An effective audience targeting program is a critical component of a comprehensive marketing strategy. Targeting helps a company to concentrate messaging on a subset of the general audience, improving the performance of marketing campaigns and the ROI of marketing spend by focusing on high-value prospects.
Targeting in marketing breaks a large market into smaller parts, or segments, based on specific characteristics as designated by the marketer. These characteristics could be:
- Demographic: age, gender, race, etc.
- Geographic: city, zip code, neighborhood, etc.
- Behavioral: purchase history, brand interactions, etc.
- Psychographic: values, interests, lifestyle, etc.
The more specific the target market, the more powerful a company’s focus on the customer, and the better a company can identify prospective customers, and personalize messaging and media planning to reach the right person, at the right time, with the right message. Conversion rates are improved, cost per acquisition is reduced, and customer engagement and value is increased.
To create an effective audience targeting program, a company should:
1. UNDERSTAND CURRENT CUSTOMERS
Gathering and compiling data on existing customers and analyzing it can help you to build a picture of your existing customers. Most businesses have access to demographic and geographic information, based on voluntary information provided by customers during regular in-store or online interactions. Behavioral data, such as purchase history or brand interactions, is often recorded in transaction history and may be tied to a CRM system for analysis.
Psychographic information, which is the values, interests, and lifestyle of current customers, can be more difficult to acquire. One way of inferring a customer’s psychographic information is to review event data. Event data goes a step beyond identifying who a customer is, or their location: event data can describe why a customer is at a certain place at a certain time. For example, knowing that a customer is at a stadium gives you some data, but verifying that the customer is at the stadium for a sporting event gives a deeper understanding of that customer – their activities, interests, and even lifestyle.
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2. USE THIS UNDERSTANDING TO BUILD CUSTOMER PROFILES
Creating a detailed picture of the customer – an ‘ideal customer profile’, or ICP – can help a company to identify their best customers, align marketing and sales efforts with organizational strategy, and improve strategic decision-making. Customer profiles can incorporate any number of characteristics and be segmented by various attributes to use in audience targeting.
3. USE CUSTOMER PROFILES TO EXPAND REACH
Customer profiles can help marketers identify customer attributes that can lead to potential new audiences. Building on the example above, a grocery store might discover that many of its current customers also attend professional football games. The company could then adjust its marketing strategy to target other professional football fans, incorporating sponsorships at the stadium, advertising during televised football events, and promotional activities built around scheduled games.
Audience targeting is one method of taking data about your customers and turning it into valuable, actionable insights. Carving out specific, smaller target groups provides the foundation for strategic marketing initiatives, and lays the groundwork for data-driven decision-making based on a deeper, more comprehensive understanding of the customer.
Gravy Audiences Overview
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