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The Targeting of Advertising

  • Ganesh Iyer

    ()

    (Haas School of Business, University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, California 94720-1900)

  • David Soberman

    ()

    (INSEAD, Boulevard de Constance, Fontainebleau, France 77305)

  • J. Miguel Villas-Boas

    ()

    (Haas School of Business, University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, California 94720-1900)

An important question that firms face in advertising is developing effective media strategy. Major improvements in the quality of consumer information and the growth of targeted media vehicles allow firms to precisely target advertising to consumer segments within a market. This paper examines advertising strategy when competing firms can target advertising to different groups of consumers within a market. With targeted advertising, we find that firms advertise more to consumers who have a strong preference for their product than to comparison shoppers who can be attracted to the competition. Advertising less to comparison shoppers can be seen as a way for firms to endogenously increase differentiation in the market. In addition, targeting allows the firm to eliminate “wasted” advertising to consumers whose preferences do not match a product’s attributes. As a result, the targeting of advertising increases equilibrium profits. The model demonstrates how advertising strategies are affected by firms being able to target pricing. Target advertising leads to higher profits, regardless of whether or not the firms have the ability to set targeted prices, and the targeting of advertising can be more valuable for firms in a competitive environment than the ability to target pricing.

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File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1287/mksc.1050.0117
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Article provided by INFORMS in its journal Marketing Science.

Volume (Year): 24 (2005)
Issue (Month): 3 (May)
Pages: 461-476

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Handle: RePEc:inm:ormksc:v:24:y:2005:i:3:p:461-476
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