Lead generation is the bread and butter for marketers. Early on, the struggle to find new leads was difficult—how do you conjure new business when you aren’t sure where to find it or how to engage? In order
to discover and engage new customers, it’s important to understand who they are. That’s where data comes in handy. Technology has empowered marketers with the tools and the insights to rethink traditional strategies and engage with clients and prospects on a completely new level. Digital media and social networking have changed the way we think of customer acquisition and, provided the right insights and strategy, nullified
the possibility of ever approaching a lead cold again. It all starts with knowing your audience. Modern data science like People Pattern has drastically changed what is possible and made customer acquisition a matter of methodology rather than magic. The trick is knowing the right tools to help you achieve your customer acquisition goals. The ability to quickly analyze vast amounts of data has changed the way that marketers are able to explore and expand their networks. By understanding existing and lookalike audiences, marketers are empowered to take the “what if” out of customer acquisition.
After getting an idea of what the audience looks like on the whole, modern data science enables you to segment the aggregate your audience into groups of like-minded individuals, known as personas.
Based on the interests that you discover in the early stages of analysis, you can group your audience into personas based on what they like, and find distinctions between your audience and competitive sets. Persona development should be a key element of your customer acquisition strategy. Interest-based personas enable you to hone in on the high value segments, crafting content that is interesting, valuable and relevant, and then expand upon those efforts. Interest-based persona development can be broken down into three categories: defined personas by vertical, discovered personas based on correlated interest and bespoke, brand-based personas. • Defined personas by vertical take what people say and bucket them into pre-existing categories that can be applied across projects and industries. • Discovered personas let the data speak and take into account the unique characteristics of an audience. • Bespoke personas are pre-existing classification systems by which brands have traditionally classify and understand their audiences. Data can be appended to this type of segmentation, taking audiences and based on an understanding of bespoke segments, bucket larger audiences into traditional personas. In this example, we’re examining data discovered when looking for personas to target for an imaginary vitamin company looking to expand its customer acquisition. We knew the Wellness Professional persona would definitely be in our audience, and the data exposed three other personas: Grab and Go, Overscheduled Parent and Aspirational Healthy. Information about these four personas is shown in the image below. Knowing the distinctions between segments within your audience will help you to create content that is interesting, engaging and provides value to your targets. As you learn more about your audience, you will develop a more holistic understanding of their needs, and how your product or service is relevant to their lives.
With so many different ways to connect, consumers expect that brands are always listening and are keeping their fingers on the pulse of customer problems. In the Wild West of big data, the brand with the best intelligence wins; a good idea of your audience landscape will help you reach a wider audience, in less time, with a more effective use of resources. Once you have developed a basic understanding of who is in your existing audience, it’s time to start thinking beyond your immediate customer network, and identifying like-minded prospects. Expanding your network is where true customer acquisition comes into play. With the right big data tools, brands can take what they know about their audience and find people with similar interests by using audience insights more granular than basic segmentation. You can find lookalike audiences by understanding your audience’s basic attributes and then expanding on that knowledge to generate lists of people who may not already be on your radar. With the help of modern data science, you can discover different ways to connect with them, like their social handles and email addresses, in order to optimize your campaigns and position yourself for success. Sophisticated tools like People Pattern help take the guesswork out of customer acquisition and enable marketers to engage high quality customers, at scale, in a few quick steps. Lookalike audiences are like-minded prospects that can be identified based on a number of different characteristics. In the example below, we’ll find lookalike audience members by examining an interest all four personas we identified earlier share: health care. We started out with a total of 1,578 portraits across all four personas, 309 of whom comprise the Wellness Professional persona. When we look at portraits across all four personas with expressed interest in health care, we end up with 662 portraits, as shown in the image below. So we have now identified 353 additional portraits that can be targeted by our vitamin company as leads, complete with their location and an indication of where and how they engage. This, of course, is only one example: there are many, many other ways to identify lookalike audiences based on demographics, interests, mentions, personas, brand analysis and more.
A portrait is defined as an aggregate of profiles for a given individual and their most recent public social activity; can include Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Google+, Foursquare, Instagram and/or Tumblr
With a little help and the right tools, marketers are empowered to understand the nuances of their existing audiences in order to expand and grow them from their core. Using new technologies in digital marketing and updated avenues to spread information through word of mouth marketing, brands can connect with customers outside of their existing networks, with unprecedented context and relevancy. Social networks and online resources, stitched together with your CRM database, provide a hefty amount of text that, using linguistics-based tools and techniques in unsupervised learning and Natural Language Processing, can expose nuances in your audience and uncover valuable untapped segments. Old school market research methods are based on subjective experiences rather than the aggregation of the unique interests of a large group of people. In order to kick start your customer acquisition programs, it’s important to look beyond your existing database and engage with net new leads by uncovering discovered personas.
People Pattern is a Software as a Service platform that supplies meaningful Audience Insights to the world’s biggest brands. Via semi-supervised machine-learned algorithms and natural language processing, People Pattern turns vast, messy public expression into actionable persona sets, helping brands gain an edge in the race to win, retain and serve customers.
“We were able to use People Pattern’s audience intelligence platform to quickly build the foundation of a social prospect database that has enabled us to target key customers and prospects in our local market in a smarter way through digital channels. For example, within six strategic accounts we were able to identify 74 net new contact opportunities that were not in our traditional list purchase database. These prospects also had new information about them such as what they were interested in, where they were active on social and what content they liked to share and consume. We used this information to engage these prospects in new ways that took the experience beyond just sending emails and offers for whitepapers. We see the potential for People Pattern’s platform to be used across our organization, from sales to marketing, to inform smarter customer acquisition and have a positive impact on our overall campaign performance and lead acquisition efforts.”
Steve Lim, VP Marketing at Vantage Data Centers