The reality is: you can’t be everything to everyone. This is true in life and in business. Taking this approach will likely leave you spinning your wheels, depleted, and without a solid foundation of customers.
This is where taking an audience-focused approach is key. With an audience-focused approach, you’re targeting less people overall, but you’re making sure to really reach the people who matter.
First, let’s discuss what exactly it means to be “audience-focused”, the benefits of it, and finally, we’ll look at how to get started developing your own approach.
An audience-focused approach involves aligning your marketing messages, content, and focus to the specific needs of your audience. This means shifting your mindset from “you” to “them.” Regardless of if you are B2B or B2C, start thinking less along the lines of “what am I selling to my customers?” to “what solution/service do my customers need that I can provide?”
The approach requires an in-depth knowledge about who exactly you’re trying to reach. If you don’t know your audience, it’s impossible to focus your marketing tactics on them effectively. In today’s world, this means knowing more than just demographics such as age, gender, income level, location, etc. You also need to know more specifics about what they value, their likes/dislikes, and priorities. With this kind of knowledge, you are able to develop and deliver content that is unique to them.
This strategy can be extremely beneficial to a company when implemented correctly. Below, we’ve outlined five key benefits of shifting to an audience-focused approach.
More than ever, consumers have a wide variety of purchase options. Developing an in-depth knowledge of your audience and then catering your content to them can help you secure a competitive edge over your competitors. This can be especially useful if you’re competing with big name brands with big budgets. In 2020, major US retailer Target invested 1.5 billion in marketing and advertising.1
If you’re a small-to-mid sized retail company, you can’t afford to go after everyone like Target can. That’s okay. Instead of trying to out-spend your competition, look specifically at who your audience is and gear your messaging toward them.
For example, say your retail company is specifically targeting 20-40 year olds who care about the environment and prioritize sustainability. Create content that highlights your commitment to sustainable practices and communicate that content through the appropriate channels. This will cut through the clutter and give you a leg up over those big name brands.
An audience-focused approach means you are creating content your audience will actually want to engage with. One area we really see this increase is with email marketing. In fact, segmented campaigns (or campaigns that deliver tailored messages to specific sub-groups) have been found to generate up to a 101% increase in clicks over non-segmented ones.2
For example, Data Axle ran a segmented campaign for a global apparel brand. Using “micro-segmentation” with their email campaign, the company experienced a 20% increase in revenue by email and 7x more sales. Adding this additional layer of audience-focused content encouraged more customers to engage and ultimately to buy products.
This tends to go hand-in-hand with increased customer engagement. To move a person through the buying cycle, you need to start with a connection. Catering your messaging and tactics to a specific audience helps to more clearly establish that connection early on and to turn that prospect into a customer. Research shows that audience-focused companies are 60% more profitable compared to companies that did place a heavy emphasis on the customer.3
In today’s world, a certain level of personalization is expected by customers. With an audience-focused approach, you’ve already started to improve their experience with your company. Part of their experience is the type of content you provide, so knowing how they prefer to receive information is key.
For example, If you’re a tech B2B company targeting high-level executives, an audience-focused approach might involve creating more white papers or webinars as opposed to blogs and social media campaigns because your audience values that type of content more.
Now that you know the “why” behind an audience-focused strategy, let’s discuss how to start developing one of your own.
Obviously you can’t have an audience-centered approach without knowing your audience. This is why getting to know your target market is a critical first step in the process. Market research and current client surveys/analysis are excellent starting points, but utilizing third-party data providers like Data Axle can truly be a game-changer. Not only does it save you time and stress, but it can give you a more holistic, accurate view of your audience.
Working with a third-party data provider allows you to use data from various platforms, apps, and websites that help to create a 360-view of your consumer. With this knowledge, you now are able to start aligning your marketing strategy accordingly.
We also refer to this as “audience modeling.” In this next step, it can be beneficial to partner with a data science team to analyze your current customer base, identify key characteristics, and find similar people based on a certain metric. Typically, this is done with a financial metric, like net or gross sales. Using a look-alike audience, you are able to target high-value customers and expand your prospect universe size.
Knowledge is power, and now that you have the knowledge, it’s time to put it to work. Use this knowledge of your audience (and your look-alike audience) to create strategic marketing initiatives from the blog content you publish to email campaigns to ad designs. Your audience will recognize and appreciate the fact that you are speaking directly to them.
For example, if you’re a health insurance provider, data can help you create targeted acquisition campaigns to create personalized local ads. This can be particularly useful as for many health insurance providers, different products are available in different regions.
To take your personalization approach to the next level, it helps to partner with an agency team like Data Axle. This gives you the opportunity to collaborate with professionals from data scientists to consultants to copywriters who are skilled at the art of executing an audience-focused approach.
Learn more about how we can help your company develop and implement an audience-focused approach.
As Content Marketing Manager, Natasia is responsible for helping strategize, produce and execute Data Axle's content. With a passion for writing and an enthusiasm for data management and technology, Natasia creates content that is designed to deliver nuggets of wisdom to help brands and individuals elevate their data governance policies. A native New Yorker, when Natasia is not at work she can be found enjoying New York’s food scene, at one of NYC’s many museums, or at one of the city’s many parks with her two teacup yorkies.