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Using Audience Segmentation to Customize Digital Targeting and Messaging

By January 27, 2023Digital

A core benefit of digital marketing is the ability to specifically target audiences that contain prospects for your organization. This can be done through a variety of platforms, giving marketers the ability to reach people across multiple touch points.

But, as with all things in marketing, this begs the question—how can we take this one step further? What if we could customize the messaging experience for all of our target demographics so we could speak directly to their needs, and on their platform of choice?

With audience segmentation, this is all possible.

What is audience segmentation?

Audience segmentation is the process of identifying multiple groups within a larger audience and tailoring your strategy (and messaging) towards those groups.

People interact with ads and brands in different ways, even within a particular demographic. While two people with similar attributes may both benefit from a product or service, they may have different ad preferences.

For example, one user may only take the action to learn more when seeing a video, while the other may be more inclined to click on a native ad at the bottom of a blog post.

Whatever it is, it’s important to understand that your core audience isn’t always homogeneous in its behavior and preferences, so you may need to consider whether or not one ad execution stretched out across multiple platforms is going to be the most effective solution.

When should I use audience segmentation?

Your business should use audience segmentation when you need to communicate a product or service in different ways to subgroups within the target audience.

This doesn’t necessarily mean you are coming up with different campaign taglines—the point is to change your tone and wording slightly for the individual subgroup so you can gain better results while sticking to your core message.

Audience Segmentation Example

Let’s say you run a bank and want to promote your flexible savings accounts. In theory, everyone can benefit from a savings account, but different benefits are going to speak better to different people.

A broad targeting approach is not going to work in this scenario. Here are some ways we could split up our messaging and approach:

For younger demographics, mobile app integration may be a big selling point, and video ads with young people enjoying nightlife may work well in helping the audience identify with the product.

Meanwhile, someone who is retired may be less concerned with app functionality and more concerned with interest rates. Furthermore, social media and video may be less enticing for them, but display ads may draw their attention.

Customized Decision Journeys

We can even go one step further by creating a specified path for audience members to take, where how they interact (or choose not to interact) with an ad dictates the point of messaging and placement they experience.

This tool makes moving through the marketing funnel extremely efficient since we are able to set up a cohesive series of ads that are logical next steps for a user’s journey.

For example, with B2B clients that have a long lead-to-sale time and typically a larger spend item for the end users, we can start by delivering native ads that help educate and inform. Once the web user has engaged with that content, we can shift our strategy to deliver a different ad format, like display ads, to reinforce the brand.

Along the way, we can tailor the messaging to speak to the audience’s needs and gradually change the call-to-action (CTA) from informationally focused to transactionally motivated.

Above all, remember this—every organization and campaign is different, and this means you will need to make an honest assessment of your business goals and target personas before starting anything. A thorough analysis of your needs will dictate how audience segmentation and customized messaging fits into your marketing plan.

Use Audience Segmentation and Digital Targeting for Your Organization

Are you ready to effectively reach your audience? Call the team at HS to start talking strategy and efforts today.

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