Go Beyond Demographics: Get to Know Your Audience’s Behavior and Improve Your Marketing

October 22, 2020
2 min

So, you know who your audience is, but do you know what they’re doing? Having a clear picture of your audience’s behavior (in addition to their demographics) can help you direct your message more accurately and effectively. Let’s look at a few examples within a veterinary audience to highlight the key differences between behavioral and demographic targeting.

Demographic Targeting

When running a campaign, you may want to reach a broad group of veterinary technicians. That’s an example of demographic targeting.

When you want to reach veterinary technicians in California,that’s still demographic targeting, because their location is part of their demographic information.

Essentially, demographic targeting covers the basic information you would collect on a standard prospect profile.

In the veterinary marketing sphere, this commonly includes the following:

  • Job Title
  • Years in Practice
  • Number of Veterinarians in Practice
  • Location
  • Academic Certifications

Behavioral Targeting

Now, when you decide to target your message to veterinary technicians in California who have engaged in online continuing education (CE) in the last 6 months, you’ve moved into the realm of behavioral targeting.

Because you believe those who have engaged with online CE in the past are more likely to do so again in the future, the new behavioral criteria (ie, those who have engaged in online CE in the last 6 months) can really add fuel to your marketing of online CE.

But connecting a behavior to a prospect is much harder than just targeting based on their acquired demographic data. It requires you to know who is visiting your website and taking action or engaging with content.

There are two primary ways this information can be collected.

1. Form Submissions or Opt-Ins

This method allow the website to cookie the visitor and follow their behavior.

This works, but it has 2 key flaws. First, it’s a “one-time” data collection, so the data quickly become out of date. Second, if the visitor clears their cookies… well, they become invisible again.

2. Through Website Membership

This is the gold standard method because it requires a visitor to sign in before each browsing session. Thus, data stays fresh and allows for the constant update of both behavioral and demographic data.

Related Article: How to Use Gated Content to Collect First-Party Data

Common types of behavioral data used for audience segmentation:

  • Engagement behavior (ie, how they like to engage with website content, such as CE, videos, articles)
  • Content consumption (ie, what topics they’re interested in such as pain management, flea and tick prevention)
  • Activity volume and recency (ie, how often and for how long they’re engaging with the website and content)

Ideally, audience targeting should contain both demographic and behavioral criteria to ensure you’re getting your message in front of the most relevant audience and making every impression count!

Click here for more information about the danger of wasted impressions. (Spoiler alert: They cost you a lot of money.)