Back in the day when traditional media was king, (the movie Mad Men, anyone?) most brand building was done with TV, radio and print ads. While we’re not one to poo-poo mass marketing (because for some industries, it still works!) the days of two martini lunches at overpaid ad agencies are gone and the new kid on the block is digital advertising. Why is digital advertising and banner advertising in particular stealing the show?

Two reasons. 1) Unlike traditional media, digital banners are interactive – they not only build brand, but they can also act as direct response ads, driving prospects to your website for further cultivation. 2) Banner advertising is highly targeted and able to present a custom message to an exact audience in the right place at the right time… Oh and 3) they’re way more cost-effective. It’s the ability to target ads with laser precision and optimize campaigns in real time based on performance that distinguishes the great campaigns (and the great agencies) from the mediocre. Knowing your customer well, who they are, what they do, what they want and when they want it are all clues you can use to build a strong digital campaign. Here are four banner ad targeting tactics that can skyrocket your campaign’s performance if implemented correctly.

Placement Based Targeting – This most simple form of targeting involves selecting specific websites for your ads to be displayed on. Use placements that appeal based on context, demographics, lifestyle or other considerations. For example, yacht ads can be placed on website related to boating, high net worth lifestyles or target locations.

Search-Based Targeting – This hybrid form of targeting combines the relevance of search history with the appeal of graphics in a banner ad. With search-based banner, you can show ads to anyone who searched for your product or service in the last 30 days. This tactic works particularly well in industries with long sales-cycle products or services like automotive, education, law, finance, real estate and others. It doesn’t work as well for short sales cycle purchases like the trades (electricians, plumbers, etc.) inexpensive consumer products, entertainment and dining industries. These shorter sales cycle industries cannot benefit from ads that show over time because those purchase decisions happen quickly. Placing banner ads in front of prospects who have searched for the products or services you sell keeps your brand top of mind as the decision-making process is happening. It gives you the unique ability to share multiple benefits of your products and services to perfectly targeted individuals.



Re-targeted Ads – Everyone has seen ads that “chase them around” but if done well and tastefully, re-targeting (also known as re-marketing) can be extremely effective. As your other digital marketing efforts (paid and organic) drive traffic to landing pages, re-targeting is there to kick in with prospects who “stall” within your sales funnel. Prospects who visit targeted landing pages but fail to take next steps of engagement, lead gen or purchase, are presented with ads designed to help jump-start their interest. Such ads can illustrate unique benefits, qualifications, testimonials or other compelling copy and images that will help get you a second look and hopefully, back in the game.


CRM Targeting – This more advanced form of banner advertising works with your company’s Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system to present ads to individuals based on their email address. Targeting can be based on basically any information in your CRM such as products or services they’ve looked at or other interactions they’ve had with your business. The technology is not perfect but you can expect to reach about 70% of your prospects with banner ads. This works best with lists of over 5,000 individuals but even a smaller list can make a big impact. No email list, no problem. A good digital agency should have access to reliable and trustworthy data partners who can append emails to your mailing list to get the job done. Combine CRM targeting with email marketing and all of a sudden, your brand is front and center. Hit your prospects with messages from all angles (banner, email, search and social) and your marketing impact multiplies. These four banner advertising tactics are great ways to reach relevant prospects, build your brand and drive activity to your website in a very cost-effective way.



If you would like to learn more about which form of banner ads might work well in your industry or which digital marketing tactics you might want to try in general, feel free book a meeting with one of our experts or subscribe to our newsletter for monthly insights on all kinds of effective and emerging digital marketing topics!