Audience targeting is the one constant that runs through every digital media campaign. Although it sounds cliché, marketers today need to connect with the right person at the right time in the right place. The days of generalized advertising messages are over. Consumers fit into very specific audiences, and they only want to see ads and offers that are relevant to their unique wants and needs.
Implementing a well-defined audience targeting strategy enables marketers to focus on driving brand awareness, consideration, and conversions among the consumers that matter most. Not only does this preserve budget, because you’re only reaching the people most interested in hearing from the brand, but it also enables you to hyper-target messages for specific audiences, further improving campaign performance.
Defining audience targeting
Digital audience targeting, otherwise known as a target market, is a defined group of people who are identified as the brand’s ideal customers. Targeting is based on the answers to questions such as: What age are they? Where are they located? What are they interested in? What drives their purchase behavior?
Creating target audiences can be difficult. If your marketing scope is too broad, for example, you are wasting money on people who would never be interested in your product or service, no matter how well or how often you advertise to them. There are also numerous ways to target audiences, including:
- Data-driven audiences
- IP targeting
- Contextually targeted audiences
- CRM targeting
Consumers have embraced e-commerce and online purchases, and the direct-to-consumer (D2C) market continues to grow at double-digit rates. Marketers also have a greater responsibility to safeguard customer data and treat audiences as humans, not as data points.
The most effective audience targeting strategy should always start by building out the marketing funnel according to the digital tactics, channels, and messages that work to guide customers from awareness to conversion. The goal is to accurately target each campaign to connect with very specific audiences based on where they are in the customer journey while maximizing budget efficiency.
The digital advertising space is evolving quickly. More and more, emerging media such as connected TV, programmatic audio, and out-of-home advertising opportunities, are being tested to deliver relevant and timely mixed media messages to your target audiences. It’s important to stay on top of the latest advertising technologies, tools, and trends, as well as educate your clients so they fully understand the audience targeting strategies you’re presenting.