Marketing personalisation: why audiences and personas are important to getting it right?
There are few things that can optimise the success of your marketing strategy better than effective audience targeting and custom messaging.
Consumers today expect content, information, products, and services that caters to their individual wants and needs. And there’s a real opportunity to create smarter custom messaging for different audiences we want to connect with.
In this piece I will give some simple guidance on how to collect website data and build some smart audience lists for your marketing messaging.
The first step in understanding our audience is ensuring that we are collecting the right data.
I’m focusing on two main players in the digital space in this article, Google Analytics and Facebook, but if you use Bing, LinkedIn, Twitter, HubSpot or anything else as your data source, feel free to combine their data.
Embed Google and Facebook scripts on your website and you’re ready to go. After you have gathered initial data for about a month, it’s time to start analysing that data and building your buyer personas.
Facebook and Google will give you all the necessary data to start understanding your audience; what interests them, what problems are they trying to solve, and what solutions they are looking to learn more about.
The next step is to talk to your sales team. They are the ones who are actively communicating with your clients. Utilise their knowledge!
Once you have all the stats and facts, try using this HubSpot template to build your buyer personas. Give them a name, an image and a short bio/description – this will help you start picturing them as a real users. Make them real and approachable. Start thinking of them the next time when you’re writing your ads.
There are a lot of buyer persona templates online, I prefer using HubSpot but that doesn’t mean that you should do the same. Take whichever suits you best and start from there.
Let’s imagine you have a business that’s targeting two distinct buyer personas; one Finance and one Tech. As you can imagine they won’t respond to the same messaging in the same way – one is largely driven by figures, cost saving and ROI, while the other is interested in technology and how technology can help them work smarter. The same message clearly won’t work for both, so we need to tailor our message to their individual needs and behaviours.
Spend some time in Google Analytics, (read how to install GA if you haven’t already) make sure you’re tracking and analysing everything that’s relevant to your business. Google will give you all the data you need, you just need to ensure that you’re using it smartly.
To drill deeper into the data you’re collecting, start building custom segments by going to ‘Admin > View-Segments’ and start building any new custom segments that make sense for your business.
If you don’t feel comfortable creating segments yourself you can use segments and dashboards other marketeers have created here.
Building audience lists and targeting them
When you start analysing your data it’s time to build audience lists and target them with customised messaging in your ads. You can create an audience for literally anything – the sky’s the limit.
Examples of audience lists
- Buyer Funnel: You can create user audiences who followed a certain funnel such as a buyer funnel (e.g. Category Page > Product Page > Basket > Checkout > Confirmation page), then based on the step of the funnel they finished you can target them with different ads and different messaging.
- Cart Abandoners: They are usually most likely to convert if you retarget them with dynamic ads because they’ve already shown a strong intent by adding your product to their cart.
- Customer Match & Similar Audiences: your CRM data and existing customers are the best representation of your target audience. You can use their email addresses to create lists of people similar to them. Google and Facebook will find new users who are similar to your customer list so you can start targeting them with your ads. For Google Ads you will need to meet certain requirements before you can create the list (e.g. reach a minimum $50K ad spend).
- New vs Returning Visitors: This one is obvious, but the great thing you can utilise here is the Google Ads IF Function, meaning you can show one messaging to new users and a different messaging to your returning visitors straight from the Google Ads platform. This is a game-changer for advertisers who use different discounts for new and returning visitors. They can now control pricing offered to returning visitors who are more likely to convert.
- The Converted: You can upsell or cross-sell to people who have already converted on your site. They are familiar with your brand and it will be easier to convert again.
- Custom Intent and Custom Affinity Audiences: Custom intent audiences are actively searching for products, services or solutions like yours, and custom affinity audiences have expressed interest in your products. I personally prefer using custom intent as the name says the intent to purchase is there.
The probability of converting an existing customer is 60-70% compared to 5-20% for a new prospect.”
- Users behaviour has changed and, if we are to get their attention, we need to smart about how we personalise our messaging.
- Build up your personas, your audiences and lists and test serving personalised and messaging.
- Follow this simple order: Collect, Segment, Build, Target!
Check out my deck for more in depth overview of marketing audiences and how to build them.