The Perils Of Microtargeting

I love a good analogy. And in describing the current desire of marketers to precisely target messages at specific consumers, Teressa Iezzi, writing in Ad Age, comes up with a good one:

I heard a media expert say this on a panel a while back: “If I’m a dog-food maker I am now able to send my commercial messages only to dog owners.”
In the mainstream media, it’s the Fox News effect — with more media outlets trying to emulate that ideologically single-minded approach and screeching to an ever more credulous choir.

Interesting–are marketers slowly giving up on trying to change consumers’ mindsets by targeting folks predisposed to like their products?

About Dan Goldgeier

Blogging on AdPulp since 2005, Dan Goldgeier is a Seattle-based freelance copywriter with experience at advertising agencies across the U.S. He is a graduate of the Creative Circus ad school, and currently teaches at Seattle's School of Visual Concepts. In addition, he is a regular columnist for Dan published the best of his columns in a book entitled View From The Cheap Seats: A Broader Look at Advertising, Marketing, Branding, Global Politics, Office Politics, Sexual Politics, and Getting Drunk During a Job Interview. Look for it on Amazon in paperback and e-book editions.


  1. That is an interesting analogy. Though the lines are blurring and weaving everywhere, I hope there’s still a difference, in theory, between journalism and marketing.
    A network needs more viewers, bigger numbers (or maybe more droolworthy demographics) to charge more for the commercial time. Preaching to the choir there just keeps them in the church, though maybe word-of-mouth increases the numbers eventually.
    For a marketer, you can increase sales from an existing base and/or get new customers. But it’s nice to have the option, I’d think.