For marketers and communicators, microtargeting is like mana itself. After all, it’s far more cost effective to target a specific audience in a specific area with information on an issue that most directly affects that target group. In fact, casting a wide net meant to catch-all on the net will often go unnoticed. And be costly in the process.

Many people complain about microtargeting, noting it’s a form of profiling. They dislike the idea that campaigns derive from information gathered from our digital footprint. Those who love it extoll the value of getting information more likely to appeal to them. Those who oppose frame microtargeting as an invasion of privacy. It’s complicated.

And, it’s just gotten more complicated. This past summer NY Times reported on a study published by the University of Pennsylvania which notes 86% of respondents do not want to be microtargeted by political campaigns. Despite that, microtargeting had a net-positive impact in the recent US election. The benefits are far too many and it’s much more cost effective to take the gamble.

By the way, Health Canada recently won an award from the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) for a campaign which leveraged microtargeting based on some effective pre-campaign listening (what I call the Understand phase).

Photo: Dartboard uploaded to flickr by Sint Smeding.

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