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A guide to targeting with data

As the marketing world becomes increasingly data-driven, it's more important than ever for businesses to learn how to use data effectively in their targeting efforts. The correct data can help you zero in on your target audience, craft more effective messaging, and measure the results of your campaigns. 

This guide will teach you everything you need to know about using data in your targeting efforts, from finding suitable data sources to using data to create targeted content that resonates with your audience. By the end, you'll be equipped with the knowledge to make data-driven targeting an integral part of your marketing strategy. 


What is targeting? 

Targeting is the process of identifying a group of individuals that share specific characteristics and are more likely to respond positively to a marketing message or offer than the general population. Targeting aims to improve marketing effectiveness by ensuring that sales and marketing messages are seen by those most likely to be interested in them. 

Many different types of data can support targeting, including demographic data (such as age, gender, location, etc.), behavioral data (such as past purchase history, web browsing behavior, etc.), and psychographic data (such as interests, values, attitudes, etc.). This data can segment the population into different groups for direct marketing communication.  


How intent and first-party data improve targeting effectiveness 

Intent data provides insight into buying signals, clear or subtle, enabling you to position your product as the best option for interested parties. Buyer intent can include: 

  • Researching your industry's keywords. 
  • Visiting your product or service page several times. 
  • Downloading an e-book or report. 

First-party data is information a company collects about its customers, users, and audience. If you know someone who has purchased a product from your company in the past, you can target them with offers for similar products or services in the future. 

Using these data types allows you to target people interested, or more likely to be interested, in your product or service, offering a huge potential upside for your marketing optimization.  

Creating customer connection through first-party data

Download your free whitepaper to dive deeper into the value of first-party data.

5 steps to effective targeting using data 

1. Identify your ideal customers 

Start by looking at metrics like customer lifetime value (CLV), customer satisfaction score (CSAT), and net promoter score (NPS), as they will help you identify which customers spend the most and which are most satisfied. Your ideal customer should: 

  • Have a clear requirement for your product and service 
  • Be happy to pay your set price 
  • Be easy to communicate with 
  • Keep coming back for more 


2. Use data to profile and segment your audience 

Once you have identified your ideal customers, it is time to profile and segment them by their characteristics. One of the most critical aspects of targeted marketing is segmentation, as it enables highly tailored marketing communication.  

There are several different ways that you can segment your audience. Some common ways to segment an audience include: 

  • Geographic location 
  • Demographic information 
  • Psychographic information 
  • Purchase history 
  • Behavioral data 


3. Augment your audience 

Audience augmentation involves using your existing data to find more companies that match the characteristics of your ideal customers and target audience. It allows you to expand your reach by identifying and targeting organizations yet to identify with your business.  

If you are unsure where to start audience augmentation, a trusted data provider can help. Look for a provider with a high volume of quality data, robust data collection processes, and the capability to keep their data up to date. 


4. Personalize your messaging and offers 

Once you have your audience, it's time to create personalized content to help them achieve their goals. Content can include blog posts, e-books, infographics, guides, templates, etc. 

The personalization process can be one-to-one or one-to-few, but the more specific and valuable the content created is, the more likely it will open doors and conversations with the target audience. The process may involve starting with one segment and seeing what works before an expensive rollout to every business niche and opportunity. 


5. Optimize targeting effectiveness 

Finally, monitoring and adjusting your plan as needed is essential once you've implemented your targeting optimization strategy. Optimization could involve A/B testing different messages and offers or tracking engagement metrics to see how your targeting performs. 

By continuously testing and optimizing your targeting, you can ensure that you're always reaching the right people with the right messages and getting the best return on your investment.  


Targeting by tactic 

Data should help marketers understand their target audience, their interests, engagement and conversion behavior. It should form an integral part of optimization right across the marketing mix, and can positively impact the performance of some of the most popular digital marketing tactics, including: 


Display Advertising & Remarketing 

Advertising is often targeted using demographic data, such as age, gender, location, etc. However, behavioral data and psychographic data can also be used to target ads. For example, if you know someone is searching for information about a new product, you can target them with ads for that product. This is contextual advertising.

Remarketing is targeted advertising to reach people who have already shown an interest in your product or service. When someone visits your website but does not purchase anything, you can remarket to them with ads for your product or service. Using a remarketing provider, you can set up your website to place a cookie on their computer, allowing you to track their web browsing behavior and show them relevant ads when they visit other websites with display advertising. This can effectively target people who have already shown some interest in your product or service. 



Email marketing can be very effective when it is targeted to the right audience. Try segmenting your email list by demographic, behavioral, or psychographic data. Once you have segmented your audience, you can create targeted campaigns more likely to convert. 

For example, you can segment your list by purchase history, location, or interests if you have a customer database. This allows you to send highly personalized emails relevant to each subscriber. 

You can significantly improve your results by using data to segment your audience and personalize your email marketing. Not only will you see higher conversion rates, but you'll also build better relationships with your subscribers. 



When people search for something on a search engine, they indicate their intent, which can be used for targeting purposes. PPC advertising on search engines involves driving targeted traffic to your website. And one of the best ways to do this is by using search data to personalize your landing pages for each visitor. 

Personalizing your landing pages based on keyword searches can provide context and relevance for your specific target segments. This will increase the chances they'll stay on your page and convert into a customer or lead. 

There are a few different ways you can personalize your landing pages. One way is to use dynamic content that changes based on who views the page. This could be as simple as showing different images or videos based on the visitor's location or device type. 

Another way to personalize your landing pages is to use specific keywords that the visitor used in their search. This helps you to match the content on your page to what they are looking for, making it more relevant and likely to convert. 

You can also use data from past searches to show different landing pages to visitors. For example, if someone has searched for your product before, you could show them a landing page with product information and pricing. Personalizing your landing pages can significantly improve your PPC advertising campaigns and drive better results. 


Organic search 

Data can help you better understand what potential customers are searching for online and how those searches change over time. This can inform and improve targeting strategies on organic search results pages.

You can use data to target on organic search in a few different ways:

  • Use keyword research tools like Google AdWords Keyword Planner or Moz Keyword Explorer to identify relevant keywords to target with content. 
  • Use web analytics tools to track the organic search traffic coming to your site and identify which keywords are driving the most valuable traffic. 
  • Perform A/B testing to experiment with different targeting strategies on your website and see which one performs the best.

There are a few key benefits of using data to target on organic search. First, it can help you better understand your potential customers and what they are looking for online. Second, it can help you improve your targeting strategies and get more targeted traffic to your website. And third, it can help you optimize your website for better organic search results. 


Social media 

To truly personalize social media communication, we must go beyond knowing who our audience is and their interests to understand their individual needs, wants, and pain points.  

One way to gather this data is through social listening, monitoring social media platforms for mentions of your brand and relevant keywords and phrases. This will show who is talking about you, what they are saying, and their sentiments. 

Another way to gather data on your audience is through surveys and polls. Surveys allow you to collect direct feedback on important subjects to improve your understanding of their needs, wants, and pain points. 


How we can help

If you are looking to improve your targeted marketing, get in touch. We provide access to highly-targeted, granular first-party audiences and partner with clients to execute hyper-targeted multichannel campaigns that unlock their value.