Does targeted digital advertising create a geographic divide?

Continuing advancements in advertising technologies are giving marketers more and more options for targeted digital advertising – but will this ability to target by geography create a digital ad desert among rural populations? See what these experts have to say.

Posted: July 20, 2022

(Image credit: Gerd Altmann/Pixabay)

Will continued targeted digital advertising options create a digital advertising shortage in less populated areas of the United States?

Think about it: Facebook and other social platforms already offer digital ads targeted by geography (among other considerations). The same goes for digital ad networks and Google SEM. Add to this the increase in recent years in the capacity of geotarget mobile phone users, and the growing market penetration gains we are seeing in connected TV.

Already, 83% of the US population lives in urban areasand this number is expected to reach 90% by 2050.

Naturally, ad dollars follow populations, especially when there is enough diversity within that 83% of urban Americans to satisfy most advertisers.

Going back to my original question: Will the continued increase in targeting technology, combined with the increase in the number of Americans living in urban areas, drive our fellow Americans into rural and remote areas? don’t see anywhere near the onslaught of digital ads?

To get another perspective, I reached out to a few marketing experts.

“I think it’s been like this for a while, like with targeting on social media,” said a tech analyst and brand strategist. Shelly DeMotte Kramerfounding partner of Futurum Research.

“However, for brands that want this rural/geographical/demographic audience, it could be a competitive advantage: they could have the customers that others think they don’t want and/or aren’t worth the advertising dollars over populations. denser – and I guess that audience could also be had on the cheap,” added DeMotte Kramer.

Kent Lewisfounder of Anvil Media and chief marketing officer of Deksia, said the answer depends on how advertisers target consumers.

“With cookie loss relying more on behavioral and anonymized data, rural consumers are more likely to be left behind,” Lewis said. “I see this as an opportunity for smart brands looking to target their products and services to rural populations, benefit this gap in spending and attention.

“I also see this trend fueling the adoption of retail platforms like Walmart as well as local community media.”

IMGN Media Noah Mallin also said the prevalence of retail media networks has changed digital advertising.

“The digital revolution means that the world’s Walmarts and Amazons have theoretically extended the reach of all kinds of products and services to far-flung places.

“There is a push and pull in the world of advertising and marketing which over the past decade has moved towards targeting and personalization with the idea that ad relevance was a factor. According to this model, it was worth chasing the “white whale” of delivering very specific ad copy, even to a rural area, if you could expand the capability to do so and model it.

“With digital, we theoretically have the signals and the tools to do that,” Mallin said.

While technology should allow marketers to cost-effectively scale to reach their audience, wherever they are, I would always be interested to know if our rural neighbors are seeing more 10,000 ads per day?

If you have any insights and/or data on rural or urban ad impressions or CPMs, let me know on Twitter at @SBonSocialMediaWhere let me know.

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