Make your marketing stand out by embracing these 4 layers of understanding

The marketing landscape has evolved significantly over the past decade, providing marketing professionals with seemingly endless opportunities to engage their audiences. But plentiful options can quickly become distracting. Between proven tactics in content marketing and exciting new strategies like hyper-targeted personalization, one can easily feel overwhelmed by the potential. That’s why many marketers respond, not by developing their tactics, but by resting on their laurels for fear of failure. They cast a wide net and sent a barrage of content to every possible channel for their audience in hopes of bringing in new customers. But is this “always-on” approach really paying off? Not quite.

At the end of 2021 will 43 percent of the marketers surveyed noted that it is becoming increasingly difficult to capture the attention of their audience. Despite this, 66 percent of B2C marketers are still being asked to do more than the previous year, while working with the same resources. With this in mind, it’s no wonder that a whopping 74 percent of marketers view their organization’s marketing strategy as only moderately successful or worse.

If you’re a marketer in this current climate, it’s time to make some adjustments. Start prioritizing this one four layers to understand your customer to differentiate your marketing campaigns from the competition.

1. Target group strategy: compose the right message for the right consumer

Modern target groups demand personalization of the brands that demand their attention. In reality, 80 percent of customers expect nothing less than a personalized experience, while 63 percent say they are annoyed by brands delivering generic messages within their marketing content. Customers are so eager for personalization that they are even willing to make it easier for brands to deliver. For example, Google sees an average 2.5 billion visits per year from users who want to view or adjust how ads are personalized for them; so why is it that? 42 percent of marketers still fail to lead with personalization by segmenting their audiences? And of those that do, only 4 percent rely on more than one data source to inform that segmentation.

Before you can plan your content strategy, you need to know your audience. Understanding your target segments will inform everything from your choice of words, to your sense of urgency, to tone and value propositions, among others.

Instead of jumping on the next big trend in content, take a step back and carefully evaluate your audience. Marketers who deliver the right message to the right consumer see an average 5-8x higher ROI on marketing spend and a 10 percent increase in sales. Insights are needed to see that kind of backlash!

2. Moments and mindset strategy: learning When the target audience is the most receptive

32 percent of audiences report feeling overwhelmed by the amount of content available today, and that number is only expected to grow. It’s no surprise, then, that attention spans are shrinking. To counter this, most companies have made it a habit to publish content every day in a somewhat haphazard, “throw it all against the wall and see what sticks” approach to marketing.

This methodology takes a passive approach to marketing that has some advantages, but can also have diminishing returns. With each piece of content published, you create a different entry point to your brand, which is always ideal. But while this approach has benefited from a history of customers looking for brands and services themselves, the tables have turned in recent years. These days, 51 percent the public expects brands to take the first step. They don’t want to do the heavy lifting to learn more about your brand or service, they want businesses to connect with them when they have a need that the company can solve.

To grab and hold your audience’s attention, you need to connect with them when they’re most receptive to your message. Great marketers don’t just deliver content based on a preset publishing calendar, they instead identify the times when their audiences are most approachable and build from there.

3. Media strategy: discover True Your audience spends their time

Knowing when to connect with your target audience is just as important as knowing true to connect. After all, it would be a shame to invest in a range of creative content that isn’t optimized for the channels your customers frequent. And with so many new and exciting digital channels popping up alongside the return to in-person events, it can be easy to get distracted by emerging channels or trends.

The frenzy of building followers on what could be the next Twitter can sometimes overshadow the importance of meeting your audience where they already are. Remember the early excitement about Clubhouse at the height of the pandemic. Marketers swept up in the excitement surrounding this unique new channel probably felt whiplash when the app’s popularity has declined almost as fast as it grew.

Rather than overdoing yourself trying to master every popular channel, identify where your audience segments spend most of their time and focus your efforts there. You’ll see a lot more success connecting with 100 attentive people than trying to grab the attention of 1,000 uninvolved individuals in different locations.

4. Contextual targeting strategy: tailoring ads and content to the information your audience consumes

Once you’ve identified the messages each customer segment will respond to best, along with the times and places where the audience is most receptive, your next step is to make sure your content adds value to that audience. To do this right, you need to consider the types of content your audience consumes on the channels they visit most, and then deliver ads and content that closely and authentically match that information.

For example, maybe your audience can be found in a specific LinkedIn group. Can you compile quotes from that group and create an eBook of group tips? Maybe your audience can be found on TikTok. Can you hire an influencer they follow to really promote your brand? These are just a few examples of what is possible.

Unfortunately, this last step is often a marketer’s most difficult task. In reality, 42 percent of surveyed marketers see creating content that engages different segments of customers to biggest challenge. To meet this challenge, identify your key customer segment (or a smaller test segment) and focus on using this tactic with them first. Once you’ve proven the value of this strategy, it’s easier to justify the resources needed to expand into other segments.

Combine behavioral science with your media strategy to maximize impact

By leveraging the four knowledge layers in your marketing strategy, you can focus your efforts and get better results, but you must know your audience to do this right. Great customer personas are built on robust insights and deep human understanding. Build a holistic and actionable view of your customerand you will find these four strategies will reveal themselves in the process.

The opinions expressed here by columnists are their own, not’s.

Shreya Christina
Shreya has been with for 3 years, writing copy for client websites, blog posts, EDMs and other mediums to engage readers and encourage action. By collaborating with clients, our SEO manager and the wider team, Shreya seeks to understand an audience before creating memorable, persuasive copy.

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