3 Reasons Your Local Business Should Shift to an Audience-Centric Mindset

05.11.2021 Sara Brasfield5 min

One of the greatest transformations of the advertising landscape has been the ability to target audiences precisely using multiple data-sets. While traditional ad buys forced businesses to target ads to locations where those ads were likely to reach the target audience, digital advertising makes it possible to identify exactly who that audience is—and to only purchase ad space in places where that audience is showing up.

This method, known as audience-based buying, can help you improve the impact of your campaigns by making sure those ads are being delivered to the right people. The value proposition offered by this innovative strategy is one reason why 37 percent of small businesses consider audience-based buying a “key part” of their TV advertising strategy, according to the Video Advertising Bureau (VAB).

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Even when local businesses aren’t integrating audience-based buying into their current strategy, surveys from the VAB show that 90 percent are interested in changing their current ad-buying strategy to make room for audience-based buying (ABB). The reason for this heavy interest in ABB is easy to understand: as audience expectations have evolved, businesses are realizing that they can drive more value from advertising by aligning campaigns and messaging more closely with the needs of those audience segments.

Audience-based buying enables your business to better engage your audience while also improving the cost-effectiveness and value of your advertising. Here’s a look at why your business should embrace this new audience-centric approach.

Note: The Video Advertising Bureau (VAB) provided many of the insights reflected in this post. Their site has a host of other valuable resources and they are currently hosting “Audience-Based Buying Week” – click here to learn more.

1. Your Audience Wants Your Brand to Speak to Them Directly

With audience-based buying, your business can target its audience through ad campaigns that may move across screens, devices, channels and content to make sure it’s displaying to your target audience.

Traditional TV advertising only enables audience-based targeting according to broad demographics such as age and sex. But this demographic data only offers a surface-level understanding of your audience—and it doesn’t give you much indication into whether demographic categories are representative of your targeted audience segments.

Audience-based buying lets you target consumers based on a wide range of relevant behavioral data, including their buying habits, personal characteristics, and TV-viewing behaviors. This means that, for example, a local retail shop selling products for babies and young children doesn’t have to target their consumers based solely on the typical age and income level of their customer personas. They can also take into account their buying history—ranging from relevant product categories to new homeowner status—as well as the types of TV shows, movies, and digital content they’re watching. Other data points can be stitched together to even determine the likelihood that a given consumer is an expectant parent, helping that retail business target consumers with a much higher rate of relevance to their business.

The power of this audience-based buying is applicable to all sectors of business. According to a recent VAB case study of a healthcare company, ABB campaigns increased the on-target reach of a targeted awareness campaign by 62 percent.

2. The Makeup of Your Target Audience is Changing

The American consumer base is getting older. This means that a growing segment of audiences are comprised of individuals in or near retirement, while the core advertising age groups between 18 and 54 years of age have declined in relative size.

As consumers age, the average age of the traditional TV-viewing audience has aged as well. According to the VAB, the population of TV viewers aged 65 or older is equal to the audience of viewers ages 25 to 54.

This trend carries multiple important implications for businesses. First, it demonstrates the importance of including aging consumers in your traditional TV strategy. Adults over 55 years of age account for roughly 41 percent of all consumer spending in the United States—a 41 percent increase over the past two decades. Ad campaigns that account for and engage these older audiences can help unlock roughly $4 trillion in consumer spending potential held by this group of consumers.

With audience-based buying that accounts for both large older audiences on traditional TV and growing audiences of younger consumers on digital platforms, your business can improve its reach and engagement with audience segments facing different wants and needs.

An auto dealership can use audience-based buying to target younger consumers with campaigns featuring family vehicles, while older consumers can be targeted through campaigns featuring safe, practical vehicles and/or luxury auto models, depending on their priorities and needs.

3. Audience-Based Buying Aligns Your Messaging With Your Customers’ Needs

Account-based buying can be used throughout the sales funnel to achieve goals that range from increasing brand reach and awareness to increasing conversion rates and lowering the cost per new customer acquisition. And, because this audience-centric approach is built upon data-driven processes and digital ad inventories, your business can accurately measure performance to know exactly what kind of return you’re getting on your investment.

Performance data can help any business understand their ROI and optimize campaigns to drive even greater revenue in the future. Early performance results can also be used to justify increased ad spending based on projected revenue generation.

These same benefits of audience-based buying are available to any local business dedicated to an audience-centric ad strategy. Take the first steps toward building your first ABB campaign—contact us today to get started.

About the Author

Sara Brasfield

Sara is the Content Marketing Manager for Cox Media’s corporate team in Atlanta, with a passion for writing and delivering relevant insights for advertisers. With more than seven years of experience in B2B marketing, Sara aims to help Cox Media’s current and future clients connect with their customers find new and unique ways to grow their business. Outside of the (now virtual!) office, Sara loves spending time running, reading and supporting her favorite teams (Go Braves & Gamecocks!).

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