General enquiries :
+44 (0)20 7602 6000

Getting Started with Audience Driven Marketing: a Framework for Success

Thursday 17 August 2017 CRM


Suzanne Jiggens-Johnson's picture
By Suzanne Jiggens-Johnson

Talking to digital marketers at our recent London seminar on audience driven marketing, two things became abundantly clear. First, people are excited by the potential to target audiences on a granular level, with the right message in the right place at the right time. And second, few feel they have yet explored that potential to the full.

That’s perfectly understandable. An audience driven approach can give you the power to reduce marketing wastage and keep prospects fully engaged at every stage of the funnel, from initial awareness through to the sale and beyond. But the thought of integrating multiple data points from a variety of sources – while also aligning teams and resources to deliver a coherent multi-channel experience – can feel challenging, verging on impossible.

So to help, we’ve broken the approach down into a manageable framework, based on real examples that are working well for CACI clients worldwide. And we’ve come up with some hints which will – I hope – make the transition feel that bit more achievable.

Hint 1: you’ve probably started already

If you don’t know where to start with audience driven marketing, I’ve some good news. The chances are, you already have.

This approach isn’t all-or-nothing; it’s a spectrum. At the more sophisticated end, you might have multiple channel and data point integration throughout the sales funnel, but any technique that involves channel integration or data-driven targeting is a step in the right direction.

That means if you use pay-per-click search, keyword-based display advertising or paid social retargeting – among a host of other examples – your audience driven marketing journey has already begun.

From there, it’s simply a matter of layering in more data, and more channels.

Hint 2: you have access to more data than you think

All audience driven marketing is enabled and underpinned by data. Analysing the demographic information in your own database is a start, but it’s likely you have many more data points available to you, if you know where to look.

To help you take stock, we’ve devised a matrix of three data sources, and three data types.

Data type 1: demographic data – who the user is. This might be their name, location, job, income, age or other quantifiable, personal information.

Data type 2: behavioural data – what the user has done. For example, which websites they have visited, or their buying history.

Data type 3: contextual data – what the user is doing right now. Where they are, what they’re looking for, what device they’re using, and what else is happening around them.

If we plot data types on the X-axis of our grid, the Y-axis is the data’s source, or – more accurately – who owns it:

1st party data – is owned by your organisation, having been gathered directly from prospects or customers. It might include your acquisition database, transaction history or CRM.

2nd party data – is shared between partners. This might be from a joint promotion between brands, or – most commonly – between businesses within the same corporate group.

3rd party data – is bought from a data provider, having been compiled from multiple sources. It lacks some of the relevance of 1st party data, but is a rapid way to add scale.

By sorting your data into each of the nine boxes of our matrix, you’ll find it easier to track down potential sources of information, and gain the fullest possible view of who your customer is, what they’re interested in, and what they’re doing now.

Hint 3: find one data point that works, and run with it

Leaping headlong into a fully audience-driven marketing strategy would need significant investment in technology, data analysis and, potentially, restructuring. It’s easier to achieve if you test one data point at a time.

Think about your data, and your customers, and look for one way you could tailor your marketing messages to make them more relevant or less wasteful. Then layer that data into your process and – crucially – test the results.

For example, you might test the impact of adding first party demographic data – like the user’s location – to your PPC campaigns, and see if geography makes a difference to performance.

Or you might experiment with using behavioural data, like your user’s route through your site, to tailor your retargeting ads with imagery that suits their interests, or a product they’d considered.

When you find a data point that has a clear and provable impact on your figures, build it into your strategy and creative from then on. Then look for another one.

As well as being more manageable, testing with small incremental steps also allows you to build a list of solid use cases – with supporting outcome data. This makes it much easier to obtain corporate buy-in when you’re ready to take a larger step.

One data point – or one channel – at a time

At its simplest, most marketing uses one kind of data, and one channel. But finding additional data points that work for your customers, and combining them, lets you serve far more relevant and targeted messages to your audience. This can transform clickthrough and conversion rates.

Meanwhile, combining additional channels in a joined-up way allows you to keep in touch with your potential customer wherever they are in their purchasing journey.

Audience Driven Marketing is the process of moving from one data source to many, and from single channel to multichannel delivery. But the trick is to get there one data point – and one channel – at a time.



To find out more about how you can optimise your online strategy, read our latest blog post on the 3 pillars of digital marketing.

Moving to an audience driven marketing approach – integrating multiple channels and data points to reach customers individually – can seem daunting and complex. But it needn’t be.

Getting Started with Audience Driven Marketing: a Framework for Success