When it comes to developing an effective marketing strategy, the experts know that an audience-first approach is a must. Finding—and targeting—the right segment is the key to success for any and every campaign.
If you're not an expert marketer yourself, you may be asking yourself: How do they do it? With over 4.6 billion people online, how do they manage to find—let alone hit—a bullseye?
We're going to give you a sneak peek behind the scenes into a few aspects of the Hudson Fusion marketing team's targeting strategy. Here's how we find the right audience to create deliberate, effective campaigns every time.
1. Create Clearly Defined Goals
Ultimately, all business owners have a singular goal: They want to grow their business. In the grand scheme of things, this is a fine objective. But when we're talking hyper-targeted campaigns, we'll have to narrow down the scope a bit.
Start thinking SMART—specifically, S.M.A.R.T. goals: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-Bound.
Sure, you want to ultimately grow your business, but for this specific marketing campaign, let's say you want to generate 10 high-quality leads by the end of Q2. It's specific (high-quality leads), measurable (with conversions as a clear, measurable KPI), attainable (based on your business), relevant (today's high-quality leads are tomorrow's customers), and time-bound (bring them in by the end of Q2).
Now, we get into the fun stuff. Let the hunt begin.
2. Start with Existing Customers
If you're trying to get into the minds of potential customers, why not ask someone who's been there?
Expert marketers know exactly how valuable current customers are (especially when building out buyer personas). They can explain what convinced them to sign on as customers—including where it all began.
How did your current customers initially find your business? Did they stumble across your page on LinkedIn? Did they download a content offer? Did they Google you—or did they just Google their problems to find a solution?
Interviewing current customers helps marketers get a first-person look at the buyer's journey specific to your business—and thus, allows us to better understand exactly where to find qualified leads.
3. Find Industry Watering Holes
If you're not familiar with marketing slang, "industry watering holes" refer to the places and spaces where industry leaders gather to share insight, make connections, and get or share recommendations.
Think of it as the equivalent to your industry's collective water cooler. These are the places where you all gather around to catch up and shoot the breeze—but instead of your coworkers, you're chatting with colleagues, competitors, and customers.
When we think about industry watering holes, we may ask you if you have any of the following:
- A LinkedIn group you check in on once a week
- A go-to newsletter you open first thing in the morning
- A not-to-be-missed trade show you attend every year
- A networking groups you're actively involved in
Think of expert marketers as water dowsers in the middle of the Sahara. We specialize in sniffing out the right industry watering holes for your business to make sure you're engaging in conversations that count—and that you're the one everyone's talking about.
4. Sniff Out the Competition
As marketers, we know full well how important it is to keep your customers close—and your competition closer.
Chances are, you have at least one or two competitors that take up more brain space than you'd like—and for us, that's excellent news. As expert marketers, we know how important it is to know who we're up against.
When we're sculpting out specific audiences to target in our campaigns, we want to know what's working (or not working) for your competitors—and any anything else we can dig up, really. Here's a baseline of information we gather on competitors:
- Company Names & Affiliates
- Geographic Location
- Web Presence
- Advertising Strategies
- SEO/Keyword Standing
- Leadership Team Members
- Target Customers
- Product & Service Offerings
- Active Marketing Campaigns
Seeing who your competitors are working with—and what's working for them—allows us to build a clearer image of who exactly we should be targeting and how.
Plus, comparing and contrasting your current customers with your competitors' is a great way to identify potential gaps in target audiences. There may be potential customers that are a good fit for you and you've been overlooking them until now.
On top of the information we gather organically, we have a treasure trove of market research tools we use to identify competitors that may be flying under the radar.
5. Analyze Organic & Paid Search Trends
There's no question that we live in a digital world—and we all know that digital marketing is more important than ever, especially given the increased reliance we all have on the Almighty Google while we've been socially distancing during the pandemic.
That said, when we're working to find the right targets for your next campaign, we start by looking at search trends. Find out: What questions are your next potential customers asking? Where are they searching for solutions to their problems? Most importantly of all, what keywords are they using to find businesses like yours?
Identifying frequently used keywords related to the pain points your business solves is key. Our goal is to find the people who have a problem that needs solving—and that they know you're able to provide a solution.
For expert marketers, identifying the right target audience is never a one-size-fits-all approach. Every industry, every client, every audience is different—and it takes both creativity and cunning to find the perfect target for every campaign.
Our best piece of advice? If you're looking to grow your business, bring in the experts to help you get there. Marketing agencies specialize in not only finding your next potential customer, but positioning your brand so that they come to you.
Want to see how a 5-star marketing agency can take your business to the next level? Let's talk.