Considering the wide reach and appeal of the Web, many businesses acknowledge the power of internet marketing. And while it may seem like there are millions upon millions of potential customers online just waiting to learn about your business, the reality is that a targeted internet marketing approach often makes more sense, especially for smaller companies.

When deciding where to apply their advertising dollars, marketing directors and executives should first focus their efforts on learning more about their audience. In a blog post for Business2Community, online marketer James Debono writes that many small businesses naively overestimate their appeal to the world at large, when they should be developing a targeted internet marketing campaign that reaches only the most relevant audience.

Beyond identifying their audience, businesses also need to learn more about their preferences, the challenges they face and how the company’s product or service might mitigate these issues. Once they know these target factors, advertising managers will be able to craft impactful online advertisements and display ads that address these issues clearly and speak directly to the most appropriate potential buyers, according to Debono.

Targeted internet marketing efforts should continue to become a major focus for most businesses, especially as more internet traffic is generated by individuals using smartphones. A study from one internet marketing firm showed that smartphones are leading the way in local searches, as most individuals who are out and about are often searching for restaurants, lodging or retailers that are in their immediate vicinity.

That could make the targeted internet marketing sphere all the more competitive, putting pressure on businesses to adapt or fall behind competitors. A local business internet marketing firm can suggest strategies and ideas that will ensure these companies are on the cutting edge of targeted marketing.