Online advertising targeting – past-purchase targeting

In a previous post I presented the Basic Principles of Online Marketing. What you need to know from that post is that there are three types of marketing, communications and advertising. These previous posts concentrated on owned marketing and mediaearned marketing and media and paid marketing and media.  I went on to explain the 4 main families of ad formats and the platforms on/through which online advertising is delivered.

This is the first of many posts that will look into the many different online adverting targeting possibilities that are open to us for any given campaign, depending on the formats we use, the pricing model employed and the delivery platforms used.

Ad targeting options

Geotargeting, contextual and keyword targeting are possibly the three most heavily used types of targeting, but they are but 3 of at least 10 types. Even these are achievable through more than one method.

Please also consult the first part of this series about online ad targeting options:

Past purchase targeting:

Similar in methodology to retargeting, behavioral targeting and intent-to-buy targeting, past purchase targeting seeks to enable displaying an ad to a user that had recently (usually in the last 7 days but that would depend on the type of purchase) made a particular purchase. This type of targeting is not good for all campaigns or even all brands. However there are numerous cases where a follow up sale is more than likely.

The data necessary to target the people who’ve made a past purchase is available from Data Exchanges through most Real Time Bidding players (DSP, SSP, Ad Exchanges…). That data is made available specifically by online merchants. Using retargeting, this data allows you to retarget past clients of a particular product or service. Many merchants are now starting to make good money off the data, thus making repeat revenue from a one-time sale.

Here are a few examples where past purchase targeting could be put to great use. If you sell non-name-brand printer cartridges you could target people who have recently bought a printer – they would more than likely be the same person to buy the cartridges. For auto-buyers, you may want to upsell perks, maintenance, rust proofing, depending on the season you might want to offer a Tempo (winter temporary carport), or any number of auto related products and services. If someone has bought any pet-related product, they are extremely likely to own a pet and thus you can either target them generally or further refine your targeting to offer specific dog, cat or other pet related products and services.

You may also retarget past-purchasers of a limited timed use product to capture the next recurring sale. If someone has bought laundry detergent, they are more than likely to repeat this purchase on a regularly basis – why not try to capture the next sale for yourself by talking to the principal grocery shopper only (decision maker in other cases)?

Consider any industry that in reality is not for everyone. Pet products only cater to pet owners which only account for roughly half the population both in the US and in Canada – i.e. you wouldn’t want to display ads with no targeting because you’d be assured 50%+ media wastage, nor would you want to limit yourself only to pet-related contextual environments on the web as too-few pet owners actually spend any time there for it to be worthwhile.

Consider your own industry and see in what cases this type of targeting could be put to good use. Then lay down an annual base-buy to capture this low-hanging-fruit, these probable future clients.

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