Early adopters of pay-per-click marketing targeted generalized populations, such as people who visited specific websites or searched particular keywords. While this strategy ensured a brand’s message showing up to hundreds, if not thousands, of people, the chances of gathering quality leads from those ads were slim.
But as pay-per-click marketing has evolved, targeting options have gone from website-based or keyword-based to much more specialized—presenting new opportunities for ushering customers along the buyer’s journey.
Automated data collection from products like Google Home and Amazon’s Alexa gives advertising companies the power to harness very precise targeting functions. With identity-based targeting, businesses can reach people at every stage—from first touch to final sale. Rather than doing the equivalent of cold calling by paying for ads that might show up on relevant sites, today’s pay-per-click strategies focus on serving content that consumers have already expressed interest in, matching the ad content with the intent level of the buyer. This is the heart of inbound marketing.
Pay-per-click advertising depends on consumers receiving content they actually want. One study by Digital Connections found that almost half of people will ignore ads that bombard them or seem irrelevant—but 36% of consumers are likely to make a purchase from targeted, tailored messages.
Ads no longer have to stop on websites, where they get skimmed and forgotten. Instead, companies can retarget people who have already clicked, offering new incentives and maintaining ongoing relationships with potential buyers. Content and messaging can be more personal than ever—ensuring maximum ROI.
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