How to Segment Your Audience and Ensure an Effective Demand Generation Program

August 30, 2021
Contributor: Kari Test

Your demand generation program will fall short if you don’t generate and nurture high-quality leads. Audience segmentation can help you turn potential customers into actual paying ones.

A solid demand generation program consists of multiple facets working together to attract leads and convert them into loyal customers. 

The idea behind a strong demand generation program is to build brand awareness through content and marketing campaigns that show customers they need the service or product you’re offering, even if they don’t already know it. One way to do this is by segmenting your audience. 

What is audience segmentation?

Audience segmentation is a marketing strategy that divides people into categories based on demographics, interests, geographic location and needs in order to deliver stronger, more personalized messaging and content. In a demand generation program, audience segmentation usually results in high-quality leads.

Generating and nurturing high-quality leads is one of five building blocks for a strong demand generation program, and it can be among the most tricky. This is where audience segmentation comes in.

In this article, we’ll dive into how software business owners and marketing teams can generate high-quality leads for their newest product or service by segmenting their audience.

Know your buyers’ needs

It’s important to be in tune with buyers at every stage of the sales funnel. To nurture your relationship with them, you’ll want to know what they need and when they need it. 

The better you know your target audience, the better you can attract them with targeted ads and messages that fit their challenges. You can then position yourself as a thought leader and as their guide on topics they struggle with. 

Once you’ve generated those leads, always continue to learn and pay close attention to their needs as they evolve. This allows you to nurture your leads more effectively and eventually segment them based on demographics, interests or needs, to provide them with information and content targeted at their group’s specific needs. 

To do this, you’ll need to understand buyer and industry trends. To better know your audience, do the following: 

  • Look for content from industry leaders and resources such as our Global Software Trends for 2021: A New and Normal Future.
  • Talk to your clients and audience, request user feedback, and learn what your sales team is hearing from prospects. What do your current clients need or expect right now? How can you adapt your marketing channels and messaging to fit those shifting needs?
  • Use reviews as a gauge for your target audience’s needs. What are different types of customers saying they need now, versus what they needed before? Are you adapting your marketing and messaging to those challenges?

Align relevant content with the right funnel stage

Once you understand your target audience’s needs, you can develop personalized content that addresses their biggest concerns and pain points. But timing is everything. 

Your effort to get to know your audience and create relevant, thoughtful content will go to waste if you send them that content too late (or too early) in the sales funnel

Content is only helpful if it’s delivered to your potential customer when they need it. Instead of wasting time, align your content to your audience’s purchase journey to nurture leads effectively.

To do this: 

  • Make sure your team is aware of available collateral and is in tune with buyer needs so they can plan pitches with the right messaging and relevant content. 
  • Use knowledge of your audience segments to build an outreach or retargeting strategy that encourages buyer movement through the funnel and continues to build the lead’s purchase confidence.
  • Focus your marketing campaigns on relevant channels, such as email and social media, to share your content to target audiences at the right point in their purchase journey and continue moving them through the funnel.
Align content types and tactics to the purchase journey

Nurture high-quality leads

A successful demand generation program does not attract leads and then ignore them. You’ll need to consistently segment your audience and nurture these targeted leads to turn them into customers. As we’ve seen, you’ll need to take the time to understand each segment’s needs at different stages in the customer journey and deliver them the right content at the right time.

Need data about the audience segments that are interested in your software or SaaS product? Buyer Discovery from Gartner Digital Markets can reveal in-market buyers and expand your funnel. Find out how.

Kari Test

Kari Test is a Manager on the Vendor Marketing team at Gartner Digital Markets. Originally from Annapolis, Maryland, Kari graduated from Elon University before moving to the Washington, D.C. area. In her free time, she loves exploring Old Town Alexandria, traveling  and trying out new recipes. Connect with Kari on LinkedIn.

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