Big marketing trends in 2023 Dive in

Trying to reach your consumers without a solid plan is like making a TikTok on Twitter. While we applaud your experimental spirit, it simply won’t work. 

Now isn’t really a good time to take a trial-and-error approach with your ad campaigns. With quick turnarounds, tight business budgets, and consumers facing economic uncertainty, you need to know exactly what you’re doing if you want to reach the right audience

All it takes is the right formula to improve your ad performance and catapult your brand straight to the top of your audience’s must-have list. 

If your tried-and-true way of connecting with consumers leaves you feeling as if you’re fishing in an empty pond, we have a new way for you to hook your audience. 

Ready to catch your next customer? Let’s get to work. 

11 superfast ways to improve your ad targeting (without upping your spend)

  1. Live and breathe data 
  2. Pick the perfect platform
  3. Become a KPI pro
  4. Get granular
  5. Go viral
  6. Inspire an “OMG me! moment
  7. Ignore vanity metrics
  8. Become the main character
  9. Be choosy
  10. Follow that funnel
  11. Put a cherry on top with consumer insights

1. Live and breathe first-party data

From now on, consider yourself a data zen master. You must become one with first-party data. Why? Because your website’s data is the crystal ball that will show you much of what you need to know.

Data is your key to mapping out the ideal customer and building your target audience. 

You’ll get essential intel about who has been visiting your page, what pages they’re viewing, and what their process is before they convert from browser to buyer. 

So, where should you start? If you want clear, reliable data on user journeys, country visits, and audience demographics your first port of call is Google Analytics. For those of you already on GA4 – we salute you. 

2. Pick the perfect platform

When you’re not on the right platform for your audience, it can feel like you’re searching for something in the dark. Whatever it is, you won’t find it. 

To find out which social media platform is best for your brand, you’ll need to understand who your audience is and what content works best where.

LinkedIn (and Xing in Germany) are not just places to look for jobs – they’re where you can connect with business professionals. With 875 million monthly active users, LinkedIn has become the go-to for B2B marketing, career networking, and insider industry info. 

Our experience shows that Meta properties are key for reaching huge amounts of people in the most cost-efficient way. Looking to talk to Gen Z? Reach out to them on their favourite social media platform with an Instagram ad. Want to touch base with millennials? Try What’sApp or Facebook advertising.

To drive engagement and conversation, Twitter ads are the way to go. Just make sure you keep it simple and friendly. In 2022, Twitter users were 35% more likely to have unliked or unfollowed a brand in the last month. If you want to stay in their good graces go for content that works for that audience. They like tweets that are informational (55%), relevant (39%), and engaging (36%). 

In terms of researching products, social networks are Gen Z’s first choice (48% vs 44% for search engines), and could be millennials’ go-to soon (46% for social networks vs 47% for search engines).

3. Become a KPI pro 

There are no two ways about it – you need to know your KPIs like the back of your hand. 

Key performance indicators are a quantifiable way to keep track of what’s working and what’s not when it comes to business efforts. 

When you’re choosing an ad campaign objective, it’s important to pick one that falls right in line with your target. Depending on your goal, your KPIs should shift accordingly. After that, your job is to measure the metrics that matter. 

If you’re working on a brand awareness campaign, don’t freak out if you find that conversion rates are low. Remember, that wasn’t the objective. 

If your goal is to increase visitors’ time on your website, don’t stress if you notice that traffic hasn’t increased. It may sting a little, but that’s not what you were going for anyway, right?

It’s all about keeping your eyes on the prize and saving your concern for real issues – not when you miss a mark you weren’t really aiming for in the first place. 

4. Get granular

Friendly reminder: your ad campaign is not a rotisserie oven. You can’t just set it and forget it. 

For the best results, you should make it a point to check on activity daily and get used to exporting reports regularly so you can have an eagle eye on exactly what’s going on. This type of detailed targeting will help you make sure your ad performance is headed in the right direction.

Depending on the platform, you can split delivery by location, audience, persona, ad group or ad set, and keywords to apply manual optimization.

Don’t be intimidated by all of the information. Precision is your pal. Look at this kind of in-depth data like a companion and confidante that you can turn to when you want the real story. 

5. Go viral

Maybe (just maybe) there’s a little room for riskier content – as long as your goal is to drive engagement, not enragement. Remember these are tools, not rules.

Since your audience won’t come looking for you, you’ll need to go where they are. Social media and broadcast TV take up most of people’s time. On average, consumers spend 2 hours 28 minutes scrolling on their phones and 1 hour 52 minutes in front of the small screen.

If you want to connect with your core audience and discover new ones, consider creating a targeted ad that invites debate, dialogue, or friendly discussion. Turn to your target audience’s networks or favorite platforms, and put out relevant ads that will get their fingers flying to the share button. 

You don’t have to break the internet, but it never hurts to shake things up a little bit.

6. Inspire an “OMG me!” moment

Raise your hand if you’ve ever sent a friend a meme or TikTok video with no other explanation than a simple follow-up text that succinctly explains everything – “me.”

Consumers are drawn to personalized ads that make them feel seen, heard, and understood. 

39% of Gen X and millennials say that ads that change content or promotions based on specific consumer behavior are the most effective.

Consumers are starving for that personal touch that not only shows that you’re paying attention, but that you actually get them. Use audience insights to get familiar with their pain points, dig for data that uncovers what they care about, and make sure your brand delivers with authenticity.

7. Ignore vanity metrics

The first rule of vanity metrics is we don’t talk about vanity metrics. Yes, ad viewability is nice but if it’s not driving sales, you’re fighting with the wind.  

What matters are metrics that reflect your marketing and business objectives as closely as possible. Ask yourself what’s most crucial to your goal. Are frequency and reach most important? Are you trying to improve engagement or are you focused on conversion? Is retention what you’re putting your energy into?  

Once you identify what’s most valuable to you, start tracking and use that as a point of success to prove your tactics are working – or, if you need to, reevaluate and take another route.

When you’re behind the wheel, you should give your attention to metrics that drive impact. 

8. Become the main character

Your mission (if you choose to accept it) is to create targeted ads that stop consumers mid-scroll. 

The average person spent 6 hours and 39 minutes online on their PC, laptop, tablet, or mobile in 2022 – imagine how many brands, products, and accounts they are exposed to every single day? 

The attention economy is a hard battle to fight. You have to stand out from the crowd every time you put your brand out there. How? You’ll need to make sure you can prove you understand your audience, add value beyond just capturing their attention, and create insight-led campaigns that resonate on a deeper level. 

In a highly-saturated digital universe, time is money. The only way to make your dollars make sense is to get all eyes on you. 

9. Be choosy

When it comes to booking with a vendor, don’t hop on the first thing smoking. Take your time and check out the scenery. And by scenery, we mean proposal options. 

Though it may be tempting to go with the first or flashiest choice, it might not be the most cost-efficient one. It’s important to consider other factors. Take content syndication for example. Ask yourself: is this a good audience fit? Will it offer you unique reach? What is the contextual relevance?

Compare and contrast every attribute to make sure you’re really making the right choice for your brand and its goals. If it’s not all green lights, then move on. 

This isn’t our way of saying play hard to get. We’re just saying if you have more than one option – choose wisely.

10. Follow that funnel

If ad targeting is a game, you’ll want to follow all the activity from the first quarter to the final bell – as in, every single step of the way. This will help you attract, engage, and convert consumers. But only if you can discern the winners from the losers. 

It’s pretty straightforward. The winning ads will be the ones that help leads stick throughout the entire funnel. The losing ads will be the ones that fizzle leads out before they make it to the end. But you’re not done once you figure out what’s landing and what’s crashing. 

Got a lot of form fills? Great! Now find out how many of those submissions go on to convert further down the funnel. Keeping track will give you the scoop on what kinds of ads sink or swim with your audience.

11. Put a cherry on top with consumer insights

Can we please speak to the person who insists you can’t have your cake and eat it, too? We have a platform that proves you can have it all. 

Data-driven decisions start with data you trust. That’s what makes consumer insights and market research such invaluable tools. Whether it’s figuring out how Gen Z feel about their finances, understanding how baby boomers find new products, or discovering more niche facts – like which country loves fake tan the most.

Our platform does the heavy lifting with on-demand insights so you can become an expert on your audience. 

Our platform is designed to elevate your first-party data, sort through the noise, and cut straight to the point with smart tools that keep you ahead of the curve. You can create and explore unique audiences from over 200K profiling points, run an analysis, and visualize your in-depth findings. Plus, don’t forget you can customize your view in a way that works for you. 

Our recipe for success is built into the platform. It’s our job to make connecting with consumers easy. That way you can focus on doing what you do best: discover the insights you need, spot trends from a mile away, create winning campaigns – repeat.

We’ll leave you with this 

Not to get poetic, but the words of Goethe definitely ring true: “What makes [people] great is their ability to decide what is important and then focus their attention on it.”

In this case, we’re talking about techniques you can use to improve ad campaigns. 

If you can zero in on what works, you’ll have a beeline straight into your consumers’ line of view. All without increasing your ad spend.

Report Discover the trends that'll dominate 2023 Get ahead

You’ve read our blog, now see our platform

Every business has questions about its audiences, GWI has answers. Powered by consistent, global research, our platform is an on-demand window into their world.