The Best Audience Targeting Strategies to Win Your Ideal Customers

In marketing, the goal isn’t to appeal to as many people as possible. The goal is to appeal to as many realistic potential buyers as possible. This requires awareness from brands of who their company is, who they’re trying to reach, and what makes their product or service worth buying. To best connect with realistic prospective customers, businesses need to develop comprehensive audience targeting strategies.

What is audience targeting?

Audience targeting is when sales or marketing teams develop methods to reach the desired cohort. It is a pivotal part of every brand’s marketing strategy. According to HubSpot’s 2020 State of Marketing, ad placement and audience targeting are the two top ways advertisers drive more demand. It is something every business should be investing in and is the cornerstone of a successful marketing and sales process.

Frictionless is a growth planning and collaboration platform that helps businesses and their sales teams compile market intelligence and simplify the planning process, streamlining the development of an audience targeting strategy. There are many different pathways to refining an audience targeting strategy, and Frictionless is software that guides businesses along the way.

No business takes the same route to audience targeting, and what works for one company won’t necessarily work for another. Below are some of the general best audience targeting strategies brands should prioritize to better reach prospective buyers.

Building an Ideal Customer Profile for Companies

An Ideal Customer Profile, or ICP, should be used as a first step for businesses seeking to find the best buyer fit for them. According to Hubspot, organizations with a strong ICP achieve 68% higher win rates. So what is an ICP, and why is it important?

An ICP is a development tool typically used by B2B companies. It describes the type of company that would see the most value from the product or service being sold. ICPs should include several core details about a business that will make it easier to formulate market efforts that appeal to them. Some of the elements that must be present in an ICP should include targeted industry, location, the number of employees, annual revenue, budget, location, customer base, and technology that the entire company uses.

An ICP is how companies flush out the type of business they are targeting. It is essentially a target company profile that should provide broader insights into the kind of company that is a good fit for the product or service. Building an ICP requires researching the target market and understanding the industry, and it can be further enhanced with the creation of buyer personas.

Buyer Personas: Who Are You Targeting?

Often confused with an ICP, buyer personas are a substantially different audience targeting tool that expands upon ICPs and is used by both B2B and B2C companies alike. They are a helpful way for brands to personalize their advertising. According to a breakdown by MLT Creative, utilizing buyer personas in email campaigns led to a 2x higher open rate and a 5x improvement on the click-through rate.

Buyer personas are more specific and personal than ICPs. While ICPs focus on the targeted company, a buyer persona would focus directly on the decision-maker. Buyer personas address many vital details about the targeted person. It includes more hypothetical details than ICPs, with some logical leaps required. A buyer persona should address who the decision-maker is, including age range, demographic characteristics, marital status, and location. But that is just the starting point. It should also address their goals, values, fears, pain points, role at the company they work at, the company size, spending habits, and more.

Buyer personas make sales and relevant content marketing efforts much easier because they give businesses a clearer image of the exact type of person they are hoping to reach. If they’re well thought out and accurate, it can lead to marketing messages that resonate with target customers.

Tapping Into Your Current Customer Base for Insights

If a business has already launched, they likely have a valuable resource at their disposal that they may not be properly maximizing: their customers. The best way to know about the type of customer that a brand fits best with is by looking at the ones they’ve already attracted. The information businesses can glean from their customer base provides essential context that should guide next steps.

There are numerous ways businesses can tap into their customer base for insights. They can compile lists of the names and information of their clients and draw inferences from the data they’ve collected. But the most efficient way is to use customer surveys to gather insights from previous and current customers. According to SurveyMonkey, the average response rate to a survey is 24.8%. That means if the outreach is large enough, businesses can receive a considerable amount of information by surveying customers.

Learning from past customers’ details about who they are and why they chose to buy the product or service sold gives businesses a roadmap of how to appeal to their target audience. A customer survey that asks the right questions can offer high-quality insights that accelerate the sales process and improve marketing strategy.

Targeted Marketing Campaigns with Usable Data

Whether a targeted marketing campaign is a failure or a success, ensuring that the results are tracked and quantified is massively important. This provides businesses with a much more significant understanding of why the campaign occurred as it did. The information from the results of a targeted marketing campaign can dictate how the next one is conducted and is an important source of information.

According to Marketing Evolution, data-driven marketing increases ROI, with campaigns that leverage data-personalization reporting 5-8x ROI for their campaign spend. Using data from previous efforts is a blueprint to what makes for a successful campaign. Trackable information like conversions, click rate, and bounce rate will illustrate how your targeted consumers respond to your marketing.

Ensuring that marketing campaigns with Google Ads, Facebook Ads or a similar platform have trackable KPIs gives businesses benefits, even if the campaign is a failure. Having key stats available helps brands create a data-driven marketing plan that will better target ideal customers and increase ROI.

Market Research on Target Demographics

Knowing your audience is the key to targeting. One of the best ways to learn more about the group that a business is attempting to reach is demographic-based market research. Once a company has a baseline understanding of who they want their products to appeal to, they can undergo the process of learning as much as possible about that cohort.

Market research helps define how businesses reach potential customers. In an example discussed by Marketing Schools, Starbucks became the company with the largest market share in the United States coffee industry by targeting advertising to urban-based men and women between the age of 25-40 that have moderate-high income and professional careers and demonstrate an interest in fair-trade and social welfare. This targeting is the product of extensive research on the spending habits, values, and trends that this demographic follows.

The more details a business has on the types of consumers they want to target, the better they can customize their strategy. The two forms of market research most enterprises tend to pursue are primary and secondary. Primary research includes interviews, surveys, and questionnaires. Secondary research uses public and commercial databases to accumulate stats and information on targeted demographics. Together, they give businesses an image of the broader groups they need to cater to.

Build Your Audience Targeting Strategy Now

Building an audience targeting strategy is going to work differently for every business. It all depends on the customers the company is trying to reach, their size, budget, and marketing and sales goals. But without exception, every business attempting to sell a product or a service, whether it is a B2B company or B2C company, should be focused on targeting the customers their business is tailored towards.

To begin developing your audience targeting strategy, partner with Frictionless. Frictionless helps brands construct and execute a decisive and effective process that segments, defines, and reaches the right potential buyers. Audience targeting is an essential form of marketing, and Frictionless is the software solution to develop and refine this process.

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