How to Get Better at Targeting Your Audience Online

We can't get together in all our usual places during COVID-19, so Australians are getting their social fix online. Being home-bound has strengthened our engagement with all things digital, which was already on the up-and-up before this pandemic.

When the COVID-19 lockdown brought an end to live sporting matches, Aussie sports fans turned to social media in droves. According to Nielsen's Social Content Ratings, engagement of sports-related videos across social media exceeded 12 million views in the first week without live sporting content (March 26-April 1), which is over 1.2 million more than the prior week (March 19-March 25). 

In coronavirus epicentre, New York, a similar social media trend emerged. A New York Times analysis of internet usage between January and March 2020 found a 27% increase in Facebook and a 15.3% increase in daily YouTube traffic.

It's hardly surprising with social distancing that people are increasingly turning to their devices. After all, Australians are no strangers to the digital life. Every day we're online across multiple screens: 16.6 million people on mobile, 10 million on desktop, 6.1 million on connected TV and 5.1 million on tablet, according to IAB's Digital Device and Usage Report, January 2020. In the twelve months from Jan 2019 to Jan 2020, we each spent an average of 108 hours online per month, which is up 40% compared to the previous year.

The total time spent online on our smartphones is also up – by 60% on the previous year. If you're in the 45 to 54 age bracket, you're likely to spend the highest number of hours of any age group on your smartphone – 101 hours and 44 minutes on average per month according to the IAB report.

In these difficult times, the digital world and social media, in particular, has played a crucial role in helping friends and family stay connected, entertained and informed. While stuck at home in March 2020, 50% of the Australian population logged into Facebook every day, 15 million visited YouTube, and 9 million visited Instagram over the month. Snapchat grew significantly, with 6.3 million monthly active users and 4.5 million daily active users, according to socialmedianews.com.au.

Your ideal audience is probably online right now

As a marketer, you realise your customers are spending their time across a multitude of digital channels more so than ever. But you also realise that effectively reaching out to them is easier said than done. First, you have to understand who your customer is. Second, be able to work out the specific group of people you want to reach. These steps require marketers to know their audience well enough to be able to target only the customers they need.

Defining this target audience requires the help of third-party data that can fill in the missing gaps of what you don't already know about your customers. Also needed is an ability to integrate and analyse data in a way that provides insights about your customer's interests, buying preferences and creditworthiness. The more clearly you define who you are selling to, the better you can understand how to reach out to them – at the right time and with the right message – on any connected device.

How to target your best customers

Armed with Equifax’s unique, diverse third-party data resources – including financial and geospatial insights – marketers can swiftly get a handle on their target audience. Equifax's depth and breadth of high quality anonymous, aggregated data can deepen your understanding of customers, taking your marketing campaigns to the next level.

Using our best-in-class marketing attributes and segments, we can find the audiences who are in market for your product or service. For an even more focused profile, we have the unique capability to also remove any high-risk customers from the profile, thus excluding unnecessary and irrelevant audiences. The outcome for marketers is an ideal, neatly packaged audience, ready to be connected to the digital marketing channels of your choice for campaign execution.

Happy campaigning

Check out these before and after scenarios to see how our data and analytics expertise can help you connect with your online audiences and optimise customer value during this time of considerable uncertainty. Expect benefits for your business such as increased customer engagement and conversions, reduced media wastage and improved return on marketing investment.

Scenario 1

Before: An energy company markets to a vast number of prospects, ending up with many customers who don't pay their bills on time.

After: Since COVID-19, the energy company is worried about taking on more of the same type of customers, particularly considering the expense of chasing late payers and the costs of advertising to such a broad audience. Equifax solves this problem by removing risky prospects and reducing their audience size down to only a number of relevant and targeted audience segments. The marketing campaign can then target consumers that look like their current customer base, are low risk and have a higher propensity to convert.

Scenario 2

Before: A credit provider has a premium credit card offer for new customers. They segment their customer database and remove existing customers before targeting their leads.

After: With the financial distress caused by COVID-19, the credit provider is concerned about inadvertently marketing their premium credit card to leads who are struggling financially. They decide they need to find more of the kind of customers who have the highest capacity to pay. To overcome this challenge, Equifax onboards the credit provider's customer data, matching it to our consumer universe of financial and geospatial insights. Existing customers are eliminated from the audience group and credit risk information overlayed, allowing for the removal of high credit risk consumers and enabling more of the right audience to be reached.

Scenario 3

Before: A retailer has limited information on their customers – their database only contains emails and records of previously purchased products. They take a blanket approach to marketing their new product line.

After: The retailer suspects it has lost a significant portion of customers to online retailers since the COVID-19 lockdown, so there is an urgent need to target their audience better online. Equifax makes use of its rich library of attributes to augment and segment their existing data, quickly finding prospects with purchase intent that look like their customers. Targeting these segments helps the retailer ensure their campaigns reach the correct people who relate the most to their products.

 

Connect with Equifax Marketing Services to find out how we can help you engage with your best customers in the digital platforms they’re spending most time on.

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