Should You Serve a Broad Audience or a Hyper-Targeted Persona?

It’s the age-old digital question. When audiences can be segmented, filtered and sorted, is it worth trying to appeal to everyone? The truth is, there are benefits and drawbacks to both. Let’s take a closer work at each in order to determine which approach may best suit your needs:

Broad Audience: Benefits

Targeting a broad audience ensures that someone (and likely many people) will be interested in what you have to offer. Broad audiences are large segments of the populations that have a single demographic or status that unites them:  moms, dentists, university students. In some cases, targeting these large groups can be great for helping to generate interest in your product or service and helping to spread the word.

Broad Audience: Drawbacks

However, when targeting a large group of people, you’re not getting a lot of data about who, specifically is interested in your offer, and more importantly — why. It could be that moms over 40 are interested because they’ve got kids in school and want to save money. Dentists in the San Francisco area could be looking for new marketing ideas to bring more people in for appointments.

When you’re targeting large swaths of the population, you can’t really drill down deep and get this kind of data or information. It just goes into a proverbial pile that you then have to sift through.

Hyper-Targeted: Benefits

Targeting your approach to a really specific group, say moms over 40 who live in Austin and make $250,000 per year also has its benefits. For one, you know precisely who you offer is going to, and you have a solid idea of how they’ll react to it. You’ve carefully tailored it to speak to them, using their language and positioning it to attract them.

In addition, you can use this hyper-targeted data to branch out into other hyper-targeted areas of concentration too. If moms in Austin are receptive to your offer, what about moms in Dallas, and so on? In short, you’re getting core information on who your “perfect customer” really is.

Hyper-Targeted: Drawbacks

The downside of this approach is that data takes time to collect and understand. And in targeting your ads to this very precise segment, you may also find that you’re neglecting other  groups who might likewise be interested. What about single dads in Austin, or grandparents who are caregivers? Hyper-targeting ads to certain small segments cuts them out even though they could match the criteria.

Which is Right for You?

The fact is that one method against the other really isn’t a fair comparison. There are some cases where broad targeting is better — like building up exposure and brand recognition and getting a feel for how your audience is going to respond. There are other instances where hyper-targeting (and then expanding into other segments) is a better process – such as with specific offers and split testing.

It’s not a question that can be resolved easily, which is why it’s so important to have a reliable, knowledgeable marketing team on your side to help you plan and execute your strategy accordingly.  If you’re not sure where to begin, or you’ve tried to segment your audience without much luck, reach out to us at Workdom. Our on-demand marketing can help you hone in on the right audience at the right time, with the right message.


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