‘Targeting’ is one of those modern marketing terms that sounds cold and calculated. On the surface, it reduces the process of building relationships with customers to an equation, a series of numbers and facts that you can use to your advantage.
But targeting is actually about way more than datasets and demographics.
It’s necessarily an emotional process, not just a mathematical one. And it goes much deeper than pushing out adverts to a specific audience. Before you find the right customer for your business, you have to decide what that customer represents, what it is they need and what will motivate them to action.
Which explains why the notion of targeting is something you can and should apply right across your marketing efforts.
Here’s why the importance of targeting goes much further than your online ads.
Defining your target market
The first and most important stage of targeting is defining who your customers are. That involves asking a lot of questions about your business. For example:
- Who needs my products and services?
- How much will they be willing to pay?
- Who does my brand appeal to?
- How do they communicate and what platforms do they use?
- What will drive them towards my business over my competitors?
- Where are they based?
That’s just the tip of the iceberg. It’s also likely that you’ll be making demographic assumptions about your target market and asking even deeper questions than the above.
Defining your target market a difficult process that involves market research, contemplation and no shortage of solid business judgement. But it’s a vital exercise.
When done well, you should have a profile of the right customer for your business and some insight into how you can appeal to them.
How targeting fits into your wider marketing strategy
As you build a notion of your ideal customer, you can take that information and apply it to other aspects of your marketing.
Developing a strong idea of your target audience should feed into the decisions you make when it comes to your branding, your company ‘voice’, the images you choose, your product development, the customer journey and much more besides.
The tone and style of your communications, from your website copy to your social media posts, should always be determined by who you want to appeal to.
An overly corporate and boring style will make it tough to sell your party planning service. Likewise, immature copy and image selection will make it hard for potential clients to take your law firm company seriously. Even if you know exactly who and where your customers are, you still have to appeal to them in the right way.
The same goes for your website design, publications you choose to work with and the social platforms you select to engage on.
It’s important to take lessons from the early stages of your targeting and apply them to every element of your business, not just online ads.
Targeting is a learning process, not the end of the road
It’s also key to accept that targeting is an ongoing process, that you’re going to make mistakes along the way and that your most common customers might not turn out to be who you first expected.
Luckily there are ways you can check your assumptions as you go. Simple A/B tests allow you to promote your business on multiple channels in multiple ways. You can then compare results and make adjustments as necessary.
But this process has become a challenge in the digital age. It can be hard to draw solid conclusions when there are so many variables in play.
Different platforms, demographics, messaging styles and promotions can lead to more confusion than clarity unless your process is coordinated properly.
Why AI has a role to play
Simplifying the targeting process and making sense of all the feedback is where AI can be introduced to the task of online marketing.
Armed with a huge amount of data from previous digital marketing campaigns in industries of all types, artificial intelligence can recognise patterns and suggest minor changes that add up to a big difference.
It can also be used to optimise online ad campaigns once they are underway. In fact, that’s exactly how Adriel’s AI-powered digital marketing platform works. With Adriel, you can design, manage and optimise your online ad campaigns.
Our AI works alongside a team of marketing experts to enhance your advertisements and target your chosen market with precision. You can even set up multiple test campaigns to compare different methods.
Effective targeting takes time. Adriel is here to provide the confidence, tools and support you need to do it properly and drive sales online, leaving you to focus on actually running your business.