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Mastering the Game: Targeted vs Non-Targeted Advertising in B2B Digital Marketing

📅 20 February 2024  |  ⏱️ 7 minute read

In the world of business marketing, getting your message across to the right people is not always easy. More so because of the dynamic digital landscape we’re living in. Individuals and organisations operating in the industry have a ton of information to refer to and options to choose from. But by using a strategic approach to your digital advertising, whether targeted or non-targeted, you have the potential to share your story and generate brand awareness, sales leads that convert into business, and more.

So, if you’re looking for help finding new and effective ways to reach your audiences, especially in the food, beverage, and nutrition industries, you’ve come to the right place. In this blog post, you’ll learn more about targeted and non-targeted advertising, see examples, and understand how each works. We’ll explore the benefits of both, discuss when to run targeted vs. non-targeted advertising campaigns, and share tips on when to use each one.

Who are we? Smartcore is your best-in-class B2B food and nutrition marketing solutions partner for smarter digital campaigns that drive business growth – with unrivalled expertise in your prospects. Explore our smarter digital products and packages, custom-created to maximise your brand awareness, generate excellent-quality leads, and deliver greater returns on your investment and time.

What is Targeted Advertising?

Targeted advertising uses data to display your advertisements to specific audiences. How? It depends on insights such as demographics, interests, and behaviours. These strong audience segmentation practices empower you to be precise and accurate with your ads, ensuring you reach the right people—those really interested in what you have to offer.

Let's go through some practical examples to understand how these targeted advertising strategies come to life in the digital landscape. 

  1. Retargeting: Imagine you've been searching for running shoes online. Suddenly, you start seeing ads for those exact shoes on various other websites you visit. This is targeted advertising in action.

  2. Targeted emails: Businesses can leverage advanced targeting filters to send personalised emails to specific segments of their audience, based on demographics, preferences, behaviours, or past interactions.

  3. Social media advertising: Platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram offer advertisers the ability to target ideal audiences based on options such as location, company, interests, behaviours, and demographics.

With the ability to tailor messages and ads to the unique characteristics of each targeted audience segment, businesses can create highly relevant and engaging advertising experiences.

What is Non-Targeted Advertising?

On the other hand, non-targeted advertising broadens its reach by casting a wider net with your advertisements. But it lacks the careful consideration offered by targeted ads. While it achieves visibility among a larger audience, it provides limited control over who sees your ads. This could lead to you missing the connection with prospects who really matter for your business.

Now, let's explore some examples of non-targeted advertising and understand how it differs from targeted approaches.

  1. TV commercials: Traditional television advertising reaches a broad audience without specifically tailoring the content to individuals based on their preferences or behaviours.

  2. Billboard advertisements: By placing ads on billboards along highways or in busy areas, this form of non-targeted advertising aims to capture the attention of a diverse audience passing by.

  3. Mass emails: Sending the same email to a large email contact list without considering segmentation based on user preferences or behaviours represents a non-targeted approach

As seen, unlike targeted advertising, non-targeted approaches embrace a broader reach, opting for a wider audience's attention over specificity.

Masters in all things digital marketing, our invaluable data, including an extensive global network of over 400,000+ ingredients buyers, data-driven insights, and specialised digital content channels in the B2B food and nutrition industry are what set us apart from the rest. Discover Smartcore's 2024 Digital Media Kit.

Benefits of Targeted vs Non-Targeted Advertising

First and foremost, targeted advertising allows for personalisation, letting you customise your ads to truly resonate with your targeted audience segments. This helps directly address your prospects’ needs and provide them with the solutions they’re seeking. In their State of Marketing 2024 report, HubSpot reveals that 96% of marketers believe personalisation leads to repeat business, with 94% stating it increases sales. These statistics paint a compelling picture, highlighting how personalisation not only enhances conversion rates and engagement but also proves cost-effective and valuable, especially for businesses dealing with decreasing marketing budgets. 

Explore further benefits of B2B targeted advertising in detail below:

  1. Optimises marketing resources: Targeted ads let you focus your resources on promising segments. This minimises the risk of poorly performing campaigns.  

  2. Provides valuable analytics: Targeted advertising offers the opportunity to deep dive into your audience’s insights, including preferences, buying behaviour, interests, and demographics. This, in turn, helps improve future campaigns.

  3. Competitive edge: They help you reach prospects efficiently, increasing your potential for brand recognition in a competitive marketplace. 

  4. Increases ROI: Targeted advertising maximises ROI on marketing spend. Since it leverages data insights for a customised approach, you’re able to accurately reach your prospects, drive higher conversions, and avoid resource wastage.

Alternatively, non-targeted advertising can generate brand awareness on a large scale. It serves as a powerful tool for businesses wanting to explore new markets and create a wider brand presence, even though it may lack the exactness of targeted advertising. At the end of the day, it comes down to you evaluating your goals and where in the digital marketing funnel your audience is at. Read on for more on this below.

If you’re looking for top targeted advertising products to reach your buyers in the global B2B food and nutrition markets, we can help. Our Targeted Ads enable you to engage relevant audiences, potential buyers, and organiser-verified visitors of Fi Europe and Vitafoods Europe, on third-party websites as they browse the web. Or check out our Targeted Custom Branded Email, where you can share your content with an audience of your choice and drive this targeted traffic to a landing page of your choice.

When to Run Targeted vs. Non-Targeted Advertising

There is no right or wrong approach when it comes to digital advertising. Making the right decision for your business involves aligning your advertising approach with your goals. 

Here are some practical tips to guide your decision-making process:

  • Define your goals: Clearly define your marketing goals. If your primary aim is to boost general brand visibility and awareness or to explore new markets, then non-targeted advertising is the way forward. On the other hand, when the focus is on capturing and nurturing leads or converting leads into customers and retaining them, then targeted advertising is the way to go.

  • Know your audience: To present your target audience with the right advertisements, be they targeted or non-targeted, you first need to develop an understanding of their demographics, behaviours, and interests. This will give you better idea of who they are, where they are, and what they’re looking for, telling you how relevant they are to your business. You can then tailor your advertising strategy and messaging accordingly to maximise the impact of your efforts.

  • Evaluate the digital marketing funnel stage: Now that you have a better idea of your audience, consider which stage of the digital marketing funnel they are in. If they are in the top of the funnel stage, where the focus is on brand visibility and awareness, and you want to reach a wide audience due to the nature of your product or service, then non-targeted ads are beneficial. When it comes to the middle of the funnel stage where the focus is on capturing and nurturing leads, or the bottom of the funnel stage where the goal is to convert leads, then targeted ads are your best bet.

Did you know you can calculate your estimated audience reach with us? Take a look at our FREE Audience Reach Calculator. This tool enables you to select your target audience from our database of over 400,000 ingredients buyers and segment them by product and industry interest, job function and level, and geographical location. You will receive the estimated audience number you can target with our smarter digital campaigns directly to your inbox.

Ultimately, the best choice depends on individual marketing goals, campaign objectives, and budgets. So, whether casting a wider net with your advertisements or using data and advanced segmentation to display your advertisements to specific audiences, align your strategy with your goals. This ensures a powerful and effective digital marketing campaign tailored to your business needs.

Partner with us

As we wrap up our exploration of targeted vs. non targeted advertising in B2B digital marketing, remember that the right advertising choice can set your business up for success. Both approaches have their benefits, but the key to reaching your potential customers with accuracy lies in targeted advertising. HubSpot’s State of Marketing 2024 report emphasises this point, revealing that 73% of marketers stress the importance of personalisation.

Partner with us. Our smarter digital campaigns empower you to reach your buyers and achieve real results. Explore some of our success stories to see how we’ve helped other businesses reach their buyers with smarter digital campaigns. 

Contact us today to learn more about the smarter solutions we offer and the challenges we can address for your brand. Get in touch with us here. 



Serena Warren