Have you ever suspected that your marketing campaign is not driving sales efficiently or found yourself spending time and resources modifying your marketing tactics and still getting a low ROI? You are not alone. It is all in the targeting.
What is targeting?
Targeting is, as it always has been and always will be, about reaching the right people on the right channel with the right content at the right time on the right device. The explosion of digital data, combined with the increasing addressability within and across online audience platforms and brand sites, has only reinforced the importance of this marketing maxim.
A successful marketing strategy starts with an optimal targeting plan. Here are the five fundamental aspects that will help frame your targeting approach:
- Start with your business objectives
- Know your audience
- Go where your target audience is
- Understand what your target audience is looking for
- Deliver, measure and optimize. Rinse and repeat.
We will cover these key steps in a three-part blog series, with the preliminary focus on how to start with your business objectives and knowing your audience.
Start with the business objectives
It is important to have a clear focus on your business objectives and align your marketing strategy with them. Basically, what are you trying to do? Be as specific as possible and identify the primary objective you are trying to achieve, such as:
- Generate leads
- Increase sales
- Enhance customer experience
- Deepen customer engagement
- Increase site traffic
If you do not have a clear line of sight into your business objectives, how will you know if your campaign was a success?[/pullquote]Understand your business objectives, set marketing goals against these objectives, and identify targets for your key performance indicators (KPIs) so that you can measure the success of your campaign against your business goals.If you do not have a clear line of sight into your business objectives, how will you know if your campaign was a success? Start with a solid, well-structured marketing plan that has clarity in business objectives, goals, and targets.
For instance, if you are an online retail company and your business objectives are to deepen customer engagement and drive conversion, your primary business goals could be to publish more relevant and personalized content that drives users toward conversion and to maximize use of mobile and social channels for ecommerce and content delivery. These primary goals define your marketing strategy.
Know your audience
Marketing in the digital era is increasingly in the hands of the consumers. Prospective buyers choose where, when, and how to communicate with brands. However, marketers are also increasingly in the driver’s seat when it comes to communicating with customers and clients due to advances in identity management that significantly extend into the digital arena.
Digital technology and identity management comprise the foundational “connective tissue” that makes digital audiences addressable. As we increasingly move away from either terrestrial or cookie-level targeting to true customer-facing, digitally integrated communication, brands now have much more control over how and where we communicate with our customers.
So, where do we start? Know your audience first.
Leverage your first-party data
Who is your target audience? What are their motivations and preferences? What are their pain points? How do they prefer interacting with your brand?
To answer these questions, you have to look no further than the first-party data that you own.
First-party data is the data gathered by you about your customers and include interactions of your customers with the brand. These interactions could be over the phone, on your digital properties such as your website or mobile app, or through surveys, to name a few.
It is critical that you mine and use your first-party data. How else would you know who your customers are, what channel they prefer, what they buy, and what they look like?
Identify your most valuable audience
You may have a wide target audience but a limited budget. To make the most of your marketing spend, consider identifying and targeting your most valuable audience.How do you define most valuable audience? Depends on a clear business objective! If you are looking to cross-sell or up-sell products to your existing customers, you may consider only those customers with a high predicted lifetime value. On the other hand, if your objective is to raise awareness and consideration for your product, you may consider those who are more likely to show interest in your product and become a lead.
You can empower your marketing campaigns by leveraging your first-party data and reaching out to your most valuable audience. Here are some examples of what you can do with first-party data:
- Deliver relevant and personalized messaging to your most valuable audience that resonates with them.
- Build a value metric to inform retargeting and search strategies based on filtering prospects along a “profitability to the business” dimension.
- Enhance your retargeting efforts by integrating first-party data sources to get a single view of the “now addressable” cookie that visited your site and provided you with additional identity linkage information.
For example, if you are a specialty retail company and your business objective is to drive more product sales, leverage your first-party data and build look-alike models to identify prospects most likely to convert. You can then utilize identity management processes to link this information with cookie pools managed through DMPs, all with the intention to better target prospects coming to your site or, once they leave, with smarter display retargeting or search bid strategies based on what we now know based on analytics and first-party data. The power of first-party data drives the same marketing ROI in the new digital age as it did in the days of direct mail.
To be continued
Now that you better understand your most valuable audience based on first-party data, where do you find them? How do we engage them? What information are they looking for?
As marketers, we need to ensure that we are targeting the right audience on the right channels and platforms and serving them the right content. Our next blog will “address,” pun intended, where valuable prospects can be found and how to engage with an eye toward ROI.