The Evolution of Audience Targeting

Audience targeting is not something that can be taken lightly. If a company isn’t purposeful about who they try to reach, their marketing efforts will be ineffective leading to wasted time and even more wasted money.

Companies know this, and that’s why they spend millions of dollars in market research every year. In the words of Peter Drucker,

The aim of marketing is to know and understand the customer so well the product or service fits him and sells itself.

Unfortunately, the polls, surveys, and focus groups that make up market research can only go so deep and take a considerable amount of time and resources. They may reveal the demographics of a prospective audience and what they’re likely to buy, but that’s all. Traditional methods don’t provide depth or an actionable strategy for leveraging the insights they gather.

Another problem with market research is that customer responses are often unreliable. That’s not to say survey takers intentionally hide the truth, but they may subconsciously adjust their responses to meet some preconceived notion of how they should answer. For example, some people may feel socially compelled to downplay their affinity for fast food, even if they eat it almost every day. Small omissions like that can skew the final results of a survey.

However, there is one thing that doesn’t lie, and that’s cold hard data. Market research is no longer the only way for companies to find potential buyers. Audience targeting has steadily evolved, leading to a new method that’s revolutionizing the industry. It’s known as persona-based marketing and it’s a speciality of our platform.

Using artificial intelligence (AI), we analyze zero and first-party data points aggregated from millions of online sources to reveal similar trends and behavioral predictors between different users. These analytics are then used to develop persona profiles that embody specific segments of the client’s overall audience. For example, in the case of a car dealership, one persona could comprise young adults searching for a relatively cheap vehicle, or six-figure professionals in the market for luxury brands. Each requires a different strategic approach for advertising.

Personas are superior to traditional market research in two significant ways. One, personas are more trustworthy because they’re simply the result of logged attributes and actions. There’s no opportunity for personal bias or outside interpretation to affect the outcome. Two, personas paint a much richer portrait of the individuals they target, highlighting interests, fears, motivating factors, and many other details providing the much needed intelligence to move into the new customer-centric paradigm

This makes positioning much easier because it provides psychographic triggers used to shape marketing efforts. Messaging can be crafted to address users’ unique preferences or alleviate their pain points. Instead of building ads and wasting money to see what works, ads are built with each persona in mind before a single dollar is spent to run them. The more information we have, the more pinpointed our campaigns can become and the more effective the ad unit

Market research had its place, but times changed, tactics have continued to improve, and technology evolved. Personas help clients understand their customers better than ever before; not just who they are, but how to reach them. They allow you to get into the hearts and heads of your ideal audience. Shift your dated targeting practices into a future-forward approach. Invest in marketing that’s data-driven, customer-centric, and perfectly suited for the digital era.

See what personas can do for you. Contact us to learn more!