Have you ever gone to the movies? Ok, maybe that was a stupid question. Most of us have gone to a movie theater at least once. Think about when you eagerly stroll over to the concession stand to buy that tub of popcorn. The options (usually) sound something like this: You can buy a medium-size bag for $6.00, OR for $0.75 more, you can get a large tub of popcorn. The natural inclination for most of us would be to fork over the measly three extra quarters for the much larger tub, despite not really wanting that much popcorn to begin with. Have you ever wondered why?

The Concept of Anchoring

Anchoring (or focalism) is a bias we all carry, causing us to focus on our first piece of information or action when comparing similar products or services. If we spend $600 on a 55” flat screen tv, that experience is our “anchor.” We then compare all other TV purchases (whether our own or a friend’s) to our $600 purchase.

Behavioral Economics, on a micro level, studies how our psychology and emotions affect our financial decision making. Human beings are naturally emotional creatures, which affects our decision-making process for every choice we make, from deciding on where to eat lunch to what kind of car we buy.

Understanding the psychological factors that influence the decision-making process allows marketers to effectively communicate the real value of your products or services to customers. By implementing these common, but largely underutilized influencers, you can optimize your campaigns for maximum performance.

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In Google AdWords, there are several advanced levers Millennium Marketing Solutions can pull to make your advertising campaigns more effective. When working with local businesses, the service area is very important–there is no point in wasting ad dollars reaching people who are too distant to use your service. Looking at just the basics, AdWords makes it easy to pick a location or service area and target it with ads. Unfortunately, most advertisers on AdWords don’t get past those basic settings which means they miss out on better quality traffic and ultimately leads and conversions.

Adwords imageThe Basics of Location Targeting in AdWords

Most advertisers on AdWords know that Google accommodates local businesses by allowing them to specify geographic areas to display their advertising.  The AdWords system allows for the targeting of entire states, individual cities or zip codes, and even a radius around an address. Once specified, their ad will only be shown to people searching for a service that is within the areas specified or searching about the areas specified. This is obviously essential and very useful. For a basic AdWords account, this can get an advertiser off to a good start, but Millennium takes it much further.

Using More Advanced Location Targeting Options

Our digital marketing team improves upon the basics in several ways when they utilize more advanced location features that Google AdWords offers. For example, we can stack various location settings and then use click data to help us find the most effective targeting. We can then tell Google to automatically increase bids for people who are in the in areas that are providing the best quality traffic.

Ad Words Geo RadiusA great way to illustrate this is with Google’s radius targeting options. In a basic account, the user might just create one radius around the business and leave it at that. But at Millennium, we don’t just specify one radius around an address, instead we create several concentric circles. For example, 1 mile, 3 miles, 5 miles, 10 miles, and 15 miles around a business’ address. Then, for example, if we notice that people who are in the 3 mile radius convert more often, we can bid more for that area.

Another advanced location targeting option is household income.  Google allows us to bid for 5 levels of household income (ie – the top 10%). As shown in the table below, the income levels are derived by census data and are really targeting entire zip codes by their income levels—not individuals. Still, it can be very helpful in finding and bidding for the best converting traffic. For example, if your product or service is meant for people at very high income levels, you can add targeting for just the top 10% of household income.

 Average Household Income, Lower 50% (US) within United States   $0 – $64,000
 Average Household Income, 41%-50% (US) within United States   $64,001 – $96,000
 Average Household Income, 31-40% (US) within United States   $96,001 – $111,000
 Average Household Income, 21%-30% (US) within United States   $111,001 – $131,000
 Average Household Income, 11%-20% (US) within United States   $131,001 – $146,000
 Average Household Income, Top 10% (US) within United States   More than $146,001


Finally, in some cases we have other location targeting options that can prove useful. For example, Google gives us the ability to target the campuses of certain universities, congressional districts, and other places of interest such as airports and busy commercial areas. These settings let us get more granular in our targeting and also make it easier to reach certain populations of people.

Are You Using Advanced Targeting?

Advanced targeting options give us immense flexibility to target the best locations for your business. If you advertise on Google already, but don’t take advantage of these features, you should consider doing so. If you have questions or would like for Millennium’s digital marketing team to take a look at your AdWords account, please contact seo-dept@mm4solutions.com.


Scare Tactics Replace Sales Tactics in the World of SEO

September 18, 2013

We’ve all gotten the emails. “Hi CEO – I just wanted to let you know I took a look at your website, and you’re not ranking on the top of Google for important keywords. When is a good time for me to call you to give you some pointers for growing your business?”

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Mobile Site vs. Responsive Design

May 29, 2013

In today’s world, the way in which people access the Internet is vastly different from just ten years ago. We have become a society on the go-go-go, and we like our Internet the same way.  In America today, nearly half of all adults have a smart-phone; around 25% use smart-phones as their primary means of […]

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