Defining a target audience is essential to the success of your marketing campaign. Your target audience drives where you deliver ads, what kind of content you create and how your marketing goals are achieved.
We’ve provided steps to help build your perfect target audience so that you’re no longer sending messages across scattered groups of people who aren’t engaging, but rather to ideal consumers who are most likely to respond to and benefit from your campaign.
Define Clear Goals
First, you need to clearly define what your marketing goals are in order to understand what kind of audience you need to reach. Goals should be SMART: specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound.
Instead of simply stating an indistinct goal to “boost revenue”, clearly define how you want to achieve and measure the success of your campaign.
Do you want to increase the number of automobile sales at your local dealership by 20% in Q2 through a cross-device campaign? Do you want to increase website traffic by 25% in the next month through an email marketing campaign?
By having clear marketing goals, you can then discover who your ideal customer is accordingly.
Align Your Ideal Target Audience
Based on your specific goals, you can decide who is the best target audience for your campaign.
Let’s say you’re trying to increase the number of automobile sales at your local dealership.
Your marketing efforts should not be targeted towards people who live 3,000 miles away or have not expressed any interest in purchasing an automobile. Rather, your ideal target audience would be customers who are in-market for certain vehicle models and are within a specific radius from the retail location.
Hyper-targeted marketing campaigns not only reach people who have already shown consumer behaviors that align with your marketing goals, but they also help cut wasted impressions that won’t boost sales or drive conversions.
In order to better understand how people are engaging, marketers must rely on data technologies to build a target audience aligned with their marketing goals.
See It to Believe It: Utilize the Data
Turning information into intelligence is the most crucial part to building and understanding your perfect target audience.
As digital technology is rapidly advancing, it’s becoming much clearer that one look at a consumer doesn’t give you the full picture. He or she is constantly engaging across various media, devices, retail stores, etc. and it can be difficult to keep up.
In order to create your ideal target audience, you need to layer various kinds of data to find the prospective customers. Use a combination of first, second and third party data – as opposed to the limited, traditional demographic-based approach – to gain a comprehensive understanding of your target audience.
These data points are collected from various sources to build unique consumer profiles. Typically, the Counts team will utilize data technologies to select a custom audience segmentation based on your campaign goals, ideal consumer, budget, etc. to deterministically identify a target audience.
Each time a consumer links an email address to a website or an in-store consumer loyalty program, his or her buyer behavior patterns can be tracked. Marketers can leverage these data points to determine demographic, geographic, and psychographic traits.
As powerful as offline data is on its own, the significance of offline data is amplified when layered with online information and mobile identification data. Opening email, shopping online, surfing the web and checking social media all occur on a desktop and are all potential touch points for your ad campaign.
However, online data is limited in the fact that there is the constant risk of ad fraud. Internet bots are constantly posing to be real people and formulating fake impressions. Therefore, the isolation of this data may not be the most accurate reflection of consumer behaviors.
That’s where the mobile identification data comes in. By combining offline and online consumer behaviors with unique mobile device IDs, you can identify a deterministic match to a specific individual and verify that he or she is a real user.
Also, mobile data helps understand how most consumers are utilizing their primary devices throughout the day – through app usage, app downloads and mobile engagement.
By knowing how your consumers prefer to access media, you can properly deliver ads to where your target audience is engaging most and has expressed an interest in your product or service.
Once you have clearly defined campaign goals, identified your ideal customer and collected various layers of actionable data, you can build rich audience profiles and target ads accordingly.
Comprehensive profiles of your perfect target audience include:
- Demographics: age, income, gender, geographic location and others
- Psychographics: attitudes, values and aspirations
- Behaviors: recency, frequency and monetary value of actions like conversions, purchases, sign-ups, opens, clicks, etc.
- Media preferences: customer value predictions and likelihood to respond on specific channels
By understanding who your target audience is and how they align with your marketing goals, as well as their likelihood to respond on certain channels, you can deliver a hyper-targeted campaign to optimize engagement and increase conversions.