[Podcast] 5 Ways to Create Targeted Marketing Audiences to Drive Results
A precise target audience is at the foundation of every successful marketing campaign. But, in an age of data privacy, data loss, and data overload, what best practices should you be following to ensure you’re reaching the right people with your message?
In this discussion, hosted by Luci Rainey, former SVP of Marketing at Comcast and PODS, we hear from Amy Klenke, Porch Group Media’s VP of Product and Delivery about today’s trends, regulations, and unique audience segments. Amy also shares how to blend 1st and third-party data into highly customized audiences unique to your business’s needs.
- An overview of the privacy landscape that is causing the loss of audience insights and how this may impact your audience curation (and what you can do instead).
- Learn about the different types of audiences you should be targeting and how messaging differs between audience segments. From your current customer base, acquisition segments, loyalty audiences, and more, we’ll share the top audiences you should include in every successful marketing program.
- An overview of different consumer segments including movers, homeowners, in-market shoppers, property insights, and more that you may not be targeting today.
- A quick peak at case studies results featuring Porch Group Media unique audience segments.
*The following transcription has been adapted from the 5 Ways to Create Targeted Marketing Audiences to Drive Results Podcast.
Welcome everyone to today’s Movers and Shakers webinar, sponsored by Porch Group Media.
With privacy rules and consumer control of their data, becoming more and more protected, a marketer’s best asset is quickly becoming their ability to understand and create audiences. In the past, relying on audience creation from the likes of Google or Facebook, produced great results, though now is coming under more and more scrutiny and things have changed.
Techniques, like persona creation, may be good for brand development, but when it’s time for a customer to purchase, audience, development, and creation, are now central opportunities for most marketers.
Today, I have with me, Amy Klenke, who is VP of Product and Delivery at Porch Group Media. Welcome, Amy!
Hi, Luci. Thank you.
We’re so happy to have you. For those of you who are attending today’s webcast, I’m so happy to feature Amy as she is an expert on audience development, an ever-increasing topic and I think the world of all of us marketers. And we’re going to ask her advice on five of the best ways to create audiences to drive results. So buckle in because today’s webcast is going to be a good one. Welcome, Amy.
And Amy, if you could tell us a little bit about yourself and your role at Porch Group Media, that would be great.
Sure. So, I’ve been with Porch Group Media for about eight years and worked in every department except finance and between sales and operations. Now, I am heading up the product team and all of the operations and delivery teams.
I see the product from inception all the way through fulfillment. A lot of changes have been happening in the last few years regarding how we are serving our clients differently, and what the needs are really in the marketing marketplace.
That’s terrific. So again, privacy and the privacy landscape, this topic took off when California launched its privacy regulations and left all of us scrambling to prepare for them. And then in kind of a weird follow suit, I mean, Apple followed suit. You know, an actual product followed suit. With their, I’d say, consumer choice initiative.
And I think, as a marketer myself, I think, more and more of us didn’t maybe anticipate how quickly, especially the Apple changes, would really affect our ability to market and find our consumers. And we find ourselves getting more and more able to find the customers that we want to market to, and now, with these changes, and again, Apple has their own regulations, each state is adopting somewhat their own form of these regulations, so it’s getting more and more complicated. On top of that Apple, has followed suit with its own consumer choice initiative, and things are just getting harder and harder. We’re almost regressing back to where we were before things started opening up and the world is different now. So, you know, Amy, what are your thoughts on where things are headed?
Well, nobody wants to be tracked. I mean, we’ll just put it out there, right? In the last decade or so we’ve become increasingly more dependent on being able to track people digitally and determine when to strike, and when to get your offering for them, but with cookie deprecation and digital and e-mail engagement statistics being skewed by different privacy apps, it’s really becoming more and more difficult.
And, we do see a market wide shift to marketing to people based on information that they have volunteered.
As we like to say in the marketer’s world, we want to always reduce the creepy factor.
It is kind of uncanny sometimes, you know, when suddenly you’re talking about something, or you’re researching something, and then it finds you, wherever you go. I mean, it is really uncanny. And I think that’s really what started, you know, to worry people.
I think the big question to answer today in the five ways to really create audiences to find who you want to market to, is to understand, you know, with all these changes, what are marketers left to do? Because I think that the kind of wide funnel we had before was, say, Google developing audiences for us, or Facebook, developing audiences for us. You know, Facebook especially had gotten a little bit of trouble with how wide they were casting their net or opening their funnel. They’ve really clamped down now and you have to bring your own audiences and whatnot. So then where does this leave marketers? You know, I think that’s what we’re going to spend the majority of time talking about today for sure.
I’m so glad to have you. This is one of your favorite topics. So, we really boiled it down to five types of audiences.
So, your own data, of course, is always going to be the most valuable. Sometimes it can be overlooked when you’re chasing after that next customer. That’s why I always recommend starting with your first-party data first: your own customers, your own hand raisers… Make sure that you are nurturing them and keeping in touch with them, and not ignoring them. That’s absolutely number one.
Movers are one of the top indications of readiness to make a purchase or change.
Just, I know that we’re going to go into that more in a minute, but they really, really are a very valuable segment, and that is the first place I recommend anyone goes, even if you don’t think that your product is related to moving.
Then in market shoppers, you need to be able to find them a little bit differently these days, because you can’t track them anymore, or you won’t be able to soon.
So, finding them, but being able to know who they are before you reach out to them is really, really important.
And then, using additional third-party data to help make different decisions about your audience and curate it more carefully, would be step four.
And then step five, is your modeled audiences. So those are your lookalikes.
You talked about movers and homeowners, and I was talking recently with the CMO of a large healthcare company in Atlanta, and I was asking him about audiences and things, and I asked him about movers. I started to tell him about, you know, think about it, somebody new moves into town or they move across town, and they needed a doctor, they’re not going to drive 45 minutes to go to their doctor, again.
Wouldn’t even movers apply to, you know, your healthcare system? And he looked at me and he is a really seasoned marketer. If I told you who he has worked with in the past, he tilted his head and said, “Maybe I should look at movers. I haven’t even thought of that. I hadn’t thought of it that way.” And so it is an interesting audience overall. One that is everchanging, that’s for sure.
How to Leverage Existing Customer Data to Build Audiences
So, let’s start with number one, Amy. You know, again, that’s what you just said. You should always start with your own data, and I was going to ask you, and you already put these words in my mouth, where do marketers get started? And I think that we’ve laid out, really, a nice infographic here to kind of walk, the folks who joined the webinar, to walk them through the process of how to think about just how they get started. Sometimes for us, it’s, I know, I’ve often had meetings with my teams, and I think, we need to get X done, and then the next question is always, where should we get started?
Well, definitely start with what you already have. It’s zero-party data that consumers freely and intentionally give to you, and then data that you own because you obtained it directly from your audience.
Yes, it’s very typical for people to do like a standard, usually e-mail campaign to keep up with their existing customers. But you need to make the most of that. And you don’t know what you don’t know about those customers and some of those insights are really valuable when personalizing communications because that’s going to give you a much bigger bang for your buck. People want messages that are personalized to them without being creepy, right?
For example, we were working with an automotive company at one time, and we noticed that there were a significant number of responders to the last campaign and clients who owned a dog, which had nothing to do with an automobile. But, when we noticed that, we were able to take their first-party data and segment the messaging for the people who owned a dog and had an image of the dog in the back seat of the vehicle. And that really, really showed us the power of taking something that, you know, as I said, you don’t know what you don’t know. It’s a completely innocuous, seemingly unrelated thing that you can learn about your customers and really use to engage them more strongly.
What if you don’t have, say, a data science department and you’re a smaller size, small to mid-size company? Who does this work of really, starting with your own data and, and starting to, you know, figure out, like the dog example you gave – who does this work if you don’t have an internal department like that? I know, when I started at PODS, you know, I didn’t have a data science team, I had to curate that, and build that. I came from Comcast, as, you know, very large, $60 billion company, and we had an army of data scientists who are brilliant. When I went to PODS I had no one. So, what do you do if you don’t have a Data Science Department, a Modeling Department, or an Enterprise Business Intelligence Department? What do you do?
You outsource it. There are plenty of companies like Porch Group Media who do this for brands every day. Do we do it best? Of course, we do. So, we can take your data, we can build a dataset, put it in a platform and augment it with all different attributes. Just like that, owning a dog – who would have known? And then, you can use that to really customize, your marketing.
And it runs the gamut from simple software that it’s called CDP as a customer data platform, all the way to companies that will completely build your dataset for you, depending on your needs. But the availability is out there, and you don’t need to be able to fund your own data science department in order to take advantage of it.
The Importance of the Mover Segment
So movers, we already started to talk about this, right? They are one of the most valuable segments of the marketplace that are not your own customers.
They are five times more loyal to becoming long-term customers. They are in a phase of their life where they are starting fresh, they are starting new, and whether that, you know, is furniture or something move related, or even purchasing an automobile.
You know, movers will spend money on a lot of different things, Not just their move.
And it’s, it’s really, it is few and far between to find a business that should not be targeting movers. You know, they are a really great target for almost everyone and they’re overlooked.
I definitely thought it was interesting to me when we had done our 2022 New Mover Trends Report with The Harris Poll. One of the things I found most interesting was, how many people are purchasing before the move. It’s a huge timeframe we need to be targeting, and industries I didn’t even think of.
So kind of going back to your point earlier, movers are really, even if you don’t think that’s necessarily an audience for your industry or your business, chances are, they might be, it’s worth passing.
Yep, it is. It is a very strong indicator that, that somebody wants a fresh start, whether that is, you know, it’s not just where they live. And it’s not just their home décor. Like I said, an auto is, a, that’s a very strong indicator, that somebody’s going to be in-market to buy a new car. This is not at all what you would think, right at a time when you’re putting down money to close on a new house. But, it actually is, it actually is.
As we’re going through these five audience types. What I forgot to mention is that, really, I almost have them ranked in a way. Your own data, you know, that’s the most valuable low hanging fruit.
But the next group for you to consider targeting is movers. Hands down. It is movers, like I said, almost regardless of vertical or industry. You want to be putting your money, where it’s going to have the most effect, and movers are almost always one of the best performing audiences.
Yeah, it is interesting how wide the verticals go.
When you move, you really take a look at everything, because you’re having to switch off, turn on, and turn off so many things. It is really an effective audience to consider and you know, to talk to because people, when they’re moving, they do make changes. And also, when you move, there are a lot of entities you don’t realize are regional. You know, when I think of banks, gyms, you know healthcare, gyms, or restaurants, you know, many of these entities are regional. And so, when somebody moves, are all those new things are going to be in their consideration set.
For example, you might have lived close to a Shake Shack at your old address, but Five Guys is what’s closer to you at your newest address. So, yeah, and the place you go to get takeout for burger and fries could change very quickly just based on a move and I think even a lot of retail establishments don’t really even look at those types of changes.
So it’s, it’s really interesting with this category, I definitely agree, Especially, if you take into account the stat that says 90% are willing to try new brands when they move. And a lot of that is again, your geography. Where you move are those things that you used to always, those haunts, you know weekly places where you used to always go, are they really in proximity anymore?
And, I think a lot of brands don’t think about movers thus the healthcare example that I just gave you. It’s really an interesting audience to always look at.
I have a question. OK, so, just talking about the mover segment, somebody had asked, “Because moving is time sensitive, how early should I market to movers to see the best results?”
I thought that would be just kind of a good time to like you mentioned. How early Porch Group Media has access to movers and just kind of talk about that?
Well, we actually often target what we call pre-movers – people who we know based on their behavior, are getting ready to move or are likely to be getting ready to move. For example, they’ve put their house on the market, their house is under contract, or they’ve had an inspection done on a new home. There are a lot of different indicators, even things that they are looking up and reading online can be indicators that they may be getting ready to move.
We typically see pre movers, about three to four weeks before anyone else does because of our relationship with Porch, but regardless, if you can reach them, it’s really best to reach them before they even move.
Yeah, most purchase decisions are made pre-move, and if you even look at past survey data, the majority of things that people consider in a move, those decisions are made pre-move. You know, I’ll get mattresses, for example. Most people don’t want to move their old mattress, you know?
They’re going send it away with junk removal at their old home, and then they want the new mattress at their new, their new home. They don’t want to take care of doing that.
Same with appliances, furniture, home improvement services, and insurance – you have to prepare all that in your move process.
So a lot of those decisions are made prior to the move. And I think even on movers and shakers, we’ve shown some of that data survey data in the past. Definitely.
It’s also worth mentioning that when you’re talking about the move cycle, it is also important to try to find out which of your existing customers are planning to move.
Because that gives you the opportunity to retain them if your goods or services are something that they might cancel when they move. Or it’s a good opportunity to upsell them or cross-sell them because you know that they are, again, when they’re in that preview cycle, they are in that decision making process, and they’re looking for a fresh start for things. So, I would not ignore movers within your own customer database. I think that’s really important also.
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How to Adapt Your Marketing for a Cookieless Future
How do you create an audience or find new shoppers, you know, with cookies going away? Are we back to pre-cookie methods?
What are the ways that you can create audiences?
So, the most comfortable way for everyone, you know, as we said, nobody wants to be tracked anymore, the most comfortable way that we do it is by using historical data to create inferred models.
So we can tell, based on historical data from our data partners, who has purchased what in the past and at what point. We can build those models and apply them to any consumer dataset to then infer when somebody is going to be in-market. And that is proving to be a very valuable substitute for online tracking.
There are circumstances in which you can still capture the type of content that someone is viewing.
And if they’re known to you, then you can target them, you know, include them in your audience without being creepy.
That’s always going to be an important factor.
Porch Group Media is definitely doing some interesting things. I mean, some of these specialty audiences, you have, I think are intuitive, like movers. But the one that always surprises me, from the research data I’ve seen from Porch Group Media is everything surrounding automotive, you don’t think about automotive.
But, I mean, in buying a new car, or finding aftercare, you know, I mean, just everything around automotive, it always just fascinates me when that pops up in the data that you all have shared in past episodes of Movers and Shakers.
It’s that fresh start mindset.
Yeah. Definitely. Amy, I touched on this just a second ago, you know, with cookies going away, are we back to pre-cookie methods? You know, is it, are we back to impressions? Are we back to those types of things or with these media networks that are popping up everywhere and Porch, obviously is launching their own media network, you know, with Porch Group Media facilitating it, you know, where is this, where are we headed? I mean, if we don’t have cookies, where are we headed?
Well, what’s going to become more and more necessary moving forward is being able to create an audience based on real people, who you can identify, and what they have voluntarily told people about themselves. The data about themselves and their preferences, and the shopping behaviors that they have volunteered.
Then, being able to connect them through a company that does have connection points that are privacy compliant, and not based on cookies. There are ways to connect them so that you can still target them digitally, without needing to rely on Google or Facebook or, you know, any of those other companies, because they track their users on cookies.
And when you’re looking at gauging the effectiveness of your marketing, also, it’s going to just really be super, super important going forward that you know who you’re targeting before you target them, or else you can’t connect the dots afterwards.
Personalized Marketing in the New Privacy Landscape
What do consumers expect you to know about them if they don’t want to share their data? And they want relatively personalized messages, but they don’t want to share their data. So what is their expectation? What do they expect you to know?
I think that they expect you to know all the basic information about them, and most importantly, here, we said that people want personalized messaging without being creepy. What you want to avoid is sending offers to people who are not going to qualify. Right? Always cast the widest net you can when creating your audience. I always advise against narrowing it down too much by saying they have to look like this, and they have to look like that. Rather, I would eliminate the people who cannot or would not be a customer. For example, if you’re selling a product that requires you to have a certain level of household income, you wouldn’t want to engage with people who don’t meet your criteria, because then it’s wasted money.
So, I think that using, using those details to be exclusive versus inclusive really serves the marketer best when planning other campaigns.
I think some of these stats we have on here are really interesting. It still puzzles me though, again, you’re likely to buy from brands that send you relevant offers. I mean, I think the assumption here is that someone has signed up with your brand. You’ve said you allow them to market to you, you obviously are purchasing from them. You’ve given them your name, your address, they obviously have your purchase history. So I guess, you know, for those consumers at anytime, you have the ability to unsubscribe from their e-mails, you know, or from other marketing.
How is, I’d just say the landscape changing? Because oftentimes from acquisition, you want to bring in new customers who haven’t given you all those permissions.
And so, again, through audience creation, you know, how do you find those customers if they haven’t given you permission? You have more and more restrictions, you know, not allowing you to, again, sort of leverage other company’s information to cast that wider net. All the examples we gave with Facebook and we know kind of also say the trouble that they got into casting that wider net previously.
So, a lot of publicly available information is out there and a lot of information that comes from surveys are, like, I said, you know, volunteered or, or freely given information about somebody is out there. And it really just takes a solid data compiler to put it all together so that you can connect the dots and then find those people and market to them. So, obviously, you have to have a way to address them, you need their name, their postal, their e-mail, and be able to connect it with a digital identifier that’s not a cookie. Right?
And, when you have all of that, you can start to put that picture together. And market to them respectfully.
How to Build a Modeled Marketing Audience
When you start to look at the many media networks that are coming into play, is everyone going to now have their own identifier to find and build these audiences? Or is there going to be some kind of central identifier? How’s that going to work?
So, it won’t be central, there will be several. But not everyone. It’s not as easy to do as it sounds. So, there will still only be a handful of companies that can make that connection for you.
And really, what they need to do is have access to first-party data, that they can use, again, in a privacy-compliant way.
That’s great. What is the significance of modeled audiences? How does a marketer build, you know, a modeled audience? And I, I know we’ve been talking about, you know, being able to build them, and you can do them internally, or externally through an agency. So, again, what’s the significance of these modeled audiences?
There are really two types of modeled audiences that we see used a lot and used successfully. The obvious one is the look-alike audience. Many people try to do this. This is where you take your own customers and compare them to an external data source to try to find lookalikes.
Again, we’re going to say much more affordable and easier to get than you would think, because there are companies like Porch Group Media, who will do it on a smaller scale. You don’t have to be a giant company with a big data science team to be able to do that. We can, and I know that there are others out there also, we can take your customer data, compare it to our consumer dataset, and find those look-alike audience members, who are not already your customers.
The second model type is an in-market model. So that is where we take, we mentioned this before, that’s where we take that historical data and use it to create lookalikes of people we know made those purchases, even if it wasn’t for your brand.
And then we can create an inferred in-market model that we again apply to our entire dataset so that you can find those people that aren’t already your customers.
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That’s great. I’m sure a lot of folks who are joining joined us today are here to understand that and know how they can start to build these audiences themselves, especially knowing things are changing.
So, once you have your audience, how is it that marketers should leverage these audiences? You’ve touched on a few of these things, but maybe you can go a little deeper for us, Amy.
How to Leverage Modeled Marketing Audiences
Sure, Sure! So, earlier, you said back to basics, right? We’re kind of going back to our roots here in marketing, and that is absolutely true. Direct mail continues to be the number one way to guarantee connection with your intended audience, so still very popular. Still, very effective.
E-mail, social, programmatic display, you know, then with e-mail, of course, still have to have that contact point, social, programmatic display, connected TV pre-roll ads, for those you would go through a media network who has that identifier, so you can still create your audience using traditional means. That audience is individually identifiable, but then transition that audience to a digital platform, and be able to reach them in those ways.
Let me pop in real quick.
Would you say that media networks are really starting to take over some digital properties, I would say? So when you think of Facebook, Pinterest, Google, like our media networks starting to really take over I’d say, the feeding of audiences to these formerly very popular digital properties?
They have to. They have to because as people object to being tracked. There has to be a way, and really you can only do that through a media network to take offline, voluntary information about them and connect that to their digital persona.
It used to be very common, and it still is to a degree, I want to do a Facebook ad, or I want to do an Instagram ad, so I’m going to use the information that Facebook knows about their users to select my audience.
They’re not going to know that information for very much longer, because the regulations keep getting tighter and tighter. And so that’s where a media network becomes really, really valuable because they know about those audiences in a way that does not rely on that restricted data.
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Thank you for clarifying that.
So, you kind of had gone through acquisition marketing and you know what the opportunities were to leverage our audiences. What about with your own customer base? I mean, you kind of already know who they are, how do audiences enhance your own customer base so that you can be more efficient with your marketing dollars?
So, as we talked about a little bit, it’s important to not force a one size fits all on your existing customers. You really want to make the most of your efforts to segment them, and create models from them.
And you can also use the information that a third-party data company is able to add or enhance to your existing file to then let you do further segmentation and build better creatives and messaging, you know like we talked about with the picture of the dog in the backseat of the car. Those additional attributes are really, really valuable in making the most of your own CRM marketing.
Those types of factors can help you with channel selection as well. Right? We know that certain age groups respond differently in certain different channels. Older Americans are more likely to open an e-mail, for example. Younger Americans are not likely to respond to a Facebook ad.
There are definitely preferences there for channels, as well as messaging, and you really need to know more about your existing customers in order to take advantage of that.
Audience Creation for CTV Advertising
That’s great, Let’s jump to the next slide.
We talked a little bit about media networks and how they are replacing, these digital properties. You will be helping clients leverage the Porch Group Media Network. It’s very exciting, and I really love especially the CTV capability that Porch Group Media is offering. So when you put it seems to me Amy when you put the audience together with the ability to do CTV you have almost the programmatic way, to leverage TV. No more signing up front, no more I can’t do TV because I don’t have the budget. I really wanted to get into the household and can’t do that without TV. Well, now you can. So I think that’s really exciting. Is that one of the benefits you see the future of this audience creation allowing?
Absolutely! Because in the past, you had to spend so much in order to reach your target, because there was no way to differentiate your commercial. Everyone saw it, and you really couldn’t pick who saw it, and who didn’t. But with CTV and pre-roll, you’re able to get those videos, and commercials in front of the right audience. And that makes it much more cost-effective.
Contact us to learn more about the Porch Group Media Network, one of the first media networks to offer CTV capabilities to connect you to in-market audiences, including movers and consumers displaying active shopping intent.
I think what’s interesting, too, is you’re starting with the audience selection, and then you can place that audience selection across different channels, versus before, you might have to go to a branded e-mail company and say, send this to this kind of audience. Or you go to a direct mail company, or you’d have your own, you know, direct model, and say send this to this audience. And then you’d say, now do digital and I know, back when I was in telecom that was something that we struggled with. What was kind of the marketing waste between, this direct mail budget that we had, and this digital media budget that we had, you know? And then comes the attribution fight and, who gets what attribution? But now starting with the audience, and filtering through a media network, I think if the media network has measurement, which I know the Porch Group Media network has a measurement, I think that becomes important as well in this kind of formula.
But I think those are some of the interesting ways that marketers have to really focus, is by starting with that audience creation and then kind of letting it out to the ether of the particular media networks.
Starting with an identifiable audience like this, allows you to ensure that you’re reaching the same people in multiple channels, versus just hoping, you know, that this profile is going to transfer between channels. On every channel, you’re going to only be able to connect with so many people.
And when you start with one cohesive curated audience like this, then, you’re hitting them multiple times, in multiple ways, and that’s really the most effective way to get their attention.
Resources You May Also Like:
- [Podcast] How to Engage Different Audience Segments
- [Article] What is a Retail Media Network?
- [Success Kit] Connected TV Advertising
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