Digital marketing can’t really be effective without proper targeting. What is digital marketing targeting? Digital marketing targeting is a formalized method that identifies and then intentionally aims created content, connections and the use of platforms toward a specific demographic, psychographic and/or geographic audience, their needs and concerns.
You see, no matter how good the messaging and content that you create is, if it is not specifically designed for the target audience that you need to reach, it will miss.
Over the last several years I have heard many of the industry “experts”, authors and speakers condemn the terms target audience and targeting. They say things like, “Don’t target, these are people not numbers” and “It’s about building relationships, not targets.” etc. While I agree that you must be human and engage with customers and prospects as real people, it is completely foolish to think that you can be effective within digital marketing without 1) knowing who you need to reach and 2) what their specific interests are.
You can be foolish with your own marketing, but to incorrectly instruct others to be foolish with theirs is irresponsible in my humble opinion.
Let’s present a few analogies that will help you get your head around the importance of targeting the proper audience in your digital marketing.
Imagine that you are a police officer and you are going to a shooting range to practice your marksmanship. You will want to go to a shooting range that has specific designated targets, so you are able to practice your aim in various scenarios and also measure how well you are shooting, and the improvements you are making. By having various targets to aim at, you are able to focus your effort toward something specific and hit it. Your very life may depend on your ability to properly hit a target, so knowing what target you might need to hit is crucial for your survival.
As a business, your survival depends on how well you know and target your audience with both the products and services you offer, as well as the marketing you conduct to sell them online. If you don’t know exactly who you are trying to reach, you will not be able to reach them effectively.
Here are just a few key audience targeting points that you need to consider about your digital marketing:
1- You need to know exactly who you are trying to reach. We do this for our clients using personas. Personas allow you to understand the 3-5 types of individuals that you are trying to reach with your digital marketing and all the interests, needs and concerns that they have as a person. For more information on personas read Personas – Do B2B’s Know Their Target Market?
2- Just as with the analogy we discussed earlier… If you do not have a target, you can’t aim properly and you certainly won’t be able to measure your efforts.