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AnteriadMarch 29, 20235 min read

How to change target audiences and refine B2B audiences 

Sometimes you’ll run a great campaign—but the results don’t reach your expectations. It can be a challenge to find the root of the issue. The answer could be you need to change target audiences. Rethinking your target audience, whether changing completely or expanding to reach a wider range, could be the answer to your targeting woes. The payoff could be big—ServiceNow got 180x ROI by addressing audience challenges and reaching new buying group members. In this blog, we’ll walk through how to build and change target audiences. 

Start with what you know about your B2B audiences 

When building an audience, it’s best practice to start with what has already proven successful. Start by looking at your current and past customers. Make sure your data is up to date and deduped. Look for common threads throughout their demographics such as job titles. Even better, examine any psychographic data you have too. Look at the information you have on their goals and challenges to get a deeper understanding of these customers—and by extension the individuals you may want to build into your target audiences. Other than those who are already your customers you can also look at data from: 

  • Event attendees 
  • People who engaged with your campaigns 
  • Pipeline leads 

Once you pull all this data you can look for trends within these lists and use that as a starting point to build or expand on your audience. 

What if you need to change target audiences? 

Whatever your reason for wanting to change your target audiences, it’s important to plan and think strategically before making a shift. Are you changing your audience because you aren’t getting results from your current target persona, because the market has changed, or because you want to expand to new segments? All are valid reasons for a change but should be approached differently.  

With your motivation in mind, begin market research. If you’re looking to expand to a new segment, your current customer data will be valuable, but if you need a new audience altogether, you’ll likely have to look outward for guidance first. Conduct competitive research on how your competitors are positioning their solutions to get insights into who their target customers are. Then determine if approaching the same audience makes sense or if you can uniquely position your organization to capitalize on gaps in the market. Work with a trusted data provider to get accurate information to build and target your new audience. 

Intent data is a superpower here. By using intent marketing, you can look for individuals who are actively searching for solutions like yours or looking up relevant information related to your organization. Then take a step back and use the information you’ve found to evaluate their needs, preferences, and potential pain points to see if they’re a good match for your new target audiences. Combined with demographic data, you can hone in on target audience members and expand to other individuals who fit the same criteria—like people in the same roles at similar organizations. With this information, you can build complete audiences and be confident that they’re interested in what you offer. 

Testing out audiences is the best way to know you’re reaching the right customers. Before diving headfirst into a new audience try testing different audiences to see how they respond. One way you can do this is through content syndication. With a content syndication program, you can target different segments and automatically optimize to allocate your efforts to the audience that is engaging with your content the most. This gives you the opportunity to test the same content, with different positioning tailored to each audience segment, to see how it is received. Then you can use this insight to choose the right audience for other campaigns. 

Reevaluate positioning and channels

To effectively target a new audience, it's essential to reevaluate your messaging and positioning. The language you use and the value you deliver should resonate with the new audience. This probably won’t (and shouldn’t) align with your original audience because you want to make sure you’re customizing for the new personas you’re trying to reach. Whether different job levels or industries, the messaging that mattered to the old audience likely won’t have as much impact on the new audience. Use their needs and preferences to influence your positioning. 

Additionally, they may or may not be effectively reached on the same channels as your previous audience. Conduct research to find where they spend their time and engage. For example, if the new audience prefers social media, then it's essential to target them through these platforms. You can also run a multichannel campaign and pivot your spending to focus on the channels getting the most engagement. 

Monitor and evaluate results:

After deciding on your new audience, monitor and evaluate how it is performing regularly. Remember to be patient. Changing target audiences is a process, and it may take time to see the results. As results start to roll in, you can focus on what’s working and shift your strategy to center on the messaging and channels that are resonating with your audience.  

If you start to notice certain segments of your new audience aren’t as engaged as others—this might signal that your solution may not be received as the right fit for these individuals. There is nothing wrong with this. Not everyone will be the right buyer for your organization. The insights that you get from who is and who isn’t engaged can help inform your next campaign. 

Get started with the right B2B data

Building or changing target audiences for B2B marketing requires in-depth research, planning, and strategic implementation all centered around data. The decisions you make are only as good as the data they’re built on.  

Consider working with a Neutronian certified data provider to make sure you’re building an audience based on trustworthy data. Learn more about building your optimal audience in our eBook