Reno Tahoe Tonight Article (July, 2013) Blog

Reno Tahoe Tonight Article (July, 2013) Blog
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Targeting by Geography

[quote align=”center” color=”#999999″]Yahoo, Google, and Facebook have more information on you than your parents and you provide it all willingly.[/quote]

I was recently on vacation in Mexico and as I sat on the beach trying to get some last minute work in, Google continued to pop up and ask me if I wanted to be re-directed to  While it was an annoyance at the time, it reminded me how smart the web is at detecting location and trying to serve me best.

Understanding your clients as a business owner is the first step towards successful marketing and from there you can pick an advertising vehicle that works best to drive sales.

The internet has become so sophisticated that it tracks its users in a variety of ways and most of it is based on information you provide.  Yahoo, Google, and Facebook have more information on you than your parents and you provide it all willingly.  For example, when you sign up for Facebook or Google+, you enter your name, age, address, and psychographic information (hobbies, past times, family details).  In addition, your location is tracked based on IP address and addresses you may have entered when searching for local businesses and maps.  Finally cookies are attached that track which websites you visit most often.

All of this information is compiled and creates a profile.  From there, that profile is sold to advertisers so that ads are served that better meet your desires.   A couple of years ago, I was planning a vacation to Europe so I was researching the weather, flights, travel insurance, hotels, etc.  The next thing you know, I am being served ads for flights, cruises, and general vacation information.  Based on information I had provided and where I had searched, I had unknowingly created a profile of a person who was about to travel and was served ads accordingly.

As a consumer, this felt a bit “Big Brother-ish”.  As an advertiser, you now have the ability to spend your advertising dollar wisely without waste.  There are both search ads (the text ads that appear at the top of search sites like Google and Bing) and display ads (the box ads you see to the right of text and above the text on sites like Yahoo and publisher websites).  Most advertising companies can offer targeting by age, geography, and gender.  More importantly, you can target based on behaviors and interests.  Your message can get in front of people who are searching to purchase a car, interested in travel, or is an impulse buyer of shoes.

Digital algorithms are so sophisticated, it can determine that I am an English speaking person visiting Mexico and provide me options to either look for local businesses in Mexico or continue my “local” search for Reno.  What’s amazing, is that it will continue to be more specific.  I am waiting for the day that I walk into Macy’s my phone will sync with a monitor that reads, “good morning Amber, would you like to go shopping for clothing is section 2 or do you need a re-fill on your plumb nail polish purchased last month”.

Do you have a digital topic you’d like me to write about in a future column?  If so, please let me know by emailing me at

-Amber Howland
Dragonfly Media,, (775)746-4690

Amber Howland is General Manager of Dragonfly Media, based in Reno, Nevada.  Dragonfly Media works with small to medium size businesses to increase their digital influence through SEO/SEM, social media management, website/app development, and email marketing.