For years, B2C marketing strategies have leveraged targeted advertising to connect in a meaningful way with specific audiences. You likely incorporate some form of targeting in your marketing practices, as well.
While targeted ads still provide tremendous value to your organization, the changing digital landscape has created new challenges for marketers.
Specifically, an enhanced focus on personal privacy and proactive efforts to block advertising cookies have made traditional targeting methods less effective than they once were. This issue has been compounded by the array of platforms and devices being used within the typical home.
Fortunately, you can adjust the course of your current marketing strategies by taking advantage of some innovative new technologies. These tools will allow you to overcome the fragmentation of B2C marketing channels through highly personalized ads while also increasing overall sales.
Below, we look at the history of B2C marketing. We’ll also discuss some of the most significant barriers that may impact the effectiveness of your targeted advertising efforts and answer the all-important question: Why is targeted advertising good?
Last but not least, we’ll reveal our data-driven secrets on how to increase B2C sales.
What Is B2C Marketing? A History and Overview
As you know, business-to-consumer marketing (B2C) is a term that encompasses all facets of selling products or services directly to consumers.
If your business engages primarily in direct-to-consumer sales, then it is referred to as a B2C company. Conversely, an organization that sells products or services to other companies is referred to as a B2B company — but more on that a bit later.
According to Investopedia, the phrase B2C was coined by Michael Aldrich in 1979. Aldrich was known for using TV advertising to reach his target audience.
In the past, B2C marketing generally consisted of ads for restaurants, infomercials, signage, billboards, and the like. However, the digital revolution opened the door for B2C marketing as we know it today.
The internet allowed hundreds of businesses to engage in direct-to-consumer sales, enabling many organizations to simplify the purchasing cycle while also selling their products for less. Companies that maintain a solid online presence and leverage targeted ads perform better than their less tech-savvy counterparts.
The Difference Between B2B and B2C Marketing
To better grasp B2C marketing, it is essential to understand how it stacks up against the B2B business model.
While B2C companies sell their goods and services directly to consumers, B2B organizations sell to other businesses. As a result, your advertising strategy will vary greatly depending on whether you’re doing B2B and B2C marketing.
For example, B2B companies often use a variable pricing model. Let’s say that a particular client needs to buy 1,000 units of a specific item for their company. This client may be charged $10 per unit due to their order size.
Now, let’s assume that a larger B2B client also needs to purchase that particular item. However, they placed an order of 10,000 units. As a result, the B2B company may charge a reduced fee of about $8 per unit.
In the B2C world, consumers typically pay the same price for identical products, barring any differences in shipping or delivery costs.
B2C consumers also have different expectations when it comes to advertising. B2C marketing ideas should appeal to the audiences’ desires, needs, and wants.
Conversely, a B2B marketing campaign should demonstrate how the product provides the client with optimal value while also eliminating a pain point for their company.
Understanding Targeted Ads
Before we discuss how to increase B2C sales for your business, it is vital to have a specific definition of targeted ads. Targeting advertising is a marketing strategy that leverages consumer data. This method presents prospective buyers with relevant ads based on their:
- Channel Preferences
- Demographic information
- Financial wellbeing
- Past shopping behavior
- Unique traits
Creating tailored B2C marketing ideas using the above information is a much more efficient method than broad-spectrum advertising. Instead of throwing everything at the wall and seeing what sticks, you can zero in on consumers who have a high likelihood of making a purchase.
For instance, let’s say that your company sells baby products like strollers and car seats. Advertising to a general audience would not be very pragmatic, as many people that would view your marketing materials would not need your products.
Targeted advertising allows you to narrow your audience to new and expectant mothers. Typically, you would collect this information traditionally from cookies and users’ activity on social media platforms.
However, the landscape of B2C marketing is continuing to evolve. As a result, this methodology is not as effective as it once was. Today, you will need to implement more advanced targeted advertising tactics.
Current Targeting Practice Downfalls
In principle, targeted ads should optimize the effectiveness of your paid marketing efforts. However, current targeting practices have several deficiencies that can leave your campaign falling short of your expectations.
Three of these common targeting downfalls that can negatively impact your advertising efforts include:
Over-Reliance on Cookies and Pixels
While cookies can provide insights into consumer browsing habits, tech giants such as Google and Apple have recently adjusted their policies regarding this data-tracking method. Google has advised that they will eventually stop selling advertisements that rely on cookie-based browsing data.
In a similar move, Apple now gives users more control over advertising tracking, particularly when it comes to their flagship product, the iPhone.
App developers must incorporate a pop-up notification in their products. This pop-up must expressly ask the user for permission to gather data for tracking purposes.
According to a recent Pew Research survey, over 85% of Americans now own a smartphone. In addition, Pew Research found that 15% of Americans access the internet solely from their phones and do not have any residential broadband service.
These figures demonstrate that a large portion of your company’s target audience likely accesses your content either partially or exclusively from a mobile device.
If your current B2C marketing strategy is primarily based on cookie and pixel tracking, Apple and Google’s new stance will drastically impact your ROI in the coming years.
Lack of Contact Enrichment
Alternatively referred to as “data enrichment,” contact enrichment is the process of enhancing your in-house CRM data with third-party information, which can bridge any gaps in your data and deliver a full picture to you of who your customers really are.
Data enrichment is essential to developing original B2C marketing ideas that will resonate with your target audience. However, many marketers fail to make use of this valuable advertising and data collection tool. The result? Many customer profiles are incomplete, and costly targeted ads will often miss their mark.
Failure to Segment Your Audience
Another major downfall of current B2C marketing efforts is a lack of audience segmentation.
Audience segmentation is the process of categorizing broad audiences into more specific subgroups based on opinions, goals, interests, and more. If an organization fails to use audience segmentation, it will have difficulty producing top-performing targeted advertising campaigns.
When appropriately utilized, audience segmentation can allow marketers to target core demographics with personalized ads. In turn, this can improve the ROI of future targeted advertising endeavors while also enhancing the customer experience.
How Targeted Ads Are Successful for B2C Marketing
With the right technologies in your corner, you can overcome the barriers outlined above and reap the benefits of targeted ads. Let’s shift our focus to the ways that this tactic can benefit your B2C digital marketing strategy.
Targeted advertising can be an asset to your business because it can:
Optimize the Allocation of Resources
While every marketing team dreams of a limitless advertising budget, this is simply not reality.
Like other marketers, your staff has to work within the confines of your company’s predetermined budget. With that in mind, you must maximize the impact of every single dollar that you spend.
Targeted ads are an excellent way of doing just that. You can precisely track every dollar spent, but you can also gain a better understanding of your target audience. As a result, it will take less time to develop new content that connects with consumers.
If you have been wondering how to increase B2C sales, targeted ads may be the answer.
This marketing tactic provides a better return on investment than generic paid search campaigns because you can send direct messages to prospective buyers that have already expressed an interest in your niche.
Instead of flying blind, you can deliver precisely crafted materials that are highly likely to drive conversion.
Provide the Opportunity to Catch Consumers Early
High-accuracy targeted ads can be a game-changer for your B2C marketing campaign, especially when launching a new product or service. While no advertising strategy has a 100% hit rate, well-composed targeted ads allow you to catch consumers early in the sales funnel.
The goal of targeted ads for new product launches is to preempt the consumer demand for an item.
For instance, let’s say that your company just launched a new saltwater fishing lure. Your targeting campaign could focus on consumers who have an interest in fishing and live near coastal areas. While they may not specifically be looking for a new lure just yet, their other data reveals that they benefit from your product.
The above example could apply to virtually any B2C industry. The key is to identify consumers that have displayed a certain level of interest in your industry and then present them with relevant, engaging content.
Deliver a Personalized Experience
This practice will also help you to provide a more personalized experience. Leveraging consumer data lets you analyze their interest, spending capacity and even define who your best customer is so that you may find more that look just like them. In turn, you can adjust your ad targeting parameters to better align with various groups of consumers.
For example, prospective clients should not receive the same advertising content as past customers. Past customers should be targeted with ads that relate to their most recent purchases, whereas other segments of your audience should be exposed to a broader array of content.
Enhance Brand Awareness
Targeted ads will also positively impact the brand-building efforts of your B2C marketing campaigns. Even if users do not click on your ads or visit your website the first time that they have exposure to marketing content, simply viewing the materials improves brand awareness.
Repeated exposures draw attention to your company and can make your logo more recognizable overall.
Data Insights Provide Better Targeting
Data insights and enrichment solutions allow you to create unified records. By gaining access to the latest information about your target audiences, you can decide when, where, and how to spend your advertising dollars. All you need to get started is a name and an email address. The enrichment tools will fill in the blanks from there.
When you incorporate data into your targeted ad strategies, you can make a more significant impact with a smaller investment. You will be able to precisely segment your core demographic and target specific audiences based on various criteria, such as:
B2C marketing enrichment tools give you the capability of targeting wealthy households in specific geographic areas, which is extremely valuable to local and regional businesses, especially those that provide more luxurious products or services.
You can direct your ads to wealthy groups of consumers within your service area. This type of targeting ensures that you do not waste marketing budget on individuals who do not need or desire the items in your product lineup.
Prospects Who Are Similar to Top Customers
What better way to grow your business than target prospects similar to your most valuable customers?
Cookie-less data insight solutions give you the capability to do just that. You can set custom parameters based on information about your top purchasers. Then, you can deliver ads to prospective buyers that best align with those criteria.
Delivering targeted ads to this group of potential buyers is a great way to tap into new markets as you expand your products and services. It becomes particularly beneficial if you have recently expanded your organization to serve a new region or state.
Potential Buyers in Emerging Markets
The most successful businesses have a knack for capitalizing on emerging markets. Your company can follow suit by incorporating data insights into its targeted ad strategy. This technology will reveal the latest trends in new and developing markets so that you catch consumers before your competitors.
Homes with Specific Attributes
Pairing AI-based data insights with IP targeting technologies allows you to target specific households. You can identify individuals for ad targeting based on unique attributes, like if they have recently purchased the property.
When paired with other demographic information like age, income, and education, you can determine which households will be prime targets for your next marketing campaign.
Households with Particular Members
Data enrichment tools allow you to target individuals based on specific attributes and the types of occupants.
For instance, you can identify which households in your target area have minor children within specific age ranges. Depending on the industry that you are involved in, this information can heavily influence your marketing decisions.
Individuals in Certain Career Fields
A prospective client’s occupation will often impact their suitability for your advertising content. Individuals in specific careers are predisposed to some purchases, especially those that may relate to their occupation.
For example, a small business owner in the construction industry is far more likely to need accounting services than a banker who works for a large institution.
Individuals with Particular Affinities
The more information you can gain about a household and its members, the better you can target them with advertising content. That is why data enrichment solutions identify individuals with particular affinities and interests. These interests may include cycling, weightlifting, or gardening, just to name a few.
Cumulatively, all of the criteria discussed above can help you create complete profiles on prospective consumers so that you can make data-driven B2C marketing decisions and achieve measurable growth. With these tools in hand, you will also be able to determine which B2C marketing channels provide optimal ROI.
Learn More About How to Enhance Your B2C Advertising
If you would like to learn more about enhancing your B2C digital marketing strategy via targeted ads, then it is time to reach out to boodleAI. Our team uses data science to identify your optimal audiences. We will give you the information necessary to deliver the most targeted advertising for maximum results.
Our enriched advertising services give you the capability to target individuals, not just demographics. You can direct your ads to specific smartphones, social users, in-home devices, and other B2C marketing channels that align with your overall goals.
Contact us today to schedule your free demo and see our innovative enrichment solutions in action!
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