Marketing Mishaps #2 – Know Your Customer

This one is just plain absurd.

castle appraisal adI don’t recall the circumstances under which this ad popped up on the right-hand side of my Facebook screen. I think I could make the case that, no matter what I was looking at or discussing, this ad should have never appeared to me.


Demographic information can be very precisely targeted in a Facebook ad campaign. You can fine-tune your targeting using demographic terms like:

  • Sex
  • Age (range or exact age)
  • Interests
  • Income
  • Education Level
  • Geographic Area
  • Relationship Status

So, let me give you a thumbnail sketch of ME: I am 51 years old, married, middle-class income, Bachelors degree, have always lived in the Midwest, and have never, EVER expressed any interest in owning a castle. Ever.

How did this ad get presented to me? I suspect the demographic targeting for this ad campaign was left blank. That would be something like placing your ad on radio or TV stations AT RANDOM, without regard to format or audience.

I can’t think of any good reason to do that, except for the possibility that the sponsors of this ad either didn’t know whom they were targeting, or didn’t care to instruct Facebook of those facts.

Course of Action

The #1 requirement in successful advertising is “know your customer”.  Learn as much as you can about your customer base. This knowledge enables you to place your ads in the correct media, at the correct moments, to be heard or seen by the people most likely to respond. Then, there must be a “call to action” that will inspire them to make that response.

Customer demographics and psychographics are wonderfully detailed and helpful characteristics to learn and use. We will delve into them more in future posts.

Thank you for allowing me to talk to you about a fundamental aspect of marketing. I have been wanting to share that ridiculous advertisement with someone for over a year.

Do you have a story about someone who failed to learn about their customer?


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