Every manufacturer knows their best customers – those companies with whom they’ve established a symbiotic, hassle-free relationship for ongoing sales at comfortable margins. All manufacturer sales reps know which customers fall into this category, and they all want more customers like them.
So how does an organization go about “cloning” their best customers? Welcome to the world of look-alike audience modeling and targeting.
Look-alike modeling and targeting is an outgrowth from Facebook who began the practice in 2013, which was quickly adapted by Google, LinkedIn and others. The goal of creating a look-alike audience is to reach potential customers likely to share key attributes with your best customers. Over the years, the tactic has migrated from just social media campaigns to traditional forms of marketing and sales outreach, including ABM efforts.
The first step to create a look-alike audience is to build profiles of your best customers, and the simplest method for this is to mine your customer’s key characteristics – annual revenue, size, job function, etc. from your CRM program. Or you could dive deeper into in-depth surveys that seek to define the characteristics that make them ideal. Regardless of the depth of your research, it should also include an internal discussion between your sales and marketing teams to ensure alignment regarding who makes a good prospect and why.
Once a profile is built of your best customer, the next step is to identify those same attributes in prospects. This is where things can become more complex depending on the type of customer profile you’ve built and the outreach campaign you’re planning to employ.
If you’ve built your profile primarily from data collected through your CRM program, then it’s easy to identify similar key attributes and purchase access to contacts that match your profile. You can then include those prospects in your marketing and sales outreach efforts, be it sending targeted emails or direct mail, cold calls, etc.
However, if you’ve been more robust with your research efforts, perhaps employing algorithms to search your audience for attributes at the granular level (such as engagement or conversion rates) then you may be better primed for a multi-channel digital marketing campaign using platforms that use similar targeting.
Whatever technique of look-like targeting is used, the strategy is a powerful way to increase revenue and make for happy sales teams because they don’t need to “reinvent the wheel” when it comes to their targeting approach.
Working with a consumer services company years ago, we pulled a list of their highest revenue customers and had it appended by a “big data” company to include several hundred attributes that helped identify specific characteristics exhibited by their best customers.
The appended data files returned to us indexed each of these attributes against the “average” consumer, so we could easily see high index characteristics. We then reviewed which of these key attributes had large enough audiences to target, and we would secure look-alike lists of similar people within their service area (note that a high attribute index with a small audience base may not provide a good ROI for marketing efforts). Direct to consumer marketing techniques converted these new prospects into profitable customers.
We repeated this analysis for several consecutive years, continually refining the list of prospects targeted, which in turn provided a better ROI every year.
Beyond the targeting abilities of this technique, it also helps paint an incredibly detailed picture of your best customers, allowing better content to be developed for their specific needs.
Studio/D has extensive experience in helping our clients build look-alike audiences for targeted campaigns. If you’re interested in learning how we can help your company, visit us at https://studiod.agency
Studio/D is a full-service marketing communications firm working with mid-market industrial and manufacturing clients, together with companies that support the manufacturing ecosystem. We’re a team of “makers” who simplify complex communication challenges with messaging that engages and drives results. Learn more about us at StudioD.agency, or call our president, Scott Dieckgraefe at 314-200-2630.