Targeting: The Backbone of Any Multi-Channel Marketing Campaign
Growing a small- or medium-sized business (SMB) is no small feat. And marketing it successfully? Not for the faint of heart. The digital arena alone is a vast marketing space with so many tempting possibilities, but it’s that very vastness that can make it so competitive and daunting.
No longer can businesses of any size hope to throw up a simple website and a few social media posts and call it good. Strategy is where success lives and dies and that strategy needs to include a strong presence in the digital space as well as tactics to build the business using traditional methods. But what is strategy without goals to guide it, and what are the best components of a good strategy? There are many, but targeting is key.
The primary goal of most small- to medium-sized business owners we know is to increase sales. It’s a great goal, but even that simple directive can include many different considerations: brand awareness, audience targeting, advertising, and more. It could mean creating more optimized content for your website, focusing on organic social media marketing campaigns, nurturing customers through email, or sending targeted direct mail. Likely, you’re trying to do many if not all of these things.
What you really need to do in order to maintain your sanity and help your business thrive is to prioritize your efforts through effective targeting.
The What and Why of Targeting
If your goal is to reach new customers, taking a “buckshot” broad approach to getting the word out might seem to make sense. After all, you want as many people as possible to know about your business. However, decades of data show that response rates—by nature of necessarily vague campaigns—are always going to be low with this approach. The more general or vague the target audience or placement of any marketing asset, the less likely it is that people will be able to visualize themselves using your product.
Enter, targerting. By definition, targeting is the act of identifying groups of people who are more likely to buy your product given their location, demographics, past buying behaviors, etc. and strategizing about how best to reach them. It’s the backbone of any multi-channel marketing campaign.
Beyond the structure that targeting lends to your marketing efforts, it also offers these advantages, both to you and your potential new customers:
- More Valuable Content: The more you can hone in on specific audiences who would be most likely to enjoy your product, the more you can speak directly to them in your content. They get more helpful content, and you’re more likely to get actual leads.
- More Localized Content: Chances are your market is fairly local, but some of your tactics like organic social media or your website content are not local. So, that’s where targeting comes into play and gives you the opportunity to reach those in your local vicinity.
Where Targeting Pays Off
First of all, let’s be clear: targeting through advertising usually requires a budget. Speaking to your target audience in your blog and organic social media posts is a good fundamental, free way to target. So is doing your SEO research to hone in on keywords they might use. But getting your most strategic ads or mailers in front of the right people requires purposeful investment.
Second, targeting is primarily used to run more efficient and effective ad campaigns. What does that look like? If you’re doing it “old school,” you’re going through each of these channels one by one and targeting audiences based on their demographics. All very good and strategic, but time-consuming.
In contrast, Taradel’s Mapfire technology helps you quickly target using geographic and demographic filters and allows you to preview local areas to get instant estimates for both digital advertising and direct mail. With Mapfire, you get data like:
- Physical mailbox counts
- Combined Facebook reach (i.e., how many people will see your ad on that platform)
- Combined Google reach
- Combined email reach
Taradel’s email marketing services offer the ability to send targeted email campaigns based on geography or demographics, and you can also send to that list from an email marketing platform. Even if you don’t have information on the people in that list other than their email addresses, you can start sending them useful content to test how they respond. But we’re getting ahead of ourselves. The point is that email marketing also requires budget to do it well, but it can definitely be worth the investment.
So, coming up with a budget is really your first step, but it goes hand-in-hand with the steps that follow. Let’s explore those now!
How Do I Target?
It’s one thing to know you need to devote some budget to targeting as well as the specific channels that budget should go toward. It’s another thing to know which combination of channels you should use and in what order. To help you find the right combination, you should consider the who, where, and what.
WHO: Evaluate your current customer demographics and psychographics.
How does knowing your current customers’ average age, household income, or where they do their product research help you target? Tracking of any of that kind of data helps you assemble a picture (called a “buyer persona”) of what your average customer looks like, which helps you zero in on the channels they prefer.
Say you’re a small local compound pharmacy whose typical customers are either seniors who prefer to get their drug information from their doctors, or people of almost any age who prefer a more integrated approach to medicine. The first persona needs a direct-mail approach to local doctors and medical facilities, while the second would probably respond best to a paid Facebook campaign targeting “lookalike” audiences.
WHERE: Determine the geographic areas you want to target.
Say you’re a plumbing company in Wentzville, Missouri, with eyes on capturing most of the households in Wentzville and the surrounding areas as customers. Once you’ve determined your budget and how far outside of Wentzville you’re willing to go to get new customers, it’s simply a matter of using Mapfire’s technology to see at a glance not only how many households exist in the areas you identify, but also what their collective Facebook, Google, and email reach is. How cool is that?
WHAT: Set your marketing campaign goal.
There are 3 key words here:
- Set: Proactively and specifically visualize what you want things to look like for your business in 3, 6, or 9 months.
- Campaign: Break it down into manageable phases and concerted efforts. It’s not about constantly pushing out the same message over and over across all channels, but rather, feeding your potential customers small pieces at a time.
- Goal: This isn’t drudgery. It’s an opportunity to pursue exciting possibilities!
No matter what your goal is, you’ll need to determine your key performance indicators (KPIs) or benchmarks of success. The campaign itself is not the goal. Some examples of good brand-awareness-increasing KPIs for SMBs doing localized, paid marketing campaigns are:
- Phone Calls
It all comes down to the fact that any campaign is a means to an end. At every stage you need to design with the end in mind so that your end can be successful—even if that’s just learning what not to do next time!
Effective Targeting for the Win
So there you go! The who, where, what, and how of effective targeting. Now all you need to do is come up with the actual content. And Taradel can help you do that because we offer creative services too. So really, once you decide that targeting is where it’s at for your business, you just need to set the goals and budget, and we can take care of everything else!
Try it out for yourself! Reach out by phone, chat, or email and let’s talk about your campaigns today.