Why Marketers Value Advanced Audience Segmentation

audience segmentation

“Reach the right audience with the right message at the right time” has essentially become a digital marketing proverb with the amount of targeting technologies inundating the advertising landscape. How does a brand or marketer leverage the capabilities of reaching the right audience?

Audience activation and advanced audience segmentation has swiftly evolved since digital marketing’s infancy. Before third party data optimizations were commonplace, demographic targeting approaches provided the largest pool of consumer information, conveying marginal audience information, as rudimentary as gender, age or address.  For the month of February, Katana will examine why advanced audience segmentation is crucial in digital marketing, so be sure to check out our blog weekly.

With cross-device and two-screen engagement at the focal point of modern consumer behavior, it’s more important than ever for brands to understand how individuals behave offline AND online (via smartphones, laptops, tablets, desktop, OTT devices and wearables).

Audience demographics can be meaningful insights that are potentially useful in the ad targeting equation, but how can you take your targeting efforts to the next level? The answer is simple: whichever brand or agency understands their audiences’ behavior best will subsequently deliver the strongest messages to those individuals with the highest propensity to convert (or complete the campaign’s goal).

Demographic data applies a standard lever of optimization, but activating advanced audiences through behavioral segmentation extracts significantly more important information, like consumer journey behavior, personal interests or unique wants and needs.

Instead of divesting your digital campaigns with demographic audience segmentation, target individuals who exhibit a certain behavior or experience a given situation. To put this in perspective, I shared an uberPOOL to work this morning with a thirty-something male, and we probably don’t have anything in common except for needing to get from one part of town to another. Conventional segmentation wisdom affirms that we don’t belong in the same ‘target audience,’ but our behaviors (the act of needing and purchasing a ride to work) indicate otherwise.

Albeit it’s completely my fault for initially subscribing, I had over 80 solicitations arrive into my email inbox this morning, and it’s only 9:30 AM. I recently furnished my house, but a home furnishing retailer requested I take advantage of a seasonal deal that expires in two days. Meanwhile, an e-commerce marketplace is offering a four-day getaway to wine country, but I’ve already planned to allocate my PTO days to future vacations. While these offerings might leave me slightly covetous, they are not applicable to me as a consumer, despite my demographic falling into the messages’ audience segment.

Impersonalized, boilerplate messaging might be a brand or agency’s clarion call to remain top-of-mind to the broadest audience possible, but this practice can be counterintuitive and deserving of an ‘unsubscribe.’

There is an enormous amount of available behavioral data, marketing automation tools and logic to build lookalike audiences or simply scale messaging to reach the most viable individual on a 1:1 basis.

I commend Amazon for their efforts in targeting me as an individual who has demonstrated a proclivity for purchasing candles, office supplies and electronics. I’m in the market for a professional camera, and I recently investigated around Amazon’s website for a Canon. Less than a week later, Amazon graced my inbox with an email recommending eight different professional cameras ranging in price, guilefully offering me ’12-month special financing” if I made a qualifying purchase (and even more if I used the Amazon.com Store Card).

Amazon created a meaningful experience for me, curating an extremely relevant message using generic logic based on my consumer interactions and behaviors with their online store. As a final takeaway, omit the static classifications of demographic audience segmentation as the sole determinant for direct marketing efforts –the individuals receiving your messages (and your KPIs) will thank you.

Curious to see how we do it? Contact us at letstalk@katana.media for more information.