“Everyone” is not a Segment: The Importance of Audience Segmentation in Digital Marketing Campaigns

Picture this: Your brand is launching a new digital marketing campaign aimed at new movers — a significantly broad category of people, from young parents to retirees, recent graduates to affluent professionals, singles to established families. Instead of crossing your fingers and hoping the right people see your offer or message, it’s time for a solid audience segmentation strategy.

Audience segmentation serves as the foundation for any marketing strategy, regardless of the channel. It involves the process of identifying smaller groups of consumers, from a larger subset, so you speak and market to those audiences more effectively. Once you have successfully segmented those audiences in a meaningful way, you can then target them with an offer or message that resonates with their specific needs and interests.

For the new mover campaign we referenced at the start of this post, that means breaking down the broader audience category into more specific groups based on the data you have about them, for example, age, income level or even dwelling type. By leveraging data — both your own data and third-party — you can segment customers and leads into smaller subcategories to get your content read and clicked on by the intended audience.


The art of thinking in segments

Who’s your audience? What compels them to engage with your company? There’s no single segment that’s ideal for all brands or even a single campaign. With audience segmentation, you can choose the ideal audience for your marketing efforts based on the campaign’s desired demographics and more:

  • Geolocation data – Specific information about the location of an individual (usually based on the location of their network-connected device)
  • Psychographics – A combination of demographic, behavioral and survey data, providing insights into a consumer’s frame of mind
  • Life stages – Based on significant life periods, such as getting married, purchasing a home or having children
  • Seasonal motivators – Season-driven purchase behaviors (e.g. back-to-school, Black Friday or Valentine’s Day shoppers)
  • Shopping habits – The when, where and how customers tend to make purchases

It’s common to use multiple segmentation methods to define your target audience. Doing so helps you create specific groups of people who are the most qualified buyers of your product or service.


The broad value of audience segmentation

Once developed, your audience segments can be leveraged in multiple ways as part of your multichannel marketing strategy, including pay-per-click (PPC), display, social media ads, email and direct mail.

Audience segments aren’t always so predictable, and they can change over time, so continue to monitor what’s working (and what’s not), who’s responding (and what they’re responding to) and which tactics produce the greatest ROI. That’s why testing audience segmentation across multiple channels is so important — the insights you take away help you tweak your messaging and ultimately maximize your efforts.

A/B testing on your landing page and email marketing allows you to test several elements in a single action to determine which variable produces better results. Test different subject lines, swap out alternate headlines or adjust the body copy or calls-to-action to determine what your audience likes.

Pay-per-click testing tracks the number of clicks each ad or offer is generating, and how many conversions you acquire as a result. Keep in mind, Google may optimize your ad display making one more prominent than other — and hindering your results.

Regardless of the marketing channel, it’s important to test multiple audiences and strategies so you can determine which ones works best from a ROI perspective so you can scale from there. And be sure to revisit your audience segments regularly and make updates based on current data and test campaign results.


Turning offline audiences into online gold

If your brand is sitting on a responsive postal list, consider onboarding your offline audiences for online reach in various digital platforms including Facebook, Google and Demand Side Platforms. For example, with the demise of Partner Categories in Facebook, using offline data to create your own custom audiences can help return your Facebook ad campaign results to their previous levels of success. Reach out to digital marketing company d3 Specialists to learn more.


Choosing a data provider

Of course, you can create audience segments using your own data. To really extend your reach, consider adding reputable third-party data to the mix. Third-party data provides information and insights in a much larger scope — so you can reach new target audiences or build on your own audience segments. When choosing a provider for reliable and accurate third-party data, be sure to look for the following:

  • How do they collect their information?
  • What’s their methodology?
  • What sources are they using?
  • Was the data modeled or validated?
  • How much data is available?

d3Specialists’ parent company, Specialists Marketing Services, provides high-quality consumer and new mover data for targeting and prospecting across multiple channels, as well as fresh custom audiences that you can test against the audiences you build yourself. The proprietary CustomerConnect360 (CC360) Master Consumer File is compiled from thousands of data sources, and it’s updated and refreshed monthly, resulting in a rich and responsive database. Find out how Specialists and the d3 team and can help you target and segment your next digital marketing campaign to maximize your reach and your ROI.


Related Questions

How can I use my offline data to reach more customers on Facebook?

Offline data allows you to add advanced targeting to your overall online marketing strategy. By importing offline data to create a custom audience, you can target by more robust demographics, as well as lifestyle interests, prior purchases, life events and hundreds of additional targeting attributes.


What other techniques can complement my audience segmentation strategy?

If your brand isn’t already profiling and modeling your existing customer list, consider adding it to your marketing strategy. Profiling and modeling lets you see geographic distributions, age ranges, lifestyle factors and other insights that can help you identify and develop your prospect audience segments.