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Maverick's Morning Thoughts

Ad Targeting Is More Important Than Your Ad's Message

Maverick Steffen  -  2/14/2024

David Ogilvy, father of modern advertising, used to say that what you say is more crucial than how you say it.

Today, where you say something is more important than what you actually say.

I understand why creativity became so important. In the days of mass advertising when everyone saw the same ads, of course you needed a better message. Today, you need better targeting.

In my opinion, advertising companies should focus the lion's share of their resources on pinpoint targeting rather than on creative copywriting.

After all, 99% of companies offer products and services that are not revolutionary in their uniqueness, therefore reaching the right customer becomes the key differentiator.

It's not about reinventing the wheel but about ensuring the wheel is presented to those who need it most.

Take, for example, the HVAC industry.

My experience in working with hundreds of HVAC companies has consistently shown that ads showcasing "tune-ups" drive the majority of new leads for companies nationwide.

I would rather reach 100 individuals ready to buy a new offering with a weak sales pitch versus reaching thousands with only a lukewarm interest with a perfect sales pitch.

This insight underpins a broader truth: once you have honed in on a proven creative strategy, reaching the right audience is infinitely more important than the novelty of your message.

I would rather reach 100 individuals ready to buy a new offering with a weak sales pitch versus reaching thousands, with only a lukewarm interest, with a perfect sales pitch.

The precision of targeting in the former scenario far outweighs the scattergun approach of the latter, in terms of conversion efficiency and marketing spend ROI.

Advancements in technology, such as identity resolution software and sophisticated algorithms on platforms like Facebook and YouTube, have revolutionized our ability to reach audiences based on their behavior, interests, and readiness to act.

These tools allow for an unprecedented level of precision in targeting, enabling marketers to place their messages in the right context, at the right time, to the right audience.

The landscape of marketing has shifted from a focus on creative brilliance to strategic precision in targeting.

As marketers, our challenge is to adapt to this change, leveraging cutting-edge technology and insights to ensure our messages resonate with and reach those most likely to act on them.

If you're looking for marketing success, targeting now trumps creativity. My apologies to Donald Draper.

To your success!


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