Are Online Ad Campaigns Reaching Their Intended Audiences?

September 25, 2013

This article is included in these additional categories:

Boomers & Older | Digital | Men | Women | Youth & Gen X

Nielsen-Online-Campaigns-On-Target-Percentage-Sept2013Precision marketing is working, declares Nielsen in an examination of the on-target percentage of close to 5,000 campaigns. Online campaigns appear to be having the most success reaching younger demographics, who are often the most coveted audiences. However, these younger groups represent smaller portions of the online population, with the older – and larger segments – proving more difficult to reach.

Overall, ad campaigns geared towards the standard TV demo (18-49) were successful in reaching that audience – which accounts for about half of the digital population – 76% of the time. That indicates that, generally speaking, online campaigns are reaching their intended broad audiences.

Narrower groups, somewhat intuitively, are more difficult to reach, though. For example, narrowing the age range from 18-49 to 18-34 results in the on-target percentage falling to 60%, which itself was one of the best results among the various narrower age breaks. Intended audiences aged 35-54, by contrast, were reached successfully only 41% of the time. That means that advertisers are missing sizable segments of the population: their highest success levels came for a group representing 22% of the online population (the 21-34 group); while their lowest on-target percentage came for a group representing 34% of the online population (the 35-54 demo).

Successfully reaching specific genders proves even more difficult. While campaigns focused on reaching online consumers aged 18-34 were successful 60% of the time, that figure dropped to 46% when targeting a specific gender within that age group. Similarly, when focusing on 18-49-year-olds, the on-target percentage dropped from 76% to 56% when focusing on a gender.

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