Contextual Targeting Reaches Ready-to-Buy Audience

Dear Salesperson,

Don’t call me. Don’t knock on my door. Don’t buy annoying pop-up ads that block my view to my favorite website. As a matter of fact, just don’t bug me at all.

Sincerely,
Joe Consumer

Ok, so consumers are more likely to hang up on a telemarketer that won’t stop calling than write a letter. However, the letter illustrates an opinion, albeit a kinder and gentler opinion, that most consumers have – Don’t bug me.

This is what I love about contextual targeting. You don’t find me Mr. Salesman, unless I am actually interested! Let’s take Google’s content network advertising program as an example. Google allows AdWords advertisers to target their audience through a network of websites referred to as the content network. So If I am a faithful reader of Redbook and you are a women’s shoe retailer, it may behoove you to advertise on Redbook’s featured web page about shoes. Voila, ready-to-buy audience reached.

The U.S. Commerce Department reported total retail sales (excluding petroleum, autos and restaurants) grew 3.7% last year. By comparison, e-retailing grew 22% with no end in sight, despite current economic conditions. Imagine now, just how easy it becomes to click on that AdSense ad for designer shoes. No waiting in line. No money spent on gas (if you even have a store that sells designer shoes in your neighborhood). I can literally wait around in my PJs for my Jimmy Cho’s to arrive.

But, Starr, you say, I hate Google. It’s just a big search monopoly and I refuse to spend my money with them. OK, so that’s a little harsh, especially since Google is the undisputed search leader. Point is there are other alternatives. Vibrant Media is another company that offers an in-text, contextually targeted advertising program. And let’s not forget Yahoo!’s Publisher Network and Microsoft adCenter’s upcoming Publisher Program.

Check out different company networks to see what’s right for you. The true point here is with contextual targeting, you may find your ideal customer with less hassle and less expense than traditional direct marketing forms.

With a growing society sick of being bothered by advertisers, and new technologies revolutionizing communication, customers can get the service they want, when they want and how they want. It’s time businesses started utilizing methods of targeting customers in creative, less intrusive ways.