Using “Big Data” to Better Connect to Your Audience

December 17, 2018

The cornerstone of modern digital marketing is our ability to use trackable data to identify core audiences, and share effective messaging. For top performing brands, tapping into the flood of information about the desires and purchasing drivers of key audience segments has become standard practice to maintain growth and audience relevance.

New research from Bain & Company demonstrates that the brands who are finding new pathways to growth and revenue in 2018-19 are the ones who can 1) show up with the right message, and 2) do so in just the right moment.

Here are some best practices, tips, and tactics for calibrating your market segments and using data to incorporate moment-based outreach into your marketing strategy.

How to Match Your Message with the Moment of Intent

Google, in a series of articles and thought leadership pieces, have observed that modern consumers live their lives through a series of digital “micro-moments” that track their real passions and desires. XenoPsi believe these activities give brands real opportunity to leverage those interests, if they can do it at the exact right moment.

In our view, the micro-moment matching is the final step in the four “W’s” of good marketing: Who, What, Where, and When.

Traditional marketing and data usage is heavily focused on the first three “W’s”:

  • Who is the target consumer?
  • What are they interested in buying?
  • Where do they spend their time?

Leveraging the idea of micro-moments is about adding the final “W” to your marketing plan: When are they ready to buy, or, even more simply, when are they ready to pay attention to your message?

Today, we have enough data-driven technology to let the customers decide when they’re ready to pay attention themselves. Instead of trying to force engagement with tricks like limited-time discounts or events-based promotions, we can leverage audience data profiles to identify the real-life micro-moments of intent for each segment.

So, how do we figure out what our audience is up to? We look to the data sources like: browsing behavior, search activity, or third-party profiling. The real work starts when brands are able to integrate analytics and advertising technologies to get insight into the consumer’s frame of mind, then target our message delivery to the precise moment they’re ready to buy.

We believe, effective timely messaging depends on three factors:

  • Being present at the moment of intent
  • Providing a solution to satisfy the need or desire your target is trying to fulfill
  • Offering that solution up-front to trigger the decision to buy

To this end, it’s important to ensure that you’re both targeting the right “When” moment and sending the most impactful messaging for that specific occurrence.

In most cases you’ll be dealing with a consumer who “wants to.” They’re ready to buy, do, know, or go. Of course, the end-game is always to trigger a “buy” decision, but tailoring the messaging to the intent of each specific moment ensures you’re moving consumers down the marketing funnel efficiently and effectively.

Optimizing Your Audience Segments

Audience segments are invaluable for determining the four “W’s” of your target consumers, and can help you identify individual moments of intent even when focused on overall segment categories.
Effective time-based marketing takes account of each of the most common types of audience segments:

As the broadest category, demographics include age, gender, race, ethnicity, income, and other social and economic characteristics.Use this segment for the most generalized targeting assumptions, such as: young males being more interested in sneaker fashion than senior women, or high income families being more interested in luxury goods than low income households.
An individual’s current whereabouts, based on real-time GPS details from their device.You can use this type of segment to target anything from an entire region of consumers down to specific shoppers on a specific city block, or even entering a specific storefront. For example, some urban retail brands set up location-based campaigns that automatically push ads to pedestrians who are nearby and could be tempted into the store.
This segment is a general catch-all for audience interests, hobbies, and consumer lifestyles. Think foodies, tech enthusiasts, fitness buffs, and the like.This is a good segment when you’re still trying to find your overall audience. Foodies are likely to be receptive to any product related to food, tech enthusiasts to any kind of gadget or new software, and so on. In general, if your product is a great example of a certain consumer lifestyle, you’ll probably find fruitful ground for marketing in the corresponding segment.
Psychographics and Attitude
This category describes the general behavioral and preferential characteristics of the segment, including general likes and dislikes, habits and hobbies, and value preferences. Think of it as a rough sketch of the general worldview shared by the segment.This segment is often used when simple demographics don’t provide enough information for effective targeting. When baseline indicators like income or geographic location aren’t sufficient, you can use the beliefs and attitudes of your audience to find a better match for product messaging.
Life Stage
Rather than focusing on age, this segment defines audiences by what life events they’re currently experiencing. Getting married, buying a home, or graduating college are all typical life stage milestones used to define this segment.Use this milestone when your product’s value proposition for consumers is highly dependent on specific life scenarios that transcend other demographic indicators like age or location—or when it’s simply likely to get a messaging boost from life events.
Consumer Data
This segment is based on existing data tied to the audience’s shopping behavior. For example, it may be used to identify the segment of your market that’s already visited your site and clicked through to product descriptions.You can use this segment to do everything from nudging website visitors to complete a purchase, to following up on completed purchases while pitching a complementary product. This segment is also heavily relied upon for direct response and other “in the funnel” outreach campaigns.
Shopper Types
This segment describes broad categories of shoppers, like discount chasers or luxury shoppers.Use this segment as a complement to your demographic and lifestyle indicators, and to micro-target specific buying triggers like discount offers or product launch announcements.
Brand Loyalties
This segment describes consumers with a demonstrated preference for a given brand or type of brands.Use this segment to identify your brand’s own loyalists, but most importantly to identify loyalists of your competitors who might be primed for poaching. You can also use it to identify consumers who are loyal to similar but non-competing brands, and so might be receptive to your product marketing.

Using these best practices as a guide will help you get your messages to the right people, at the right moment they need to see it. The good news is: if you start with just one or two of these segments, you’ll be in much better shape to reach more people with targeted messages. If you have any questions about how XenoPsi helps brands connect with their customers, we’d love to walk you through our process. Reach out to Cindy Zupcic, our new business manager [email protected], for more info.

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