments went down in 2018—including declared parents (a 49% decrease) and parents of young children (a 38% decrease).

“In contrast to their parents, Millennials are generally waiting until later in life to have children,” says Popov. “As more Millennials become parents, we’ll see marketers change their targeting accordingly. In the meantime, instead of having children early, this generation is leading in pet ownership. The $69 billion pet industry has tripled in size since 1996 thanks to Millennials. This correlates with our finding that targeting animal lovers went up by 451%. It’s a smart move for marketers to seek out these animal lovers, in lieu of parent groups, as statistically, these main purchasing power generations are spending $70 billion a year on their animal companions.”

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