Targeted advertising

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Targeted advertising[1] is an advertising strategy that prioritizes the delivery of promotional content to distinct audience groups. This approach relies on the collection and examination of user information to customize advertisements based on people’s interests, actions, and demographic characteristics. Targeted advertising can take various forms, including tracking website visits by internet[3] service providers, search engine marketing, and leveraging platforms such as Google[4]’s Search and Display Network.

This strategy also finds its application in social media, where platforms employ behavioral targeting and geotargeting[2]. For example, Facebook[5] practices micro-targeting using user information. Furthermore, there are numerous techniques for targeted advertising, encompassing content, contextual, technical, time, sociodemographic, and geographical targeting.

Targeted advertising is also widespread in the mobile and television industries. Mobile advertisements take advantage of consumer location and timing, whereas television advertisements concentrate on demographics and interests. Cable boxes and over-the-top video platforms further enable targeted advertising. The primary goal of these techniques is to enhance the effectiveness and relevance of advertising.

Terms definitions
1. advertising. Promoting a product or service through communication, also known as advertising, aims to inform or persuade a target audience. Its roots trace back to early civilizations where sales messages were inscribed on Egyptian papyrus, and wall murals were utilized for promotional purposes across ancient Asia, Africa, and South America. Over the centuries, advertising has adapted to technological advancements and the rise of mass media, transitioning from newspaper prints to audio-visual and digital platforms. The strategies employed in advertising vary, with some focusing on raising awareness or boosting sales, targeting different demographics at a local, national, or international level. Common methods encompass print, radio, web banners, and television commercials, among others. Modern advertising models have introduced innovative trends like guerrilla marketing and interactive advertisements. Women's contribution to advertising is significant, with their perspectives highly valued due to their influential purchasing power.
2. geotargeting. Geotargeting is a method employed to provide customized content or ads to users based on their geographic location. This location data can be gleaned from the user's shared details or by tracking their IP address. Renowned companies such as Ace Hardware, FedEx, and UPS utilize geotargeting to offer location-specific content like nearby store locations or services unique to a region. It is also a tool used in Search Engine Optimization (SEO), where a technique called cloaking is used to match a visitor's IP with the list of IPs from the search engine server. Geotargeting boasts a range of uses, from content localization for international domains to targeted advertising and fraud prevention. However, its use has sparked discussions among SEO professionals and raised concerns over privacy.

Targeted advertising is a form of advertising, including online advertising, that is directed towards an audience with certain traits, based on the product or person the advertiser is promoting.

Example of targeting in an online ad system

These traits can either be demographic with a focus on race, economic status, sex, age, generation, level of education, income level, and employment, or psychographic focused on the consumer values, personality, attitude, opinion, lifestyle, and interest. This focus can also entail behavioral variables, such as browser history, purchase history, and other recent online activities. The process of algorithm targeting eliminates waste.

Traditional forms of advertising, including billboards, newspapers, magazines, and radio channels, are progressively becoming replaced by online advertisements.

Through the emergence of new online channels, the usefulness of targeted advertising is increasing because companies aim to minimize wasted advertising. Most targeted new media advertising currently uses second-order proxies for targets, such as tracking online or mobile web activities of consumers, associating historical web page consumer demographics with new consumer web page access, using a search word as the basis of implied interest, or contextual advertising.

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