Ad Targeting 2018: Households, Individuals or Both? Why a Blended Approach Is Often the Answer
Ad Targeting 2018: Households, Individuals or Both? Why a Blended Approach Is Often the Answer

Ad Targeting 2018: Households, Individuals or Both? Why a Blended Approach Is Often the Answer

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WHAT’S IN THIS REPORT? This reports looks at how marketers are targeting ads to households and individuals. It also examines how marketers are increasingly using both forms of targeting to deliver on larger cross-device and customer journey objectives. Finally, it includes a marketer’s checklist of questions for vetting identity and ad targeting vendors to ensure their data is accurate and compatible.

  • The household is often the central focus of ad targeting efforts for companies selling items that are shared by household members or products and services centered around life events (such as buying a new home or sending a child to college). For some marketers, lack of individual-level data may also necessitate a primary focus on households. This is often the case for consumer packaged goods (CPGs) companies lacking direct-to-consumer relationships—and data. Those leaning heavily on channels organically targeted at households, such as television and direct mail, also tend to focus here.
  • Marketers eyeing digital often seek a more one-to-one audience targeting approach. For many focusing at the individual level, benefits of more real-time and refined targeting practices, coupled with more personalized messages, are seen as ideal ingredients for driving greater customer engagement, and ultimately, revenues.
  • For a growing number of marketers, targeting households or individuals is not an either-or decision. Many brands combine individual- and household-level targeting practices to capitalize on the customer journey and better realize core marketing objectives, such as optimizing reach and frequency throughout that journey.
  • Still, marketers must proceed with caution when marrying the audience identity graphs behind both data sets and deploying the channel sets required to make individual- and household-level targeting work. eMarketer highlights questions marketers should be asking of any ad targeting service provider or identity solution.


  1. Ad Targeting Today
  2. Factors to Consider When Planning an Ad Targeting Strategy
  3. Targeting to the Household or the Individual
  4. A Blended Approach
  5. Looking Ahead: Is One-to-One Ad Targeting in Trouble?
  6. Key Takeaways
  7. Vetting Ad Targeting Vendors: A Marketer’s Checklist
  8. eMarketer Interviews
  9. Read Next
  10. Sources
  11. Media Gallery

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