Group gathered around looking at a phone

iOS 14.5 Changes Make Defining Your Target Audience More Important Than Ever

Is your brand’s target audience well defined or do you need help nailing down specifics on who’s most likely to use your product or service? Whether you’re a B2C or a B2B brand, it’s more important now than ever before to take the time and narrow down who you want to reach. You should also determine the best places to reach them so they are more likely to see and convert through your ads. Let’s look at some of the reasons to pinpoint audience details as much as possible and walk through how to do that.

Why Is A Defined Audience Important?

While a well-defined target audience has always been important, the state of advertising in 2021 makes it imperative. With Apple’s forward push into privacy-centric policies and the ever-expansion of traditional and digital vendor options, clearly defined target audiences can make these issues a little easier to manage. Before iOS 14.5, it was easy to rely on the algorithms of app advertising platforms like Facebook, TikTok, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. to find the audiences most likely to convert for your brand. Opening up your target audiences and letting the platforms optimize toward best-performing opportunities worked best and didn’t put any restrictions on the platform regarding who they could target if they thought those people would convert for you. With most Apple users opting out of cross-app tracking in 2021, the algorithms of these platforms are nowhere near as efficient as they used to be. Brands need to come into each platform with platform-specific defined parameters of who their target audience is and add in as many behavioral/contextual/demographic/geographic signals as possible to find the users most likely to convert in a cost-effective way.

On the flip side, while the Apple update has really narrowed the algorithm effectiveness of apps and their predictive modeling, the amount of traditional and digital advertising partners has skyrocketed over the last few years. With so many options available, looking at what data the potential advertising partner layers into targeting and HOW they layer it can be a key differentiator between platforms and really drive your vendor decisions. These data layers can include standard targeting options such as age, gender, geography, etc. along with psychographic signals, social media behaviors, purchase intent, travel signals, brand affinity and so many more. Knowing your target audience all the way down to what their main emotional motivators are can help you choose which media partners to use, when to use them, what behavioral targeting to layer in, and even what creative might resonate loudly within those platforms for that consumer. For example, if you find that your target audience is very emotionally connected to tradition within their family and life, they might rank highly on spending holiday time with family. If so, there’s a high probability you could find them on TV/CTV, binge-watching Christmas movies every holiday season – simply because that’s what they do with their family every year. It’s tradition. Christmas movies may not normally have anything to do with your brand, but if they’re important to your audience because of traditions and emotional pull, you’d have a much higher likelihood of reaching and converting there.

How To Identify Your Target Audience

Now that you understand how important it is to lock down the details of who’s most likely to be your target audience, what can you do to determine who your target audience is if you don’t already know? Here are some easy places to start!

  • If you’re a brand that has face-to-face interaction, start building demographic profiles that way. Look for trends on who your target audience already is — based on age, gender, geography, etc. and start compiling the details on what you see. An easy way to do this is to run an in-store/in-location contest, with entrants providing those details to you directly.
  • If you’re online, make sure you have Google Analytics or another analytics platform activated on your website. This type of platform will be able to clearly tell you who your website visitors and website converters are — down to age, gender, geography, phone operating system, etc. These reports are easy to pull, and you can customize to the best date range, ensuring the data you’re receiving is the most relevant.
  • If you have first-party data in the form of email addresses, addresses, phone numbers, etc., ask that audience directly! Send out a survey to learn more about who your audience is, what they’re interested in, and what makes them tick.
  • If you have a decent-sized, first-party email database, use a data partner to append additional details to these emails, including age, HHI, education level, homeownership, gender, race, etc., and create target profiles for your audience.
  • Once you have those profiles created, use an AI-powered partner like Resonate to dig deeper and learn even more about your target audience, including their media consumption habits so you know where to reach them, what motivates them, what kind of apps they use on their phone, what social platforms they’re on, etc.
  • Using all of these together, you should be able to develop comprehensive personas of who your target/targets are and what might be the most cost-effective ways to reach them, both by platform and by messaging.

Reach Out For Help

If you need help navigating how to find your target audience or other paid media opportunities for your brand, The Brandon Agency can help with all of your digital and traditional media placement needs. Contact us today to get started.

Courtney Olbrich

Courtney Olbrich

Media & Analytics Director

Courtney is our Media & Analytics Director, located in our Myrtle Beach office. She has over 20 years of experience in marketing and advertising, with a wide variety of clients. Hailing from Metro Detroit, Michigan, it comes natural that she is an avid sports fan. So much so that all of her pets are named after professional baseball stadiums!

Read more posts from Courtney