Why The Terms Targeted and Qualified Matter

A new inexperienced online entrepreneur often wants to tell the world about his shiny, new site. There’s nothing wrong with that enthusiasm, of course. But when that same businessman starts throwing money at online advertising, and pays to have his message shown to the entire world, he usually finds himself wondering why his pockets are empty, and his sales are low or non-existent.

Hopefully, at this point, he stops throwing money at the world, and learns a better way to advertise that stands a far better chance of resulting in positive ROI for every dollar he spends. If so, then at this point, he learns that his ads should be shown only to the group of people who are not only most interested in his products or services, but who are also most likely to respond to whatever offer he is presenting.

On this journey of discovery, he adds two new words to his marketing vocabulary — “targeted” and “qualified”.

What is targeted traffic? Users who are specifically interested in the products or services he provides are the users he wants to target. The chances of converting those users are much higher than the chances of converting a user who landed on his site accidentally and has no interest in what he has to offer. It suddenly becomes obvious to the entrepreneur that if he only spends money advertising to people who already have a strong interest in what he has to offer, then his conversion rate will likely be high, and the return on his investment will likewise be high.

What is qualified traffic? Qualified users are those who are not only interested in his products or services, but are able and ready to actually to to buy. It’s the difference between “looky-loos” and those who have a real need for the product, the budget to acquire the product, and the authority to approve the purchase of the product.

Now our entrepreneur can begin to shed his “newb” status and start launching marketing campaigns that are aimed at targeted, qualified individuals.

Let’s take a look at an example how our businessman can effectively accomplish this new goal.

Our fictional company owner has created a specialized dating service aimed at matching wealthy singles who are both into adventure and extreme sports, and wants to advertise his service on Facebook.

Before he understood the merits of showing ads only to targeted, qualified individuals, he probably would have designed an that sounded exciting or intriguing, but aimed it at everyone. What kind of traffic would he have shown that ad to?

Now that he is a little more savvy, he can begin to narrow that number down.

First, he chooses to only show ads to people interested in sports.

After thinking about it, he realizes that’s still way too general, so he narrows that down to people who enjoy extreme sports.

More thought, and he realizes that he forgot to only target singles, so he adds that to mix.

Finally, he knows his service is pricey, so he wants to pre-qualify his targeted audience as much as possible. Facebook doesn’t have an “I’m rich” category, but our now-savvy businessman can make some educated guesses on finding those people who are more likely to be qualified to pay his steep prices. So he’ll also target various interests, such as yachts, for example.

Now he’s narrowed his ad campaign down to a very targeted group of people who are more likely to be qualified as well. He can choose many different interests besides yachts, of course, honing his campaign until he finds the sweet spot of targeted, qualified users that are most likely to sign up for his specialized dating service.

Suddenly, our online entrepreneur has become a businessman who no longer empties his pockets while chasing everyone in the world. He now understands why the terms “targeted” and “qualified” matter, and is currently enjoying his own extreme adventure.