What is Micro-Targeting?
Microtargeting is a concept and a field in big data analytics, business intelligence, and predictive analysis. It works as a way that businesses can target promotions and products to specific users as per the data they input. Essentially, microtargeting is where your user data is input into predictive analysis, big data analytics, and business intelligence to produce relevant, custom, and user-oriented promotions and product offerings. It works through specificity and ensuring that there is relevance. Additionally, the products and promotions that become offered get customized as per the specific users, their likes, and interests.
Micro-Targeting and How it Seeks to Discover and Deploy Common Characteristics
Microtargeting is very much concerned with common characteristics within a group of people and not much with the overall group. Let us take an instance where we are talking about farmers, and a corporation wants to micro-target its agricultural products to specific farmers. The particular target group’s characteristics can be broken down in a drill-down manner to ensure that the promotions and product offerings reach only the target group.
The Different Layers of User Targeting Employed in Micro-Targeting
The process would entail uncovering each layer of the group like an onion until the specific or core target group is reached. The corporation would go beyond just the farmers’ group and look for farmers who are small-scale or large-scale. Large-scale farmers would then be selected, and a further drill down conducted to look at large-scale farmers who farm dairy cattle.
Drilling Down to Specific Characteristics as Part of Micro-Targeting
At this point, we are at layer three, where we have farmers who are large-scale farmers and who farm dairy cattle. The corporation can do a further drill down to look at dairy cattle farmers who farm specific breeds such as heifers or guernseys and only select those who farm heifers.
A further drill-down could entail those who farm heifers that each produce at least 30 liters of milk every day. At this point, the corporation has gone into several characteristics, including farmers, large-scale farmers, dairy cattle farmers, heifer dairy cattle farmers, and heifer dairy cattle farmers whose cattle each produce at least 30 liters of milk a day.
The Need for Specificity as Part of Micro-Targeting
All these characteristics ensure a particular group is targeted and disqualifies any other related group or those groups that do not specifically meet all these criteria. It would mean that farmers who are small-scale would get disqualified. Farmers who may be large-scale but do not farm dairy cattle would also get disqualified. Farmers who are large-scale and farm dairy cattle but not heifers would get disqualified.
Additionally, farmers who are large-scale, farm dairy cattle, and farm heifers but whose cattle do not produce at least 30 liters of milk a day would also be disqualified and not targeted. Such a drill-down and the disqualification of non-specific or non-targeted groups would mean that the corporation would become left with a very specific target group of consumers and customers. It would also ensure that their product offerings or promotions would only reach a very specific target audience.
How Micro-Targeting Can be Used to Boost Engagement with the Target Audience
When used effectively, microtargeting can translate to increased return on investment, increased engagement with the target audience, saving time, and ensuring relevance in terms of the product offerings and promotions that reach consumers. Another benefit is that micro-targeting only includes a specific target group. That means that any group or subgroup that does not meet the target criteria will not be reached.
For instance, in our example, an agricultural corporation would not waste any time or money promoting their products to groups that are not farmers and within farmers, groups that do not meet the specific criteria. Microtargeting is very much an excellent example of the beauty of technology. You can imagine a corporation just promoting its products to huge unspecified groups and the risk of missing a specific audience altogether.
Why Companies Feel the Investment into Micro-Targeting is Worth It
Microtargeting, on the flip side, ensures that as a consumer, the kind of product offerings that reach you are only those that you may find interesting. It also means that you have the power to ensure that through specifically indicating your interests and likes, you will only see promotions or product offerings that are meaningful and relevant to you. Microtargeting is a staple for tech companies, mainly social media companies, and is a way to ensure that only relevant promotions reach users.
The Importance of Having Micro-Targeting as Part of Your Business's Marketing Strategy
From a strategy standpoint, it can be the difference between ensuring an engaged and well-served audience and an audience that does not relate to what gets offered. The process of big data analytics, consumer targeting, business intelligence, and predictive analysis can be arduous, and there is definitely a need for investment by corporations or companies if they want to conduct their own in-house microtargeting.
The Importance of Relevance in Micro-Targeting
Microtargeting can be a considerable part of complementing customer relationship management through relevant and user-centered consumer targeting. It also means that corporations can ensure that they effectively and directly reach the consumer groups and sub-groups that they want to attract and promote their products to. It is quite amazing to have your technology and devices predict what you’ll need and offer you such products.
For instance, it would be neat for pregnant women to have the promotions and product offerings that they receive be related to pregnancy and having a baby. Microtargeting goes that further step to ensure that if it's a boy, then the product offerings that reach you are for boys, which can go even further to reflect cultural heritage. It is amazing to think of how technology can acquire some humanistic character and blend technology and lifestyle with the consumers’ needs and culture.
How Micro-Targeting is Set Up to Influence Consumer Behavior
A lot of what microtargeting becomes geared towards doing is ensuring that the consumer gets influenced. Influence is a significant part of the end goals of micro-targeting. When corporations can influence purchasing decisions, they will most likely increase their profitability and reach their objectives, i.e., providing solutions to particular problems. The microtargeting process also ensures that the products offered can be tied to the consumer’s demographics, geographical location, online behavior, interests, and preferences.
The Use of Algorithms to Predict User Preferences as Part of Micro-Targeting
The emergence of artificial intelligence has meant that algorithms can get utilized to ensure that they have predictive capabilities that can become used to predict user preferences. For instance, elegant systems that use microtargeting will learn what you, as the user, like, and your interests. It translates to only getting reached by product offerings that are specific to your needs. Such needs could be products or services and can be realized out of your online behavior or the various searches or questions you have sought answers to online.
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The Need for Ethics in the Use of Technologies Such as Micro-Targeting
Microtargeting has been used to influence voters. Even in the beauty of technology, there is a need for ethics and ethical use of technology. It would be unfortunate for politicians or political entities to use microtargeting as a way to influence voters. Microtargeting takes place in the background and can be a subconscious way to exert influence. It means that the user may not realize that they are microtargeted or that their user input is the foundation of such targeting.
Moreover, the user may think that the product offerings or information reaching them is universal and may not realize that they are part of a small and microtargeted group. The downside is that malicious entities and hackers may use microtargeting to influence very specific groups to decide who to vote for. Such actions are wrong. Moreover, the unfortunate thing is that microtargeted groups may influence others or share microtargeted information. Consequently, when microtargeting gets used unethically, there is potential for propagating wrongful, misconstrued, or misleading information.
Why Well-Executed Micro-Target Should Feel Like Natural Interaction
Ethical use of such a wonderful concept, such as microtargeting, would entail corporations, businesses, and entities ensuring that what they offer is factual, real, and can be utilized for the purpose intended or suggested. In turn, consumers would have the ability to enjoy the product offerings provided as they would be specific and relevant. They would also get reached by promotions or product offerings that they would likely find interesting.
Additionally, as per the business’s main objectives, consumers would get specific and relevant solutions to their problems. When the consumer is satisfied and happy with what is offered, they are more likely to buy in to what has become provided. Consequently, corporations and businesses are allowed the opportunity to meet consumer needs and grow in the process. Everybody is happy, and it's a win-win situation. Effective and well-implemented microtargeting should feel natural and caring but not imposing or overly suggestive.
The Increasing Emergence of Amazing Technology
Technology is amazing, and I believe that we are only at the beginning of what we can achieve as a species. There is an entire world of technology out there somewhere that we are yet to discover, and it is incredible to think of what the future holds for technology. I get very excited thinking of technologies in the future that will close the gap between technological hardware and biological species and structure.
An excellent example is the ability of technology to produce or replicate biological structures and systems. Such technology would be amazing as we could be in a position to physically interface with the technology and interact or blend with it. The uses of such innovation would be endless, ranging from prosthetics and bio-regenerative systems to entire ‘tech-physical’ systems.
The Potential of Technology in the Future and How It Could be Used to Better Lives
Imagine having a prosthetic arm grow from one’s own cells, i.e. when an individual loses their limb, technology can be interfaced with their cellular structure to have the limb regenerate. It would be amazing to think of how such technology could revolutionalize health and maybe even prevent loss or death. Imagine immortality. Imagine vaccination that is done autonomously with coded vaccines getting dispersed through a ‘tech-physical’ interface.
Concepts such as microtargeting are only the beginning, I believe, and there is so much more we are yet to discover, innovate, and invent. Let your imagination go wild and find ways to provide solutions to our problems as a human species. Endorse entrepreneurship, become an entrepreneur, and follow your star!