Targeting in Digital Marketing
Marketing strategies are often drawn from three basic concepts of segmentation, targeting and positioning (STP). Market segmentation is a method of targeting potential customers by dividing them into different groups based on what will interest them in common through unique offerings. Market segmentation is not a new idea, but in this blog post we will discuss about ways of segmentation in digital marketing (DM).
Segmentation can be very focused and narrow in digital marketing and it’s fact the strength of digital marketing. There is a saying – half of advertising is a waste, but we don’t know which half! In traditional marketing we segment audiences based on simple criteria such as age, gender, cities and socio economic classification. It’ s fairly rudimentary. But in digital marketing there is no wastage as you need not reach unintended audiences and this is possible because of much more sophisticated targeting that you can do in DM.
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You can use machine learning to reach the right audiences based on their purchase intent and combine it with their purchase history, lifetime value, psychographic interests etc. Segmentation can be done in infinite ways and it can be very confusing. Hence for your ease of understanding I have classified them into four buckets – geographic, demographic, psychographic and behavioural. Each bucket has numerous methods which I have listed below:
This is segmentation based on where the customer is located geographically. As digital marketing is mostly done online using internet the exact location of a customer can easily be accessed.
For example food delivery giants noticed the areas from where they get their maximum orders but customers were upset due to late delivery of food. So these companies collaborated with restaurants and opened small takeaway or delivery outlets in those areas where traffic was highest.
Segmentation based on the customers’ age, gender, occupation, income or education. Marketers can get these information from various social media websites. For example, on Facebook, age, gender, qualification is easily available. Through Linkedin you can target based on Job Title, seniority, function, company, skills, education, degree etc.
Segmentation of customers based on their activities, interests, followings and contextual content. Marketers can infer psychographic interest of customers through their activities on social media websites such as pages you follow, groups that you join, content that you engage with etc. For example if users follow a page or a celebrity on Instagram or Facebook, they get suggestions of similar pages or celebrity to follow.
Segmentation of customers based on their online behaviour, search patterns, website visited, etc. For example, many e-commerce websites track what product has been added to the cart by customers and abandoned and they show ads of these products to customers to woo them back and convert them.
Once you’ve segmented your audience into the appropriate groups, you’ll then need to look into the best ways to focus on the different groups to catch their attention and get them to purchase your product which is called Targeting. The advantage of digital marketing is that instead of targeting an entire group of customers marketers can focus on individual customer and target them individually. This is called one-to-one marketing which is more effective and efficient.
An example of one to one marketing is on e-commerce websites when you search some product or save something for future purchase you keep getting push notification through e-mail and SMS relating to those products.
A new type of targeting is ‘lookalike’ targeting. It is a method that takes existing customers and uses artificial intelligence ‘AI’ learning methods to find new customers who have similar characteristics and are known as lookalike audience. This new lookalike audience may have a higher likelihood of also being potential high-value customers. For example, Quora for business has ‘lookalike targeting’ where if you have an account and an existing audience Quora uses machine learning methods to find new audience who have similar characteristic and activities. This new audience have high potential of being high value customers.
Now finally after segmenting the market and targeting the customers the marketers need to position their products and brand in the minds of the customers. Positioning of a product or brand must be effective and different from the competitors. The product should be positioned in such a way that it comes first in the customers mind compared to its competitors.
If you enjoyed this article, then you should definitely read my article about Digital Marketing strategy and planning.
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