Targeted Marketing

What is Targeted Marketing and How Can It Help Generate Growth for My Business?

Targeted marketing is an approach to raise awareness for a product or service among a specific (targeted) group of audiences that are a subset of the total addressable market. The targeted audiences that are part of the total market could be specific consumers, households, professionals, or businesses depending on who the marketer is trying to reach. It has been shown to be an effective way to help you to grow your business, generate revenue, and improve your overall ROI.

How Targeted Marketing is Different from Other Types of Marketing

Targeted marketing is a tactic that contrasts with broader approaches that aim to raise awareness, such as billboard advertising. Targeted marketing starts with defining “who” specifically is a good fit for a product or service and delivering personalized messages directly to that targeted audience. This is very different than starting with “what” the promotional message is and expecting audiences to react to it. When you start with the "what," the marketer may not know who will respond to a message or if it is relevant to them.

For example, a woman goes online to purchase a man's dress shirt for her husband as a birthday present. If the brand she purchased it from does not know the details of "who" she is, they may start to show her more ads for men's clothing and shoes when in reality, she is not interested in that category beyond the single gift she purchased. Understanding the "who" when executing email campaigns and online advertising, helps marketers craft personalized messages that resonate with the reader. This likely improves the chances of conversion and revenue growth for the business.

What Criteria Is Used in Targeted Marketing?

Traditionally, the criteria used was made up by demographic (age, gender, income, education, race, religion, marital status, profession, etc.) and firmographic (size of the company, industry, revenue) data depending on whether the marketer is offering a product for a consumer or business. But the rapid increase of digital devices connected to the internet, as well as new analytics capabilities, have resulted in many new criteria that allow marketers to reach their intended audience more easily and more successfully. For example, intent-based targeting allows marketers to reach audiences that are actively demonstrating signs of “interest” in a topic, product, or service as defined by their digital activities. These digital activities may include search terms entered into Google or articles they have “liked” on Facebook. They can also include form fills when someone downloads a piece of content or signs up for an event or email newsletter. These are translated into audience segments that are defined by the activity that took place. An example of this could be an individual searching for “smartphones” may be placed in a segment with other audiences showing similar intent in that product.

If you know what someone is searching for, it is a lot easier to determine if they are a good prospect for your business. It is also easier to craft targeted messaging that will appeal to their needs. Another example is technographic criteria. Technographic criteria allows marketers to target audiences that are using software, such as “anti-virus software,” as well as thousands of other hardware and software categories.

Finally, marketers can also use analytically derived audiences that have a high propensity for a product or service — meaning they are more likely to buy than others. These segments are created by machine learning models that analyze the various features of a consumer or business and apply that to the broader market of audiences to identify those that share similarities with them. These are then segmented into audiences that have a “high propensity” or “likelihood” to be a good fit for messages that marketers want to deliver to them. Understanding if someone is more likely to buy, allows you to get more for your money when it comes to paid ads and marketing spend. The more likely the audience is to convert, the higher your ROI will be.

What Platforms Do Marketers Use to Execute Targeted Marketing Campaigns?

The sales and marketing space is changing rapidly as buyer preferences and expectations evolve. Increased access to information through the web and connected devices also plays a role. As such, new technologies have emerged to help marketers target and reach their intended audiences, powered by thousands of criteria across demographic, firmographic, intent, technographic, and analytic criteria. Some of the platforms that are part of an organization’s Marketing Technologies, or “MarTech Stack” include:

Customer Relationship Management (CRM): A CRM helps manage all relationships and interactions with customers and prospects. This is where most companies start to assemble their core customer data for use across sales, service, and marketing teams.

Marketing Automation Platform (MAP): A MAP helps marketers capture leads, build automatic email flows to nurture those leads and create rules that determine when and how to act on an opportunity. This is how marketers use targeted campaigns to interact with their customers and prospects via email. Having automated workflows in place and access to a MAP helps improve targeting. It also helps you move customers through the buyer's journey with better results. Having a MAP in place will also help save your teams time, optimize resources and performance, and improve your ROI.

Quick Tip: Did you know that we can help? You can get access to the Dun & Bradstreet Data Cloud through seamless MAP and CRM integrations – including Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics 365, Marketo, Oracle Eloqua, and more.

Data Management Platform (DMP): A DMP is a tool that helps you analyze digital data and build digital advertising segments – using behavioral data from customer campaigns and/or a third-party data provider. These platforms typically have a marketplace of data providers to choose from to help you target specific audiences. This helps marketers advertise to audiences across the web including people who may be browsing sites like the New York Times or Forbes Magazine.

Customer Data Platform (CDP): CDPs are a new category of platforms that help marketers create a unified and persistent customer database that is accessible to other systems. These have emerged as a direct result of the data silo problems that multiple tools have created. The promise of CDPs is to sit at the center of the marketing technology environment by adding analytics, segmentation, and enabling the send of relevant audience segment data to other platforms. We can help here as well through our D&B Lattice predictive analytics solution which serves as a powerful CDP.

What Are Some Ways to Leverage Targeted Marketing?

There are so many ways to execute targeted campaigns that can help grow your business. With access to the right information, you can host a webinar or event that pertains directly to your key prospects. Be sure to invite relevant speakers, cover topics of interest, and share knowledge to help you grow relationships. You can create content that speaks directly to a key audience and their needs and challenges. Crafting a targeted email marketing campaign that uses a certain tone or promotes a personal message that will appeal to the recipient is another way to leverage this tactic. Tailoring the homepage of your website so the message resonates with the visitor can also make a big impact.

Why Are Targeted Marketing Campaigns More Effective?

The more you know about your target audience, including the people visiting your website, the easier it is for your sales and marketing teams to win their business and generate revenue for your company. With a better understanding of your customers, you can craft messages that speak to them directly. This helps you cut through the noise and position your company as a trusted resource. After all, there's nothing worse than working on an email campaign, hitting send, and then not seeing any returns. It's also hard to see low levels of engagement after you've crafted a dynamic — and pricey — paid social media promotion. Taking the time to get to know your audience makes a world of difference. With a clear, consistent view of key prospects and your best clients, you can create campaigns that help you get in the door faster and generate real growth.

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