While marketers today are faced with ever-growing challenges when it
comes to uncovering and targeting key audiences, Gartner, Inc. has
identified three strategies for marketers to better identify and engage
their target audiences.
Experts at Gartner
Marketing Symposium/Xpo today discussed these growing challenges.
They also shared how marketers can overcome them, and better segment and
reach their target audiences.
“Marketers today are faced with the tough task of overcoming media
fragmentation and changing consumer behaviors. At the same time, they
are trying to work around the fact that consumers are more often buying
out of ads, by subscribing to services such as Amazon Prime Video and
Netflix,” said Eric Schmitt, senior director at Gartner. “Then layer in
more competition for attention, higher media prices and often more
clutter. Marketers are playing ‘hide-and-seek’ with their target
audiences, and they are often coming up short.”
Marketers must remember that the “where,” “when” and “how” are often
just as important as the “who” when it comes to reaching target
audiences. To that end, the three strategies for marketers to better
identify and engage their target audience include:
Define your audience with care
“In the era of big data, we sometimes lose sight of the big picture. Too
often, we start in the weeds, tactically targeting and measuring,” said
Mr. Schmitt. “Instead, marketers need to take a top-down approach to
their target audience and err on the side of inclusiveness, as you can
always refine later. In advertising, multiple audience segments and
views are a fact of life.”
There are many ways to activate target audiences in ad campaigns. These
include the use of first-party data, as well as third-party data from
digital ad tech tools, media platforms, compiled files and media panel
sources. These data and tool choices are closely linked to the media
marketers’ plan to activate — whether digital display, video, social or
mass media such as TV and radio. Media activation entails considerations
including cost, scale, precision, accuracy, persistency and portability
— and, most importantly, privacy.
“Marketers have ownership of their audience definition. That means they
must ensure target segments are concisely articulated, have quality and
integrity, adhere to high privacy standards, and are deployed as
consistently as possible across media,” added Mr. Schmitt.
Diversify and coordinate your media plan
“When investing ad dollars to media, the three issues that marketers run
into are reach, frequency and how much of both of those is actually
wasted,” noted Mr. Schmitt. “To best tackle these issues head on,
marketers must focus on diversifying and coordinating their media plan.”
According to Gartner, one way to do this is to analyze and manage
audience overlap across media, paying close attention to the biggest
budget line items, and the places where consumer behavior is changing
For example, different social media have substantial variance in
audience base. Similarly, consumer TV viewing behaviors are rapidly
changing — with over-the-top (OTT) quickly gaining traction. Gartner
recommends taking an “Integrated Video Planning” approach, where
traditional TV and digital initiatives are completely aligned.
“The goal here is to coordinate — and someday, unify — budgeting,
metrics, creative, scheduling and organization,” said Mr. Schmitt.
Make the most of imperfect measurement
Gartner research shows that by diversifying campaigns across media —
integrating TV and digital campaigns — marketers are more likely to
boost their audience reach than keeping campaigns siloed.
To get the most out of a challenging measurement environment, Gartner
recommends that marketers focus on cross-media reach and performance
metrics, especially in high-spend and high-growth media. Marketers
should tap agency and ad tech partners to craft new use cases, and
leverage marketing mix modeling and attribution.
“Marketers have to expect a patchwork set of imperfect metrics and make
the most of it — concentrate on the handful of indicators that matter
most, like cost-per-incremental reach point,” Mr. Schmitt said.
Gartner for Marketers clients can access relevant research and insights
in the reports “How
to Unite Advertising With Multichannel Marketing,” “How
to Build a Media and Advertising Plan,” “How
to Plan for Integrated Video Advertising,” and “Use
Brand Strategy to Guide Advertising.”
About the Gartner Marketing Symposium/Xpo
Gartner Marketing Symposium/Xpo provides marketing leaders actionable
advice about the trends, tools and emerging technologies they need to
deliver business results. Gartner
for Marketers analysts address the biggest opportunities, challenges
and priorities marketers face today, including data and analytics,
customer experience, content marketing, customer insight, marketing
technology (martech) and multichannel marketing. Additional information
is available at www.gartner.com/en/conferences/na/marketing-symposium-us.
Follow news and updates for the event on Twitter at #GartnerMKTG.
About Gartner for Marketers
Gartner for Marketers provides the objective, expert advice and proven
tools CMOs and other marketing leaders need to seize the right
opportunities with clarity and confidence, and stay ahead of the trends
that matter. With in-depth research and analysis, Gartner for Marketers
helps you focus on the opportunities with the greatest potential to
deliver results. More information on Gartner for Marketers is available
online at www.Gartner.com/marketing/.
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