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Audiences – How to Layer Your Data4 min read

4 min read

There is an increasing focus on audience led strategy in PPC, and rightly so. Improved tools and functionality from platforms such as Google, Google Analytics, and Bing are giving us much more information about our audiences behaviours than we have ever had access to before. But before we look at leveraging that, let’s take a deeper look at what we mean by the term audience.

What is a Target audience?

“This is the intended audience or readership of a publication, advertisement, or other message. In marketing and advertising, it is a specific group of people within the target market at which a product or the marketing message of a product is aimed.” Kotler, 2000

There are two important elements to take from that statement.

    • An audience isn’t just your remarketing list or the demographic. It’s a combination of things.
    • More traditional marketing theory is becoming increasingly relevant in the digital sphere which is helping to translate what we do online to chief marketing officers in a much smoother fashion. Don’t forget your 4Ps!


Although Google Analytics calls it’s remarketing lists Audiences, it’s a limiting terminology. We can understand our audience in a plethora of ways. Where this gets really powerful is when you can start to create meaningful targeting segments by combining elements of this together. Let’s look at an example.


During Valentine’s Day, performance changes rapidly the closer you get to the big day, including – conversion rates, traffic, cost per click etc. Throw your rule book out of the window and push what works.

We have a retailer we’ve been working with for some time and every year we analyse the performance of peaks through many different lenses so that we create a better strategy next year. What we found in 2015 that men on mobile devices in the final few days perform exceptionally well. So this year we made a point of pushing mobile and male modifiers instead of just the core max cost per click, to make sure we were exhausting as much of the opportunity as we could before we moved on to other segments.

During Valentine’s Day peak men delivered 32.6 per cent of all non-brand orders. The impressive thing is that they came in cheaper than desktop by 4 per cent and cheaper than tablet by 38 per cent!

We also found that men on mobile devices were the most effective audience on seasonal terms. We’ve made a note to make sure that we look at hitting only that audience next year by pushing mobile bids and down-weighting non-male demographics.


So, the strategy worked and the client is happy. But let’s break it down and try to understand why we created a meaningful target segment by understanding our audience needs, and why we targeted men who desperately needed to buy a Valentine’s Day gift because they had completely forgotten about and turned to their mobile for help.

We understand from prior data how the male demographic performed. We also knew that mobile was playing an increasingly important role in terms of the volume of conversions. Tie that together with the fact we knew men were last-minute shoppers and it’s Valentine’s Day we created a meaningful target segment that delivered.


As a PPC marketer, we are now in possession of the most powerful targeting armoury that has ever been put together so don’t think in silos or in isolation. Also, iterate and improve. What we can look to do next year is target this segment aggressively again, but perhaps creating a campaign that targets females and sits on top of a customer match list of users who have bought from the retailer in the past three months and are searching for “valentine’s gift ideas” in order to capture people earlier in their research funnel.

Don’t think about just that remarketing list or the fact that your audience is a 50+ female market. Start tying those elements together in a meaningful way and you’ll start having a meaningful impact on your bottom line!

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