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3 Tech Trends For Smarter Audience Targeting

William Andy Bear - QGBy Andy Bear, Quad/Graphics


“Consumers' time and attention around media is in flux…while the risks and rewards are potentially high in this environment, the ability to stake a claim in the expanding industry pie is central to companies’ growth,” according to a Nielson report released in the fourth quarter of 2014 about media and technology user trends.

As technology becomes an increasingly larger part of consumers’ lives, it should be no surprise that it is also becoming more and more critical to marketing strategy. Marketers must think smarter and leverage technology tools to create strategic, targeted messaging in order to reap the benefits.

These emerging tech trends are helping marketing teams get the most from ever-changing consumer tendencies to ultimately improve campaign results:

1) Data Is Driving Sophisticated Campaign Planning

Companies have been collecting and using buyer data for decades. These early adopters of “big data” once had a hand up on the businesses that did not have the resources, ability or expertise to effectively splice, cut and cross-section critical information about their target audience. Today, businesses of all sizes can have a deep reservoir of knowledge available to them. But it’s not enough to simply own the data and use it in a tried and true way. Savvy, forward-thinking companies are putting it to work in more new, sophisticated ways than ever by using their data to power targeted and hyper-personalized campaigns.

Marketers must identify specific audience segments and be as detailed about those groupings as possible. Who is expecting a new baby, or planning a move, or preparing for retirement? Data possesses the answers to drive targeted messaging to each.

Extensive experimentation is the best way to get to know a specific customer target group. Once a strong database of metrics is established that can be drawn from to identify audience segment trends, it’s time to let the data drive campaign strategy.

2) Companies Are Putting A Greater Emphasis On Mobile

Like data analysis and application, the proliferation of mobile has been a driving force behind the most successful multi- and omnichannel campaigns for years now. But marketers are getting much more sophisticated in how they use it. Including advanced mobile tactics in marketing campaigns is a smart move that’s already paying off for early adopters.

Studies have proven what most people already know — that more and more elements of consumers’ lives are played out on mobile devices. In fact, the United States passed the “mobile tipping point” in the summer of 2014 — meaning that a majority of digital media is now consumed on mobile devices, rather than computers, according to research released by ComScore. This means overlooking mobile in campaign planning and execution can mean a big loss for business.

To take full advantage of this booming mobile trend, marketing teams must do more than make emails responsive. Mobile marketing is a millisecond process. Marketers can touch a mobile customer in real-time and drive the messaging by location, time of day and customer preferences. Expand the role of mobile in current and future campaigns with personalized mobile splash pages, location-based trigger messaging and other creative strategies.

3) Sales Success Is Altering Social Media Messaging

Any marketer will declare that a strong social media presence can do wonders to a build loyal fan base and bolster long-term relationships with customers. Just about every business incorporates some degree of social media into their marketing plans.

However, this third trend can help companies get even more from their efforts and take their results to the next level. The key is to track sales data as promotions unfold, and then let the results inform campaign messaging in real time — identifying the key phrases, timing and other elements that are triggering the promotion’s success. All of these components should then be applied to their social media channels.

In order to do this effectively, companies need to tear down silos between the sales and marketing teams so they can work together to be agile and responsive.

These three on-trend tech tactics will help organizations keep pace with even the most forward-thinking companies out there — but trend or not, they’re simply smart marketing moves that are sure to give marketing teams’ efforts an extra boost.


Andy Bear is the Director of Multichannel Marketing and Deployment for Quad/Graphics, leveraging more than 30 years of experience in marketing communications technology that includes software development, multichannel integration and strategic multichannel marketing solutions deployment. He can be contacted at