I was interested in reading more about online advertisers and their targeted audience. I found an article about how a major problem to online advertising companies is posting their ads for ambivalent viewers. Mike Schields in ADWEEK talks about a report from Information Resources, Inc. (IRI) that "tracks the impact of media on real purchase behavior" and says that "waste is rampant in online media" because of neglect. The author of the report indicates that these online advertising companies are frequently spending over half of their budgets targeting people who have never bought, nor will ever buy, products in their ad category. And it's not even a simple idea of preference (marketing Pepsi to Coke drinkers) but ads for dog food for people who don't own or even like dogs.
According to a recent IRI study of 12 digital campaigns across various categories, non-category buyers represented more than half of the audiences reached on average—based on IRI’s in-store purchase data.The users reached by these campaigns had never made a purchase in these particular product category. IRI's principal, Chen Wang, says that for all the online ad optimization marketers employ, most don’t use basic category targeting. Instead of going after in-market car buyers, advertisers ought to first make sure that their ad efforts reach people who have ever bought a car in the first place.The advertisers are “almost totally oblivious to the past purchase behavior” of their targeting audiences, writes Wang. “Marketers are wasting valuable media dollars on consumer segments unlikely to yield an acceptable return.”