The Who, What, Where, and When of Audience Segmentation5 min readReading Time: 4 minutes
Whether you’re casting a wide net or targeting a smaller group, audience segmentation should be part of the conversation.
We explored audience segmentation in our post, Quantity vs. Quality: Settling the Age-Old Debate on Email Marketing, in case you want to refresh your knowledge before diving into the finer details.
Let’s start by taking a look at audience segmentation by communication channel and the key considerations for each.
Paid Social Media Marketing
Paid social ads are often used in conjunction with other ads in a few important ways. They can help drive traffic to your website, help identify a prime audience for lead generation campaigns, and help retarget those who engage with your website or ads with middle-of-the-funnel offers.
When growing traffic is your goal, you may choose to target a broader demographic of prospects. For example, people with a certain job title or those who follow relevant veterinary pages.
Comparatively, for retargeting campaigns, you’ll want to segment based on behaviors. You can also work with lists in ads manager to retarget your current prospect list and create lookalike audiences.
With social media, it’s critical to ensure you’re serving your ads to the right people. And remember to have follow-up communications ready to move these leads through your funnel.
You may deploy emails through your own internal database or your media partner’s database, but either way, you want to make sure you are getting your email to the right inbox. Common segmentation criteria include job title, geographic location, size of practice, corporate vs. private practice, and topic engagement behaviors.
Remarketing can really help move prospects through the qualification funnel. Often marketers will remarket to anyone who engages with a specific piece of content, such as an e-book download. Instead of remarketing the same message to everyone, consider whether prospects should take different communication paths based on their job title or expressed interests. Tailoring remarketing communications based on audience data can take the performance of these campaigns to the next level.
Maybe you heard direct mail was dead? Not true! Depending on your segmentation strategy, direct mail can be a great way to augment your digital efforts. Direct mail can be used at the beginning of a campaign to kick off a communication strategy, especially if you’re working with a small target list or employing an account-based marketing strategy. Alternatively, direct mail can be used at the end of a campaign to send a gift or high-value bonus to convert that hot MQL into an SQL.
Questions to Ask
Many marketers don’t have access to an internal database that is as robust or clean as they’d like. If you do have a great internal database, there are always amazing opportunities to augment and append with media partners—if you know the right questions to ask. When you’re kicking off a campaign with a media partner, one of the key conversation topics should be identifying the audience that your message is intended for.
The 5 Important Questions For Media Partners
How often is your audience data updated and how is it kept clean? We all know how hard it is to keep a database clean, and it’s important to know how reliable the data source is that you’re working with before jumping in.
Where does your behavioral segmentation data come from? Your website? Live events? It’s important to know if the audience you are targeting read a pain management topic yesterday or engaged in that topic 6 months ago at a live event.
Is your segmentation strictly based on demographic data, or also behavioral? Segmenting based on job titles and geographic location is much easier than tracking and targeting based on individual behavior. Make sure you know what capabilities are available to you.
Can I target only domestic leads or only international leads? It’s one of the most common questions we marketers overlook. If you’re only doing domestic business, you don’t want to drive engagement in international markets.
Where does your audience data come from? Not all data sources are created equal. In today’s marketing environment, first-party data is king and only continues to grow more and more important, so find out where the data come from to understand your retargeting and remarketing capabilities.
Strategic Ways to Look at Audience Segmentation
For marketers with strong databases, consider strategic ways to grow and strengthen your business through advanced segmentation.
Work with media partners to target new prospects you don’t have in your database. This will avoid wasted impressions on prospects you already have in your own first-party data.
Work with media partners to target an audience that is missing a key data point, such as a phone number. Create a lead generation tool, like a quiz or guide, and target only those prospects you want to append data to.
Pro tip: Keep the conversion form short, only collecting the new data you need. For appending data such as job titles, some media companies will let users bypass the lead generation process.
Look at ways to use remarketing and retargeting across channels, such as text messages and social media, to activate audiences outside of email. Use demographic and behavioral data to tweak messaging based on the audience segment you’re trying to reach.
Keep audience targeting in the mix when developing campaigns. For example, there may be a different value proposition that will resonate with specialty clinics vs. general practices. Or a different CTA that you want to use for influencers vs. decision makers. Make sure you’re considering segmentation during the planning of your campaigns to determine if you need to distribute your message across different channels, that might need different budgets, by audience group.
NEW Plumb’s™ Veterinary Drugs Audience Segmentation
Brief Media is taking niche targeting to the next level with Plumb’s Veterinary Drugs. Now, veterinary marketers can use data from Plumb’s™ to target narrower audiences based on what they view and how they use Plumb’s™. For those times when you’re searching for the “needle in the haystack,” Plumb’s™ can help.
Ready to focus in on your perfect target?
Reach out to our team to discuss how Brief Media’s robust first-party database can help your marketing. We can tap into demographic and behavioral data, DataMatch, DataAppend, and Plumb’s™ targeting capabilities to help you reach your ideal audience.
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