Digital campaigns struggle to target women

Only half of UK online ad campaigns targeted at women actually reached them, with the FMCG sector struggling most to reach targets, according to new research.

The study of 60,000 campaigns across 20+ countries by measurement company Nielsen, also found that mobile tends to be better than desktop at hitting target audiences.

Only 50 per cent of ad impressions served in the UK that were meant for women were served to women, compared to the 62 per cent success hit rate when targeting men. This discrepancy was even more pronounced when targeting 18-34 year olds, with just 22 per cent successfully hitting women but 33 per cent for men.

Overall, just 54 per cent of ad impressions were delivered to the audience they were meant for.

“Online advertising has plenty of room for improvement in hitting advertisers’ desired audiences, particularly women” said Barney Farmer, Nielsen’s UK commercial director. “Various things that can make a difference are better use of the available technology, incorporating wider sources of data, particularly first party data, as well as buyers taking more action on the insights they’ve got from previous campaigns to improve future results.”

Accuracy also varies widely by sector. Travel and Business/Consumer Services marketers were the most likely to reach their desired audience (both doing so 67 per cent of the time) followed by Entertainment (65 per cent). In contrast, Retail (42 per cent) and FMCG (43 per cent) marketers struggled most to reach their target audience. However, FMCG had a much higher hit rate on mobile (52 per cent) than desktop (42 per cent), as did Computers/Electronics (60 per cent vs 51 per cent).