What is Prospecting in Marketing?

Prospecting (or prospecting ads) is a form of advertising campaign for attracting potential customers who are likely to convert to the advertisers' websites or mobile apps.

By targeting digital profiles similar to those of your existing customers, prospecting automates new customer acquisition. Prospecting is the first step in a full-funnel marketing strategy.

How does Prospecting Work?

Prospecting campaigns are powered by large, robust data sets of customer intent. Gathered from online publishers, social media networks, or advertiser sites, these data sets are analyzed by your digital advertising platform to identify potential customers who are likely to engage with your brand.

Prospecting in marketing works as a customer-acquisition solution because it eliminates guesswork. Most prospecting solutions use AI and machine learning algorithms to serve ads to probable customers.

What are Different Ways to Reach Prospects?

Demographic Targeting

Demographic targeting allows advertisers to refine their audience based on specific demographics such as age, gender, location, income level, education, and more. By segmenting audiences using demographic data, advertisers can create highly tailored ad campaigns that are more likely to resonate with their target market. Demographic targeting helps advertisers reach the right audience and boost brand awareness. Understanding the nuances of various demographic segments is key to crafting compelling ad creatives and messaging that speaks directly to the interests and needs of specific groups within the broader target audience, ultimately leading to improved campaign performance.

Behavioral Targeting

Behavioral targeting enables marketers to reach potential customers based on their online behaviors and interests. By analyzing users' browsing history, search queries, and previous interactions, advertisers can tailor their ads to a specific audience segment most likely to engage with their products or services. This personalized approach not only enhances the relevance of the ads but also increases the chances of converting leads into customers. Leveraging behavioral targeting in prospecting campaigns helps improve campaign ROI by directing advertisements towards individuals who have shown interest in the advertised products or services.

Contextual Targeting

Contextual targeting is another powerful tool in the world of prospecting ads, enabling advertisers to connect with potential customers based on the content they are currently consuming. By analyzing the context of a webpage or app, advertisers can serve relevant ads that align with the interests and needs of users at that precise moment. This approach goes beyond simple demographic or behavioral targeting, allowing ads to seamlessly integrate into the user's online experience, increasing the likelihood of engagement and conversion. With contextual targeting, brands can position themselves in front of a receptive audience, effectively leveraging the content environment to drive meaningful interactions and build brand recognition. It's a smart way to reach out to new customers and expand the reach of prospecting campaigns by meeting audiences where they are most engaged.

Prospecting Best Practices

Use prospecting along with retargeting for the best results

Use prospecting along with retargeting for the best results. Together, prospecting and retargeting make up full-funnel marketing, which nurtures the entire customer lifecycle from brand awareness to conversion.

Design eye-catching creatives

Design eye-catching creatives that feature discounts and strong calls to action in order to engage brand-new prospects.

Ensure your retargeting campaign captures prospecting visitors

Ensure that your retargeting campaign captures prospecting visitors. Think of it as a relay race: prospecting passes the baton (i.e., high-quality visitors) to retargeting, which closes the deal by bringing those visitors across the finish line to conversion.

How Should I Measure Prospecting Campaign Performance?

Analyzing the effectiveness of your campaigns should be a structured and ongoing process — you should always be evaluating what’s working and where you can make changes to get better results. Pay attention to these metrics:

  • Impressions - number of times your ads are served to viewers

  • New visitors - number of people who visited your site after clicking on an ad (and who had never visited your site before)

  • Cost per new visitor - how much you spend to bring a new visitor to your site

  • Bounce rate - percentage of visitors who leave your site after viewing only one page

  • Daily frequency - number of ads seen per day by reached users

  • Session time - amount of time spent on your site during an initial visit