Strategies for Building Your Post-COVID Marketing Audiences

By Jeff Cracolici

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Marketing Manager & Digital Expert

With most economic indicators trending in the right direction, and as we inch closer to a majority of the population being fully vaccinated, there is finally a feeling of normalcy starting to wash over the United States.

Many advertisers have waited with bated breath for the right opportunity to get their marketing strategies back on track, and now is the time to start putting that plan into action. The further we get from the COVID-19 pandemic, the more difficult it may be to attract new customers and lure back old ones that have been quiet during these unprecedented times.

One of the more difficult pieces of your marketing strategy will be building target audiences as, we all know personally, so much has changed on the consumer side over the last 16 months. Here are some ideas to help start that process.

Profile Your Most Recent Customers

Especially over the next few months, it will be vital to keep tabs on the demographics and buying behavior of your most recent customers. As consumer spending continues to pick back up, this first wave of buyers in a post-pandemic America will most likely be reflective of your new customer profile. This customer profile will be a great starting point for segmentation in acquisition audiences.

Need help profiling your customers? Contact us for a sample Customer Profile Report.

It is also recommended that you update lookalike audiences and other predictive data models more frequently than normal. You don’t want marketing audiences to lag behind your evolving customer profile as the recovery moves forward.

Leverage Customer RFM Data for Housefile Campaigns

At the end of each month during this recovery, you should be asking the following questions: What segment of my customer base is purchasing the most frequently? What segment of my customer base is spending the most per order? The answer to these questions should shape your housefile segmentation.

As your marketing strategy regains its footing, connecting with your best customers will keep housefile campaigns moving in a positive direction while you work on reaching out to the less predictable, lapsed customers.

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Analyze Your Product Category Sales From 2020 AND 2019

Due to a slew of factors pertaining to the pandemic, everyone reprioritized their spending habits. As such, when you are anticipating which marketing audiences will be the most receptive to particular products, your analysis must be wider than a traditional year-over-year.

Start by examining your current inventory and comparing it to your inventory over the last two years. What products or product categories saw the most significant drop as the pandemic went on? Will these products see a resurgence in demand as the world starts coping with the new normal?

A good resource to help with the latter question is the Bureau of Economic Analysis’ 2019 Consumer Expenditure Report. It provides a nice time capsule that looks how consumers were spending pre-pandemic.

Finally, start identifying products or product categories that you think the demand for will shrink in the second half of 2021. These are great products to put on sale and use as a vehicle to reacquaint your brand with lapsed customers (while getting rid of this merchandise).

Build Marketing Audiences Based on Recent Social Trends

If you’re looking to take a different approach, there are a number of tools you can use to identify recent trends on social media, come up with marketing positioning, and work your way back to your marketing audiences.

One platform that every advertiser should be using is Facebook IQ, specifically their Insights to Go tool. This tool looks at billions of social media posts to create high-level insights that can be filtered down by industry and demographics. Combine this knowledge with what you know about your customers to come up with a perfect marketing audience and message.

About LiftEngine

Since 2005, LiftEngine's primary mission has been to help clients better understand and connect with their most responsive prospects and customers, online or offline. Our expertise is behind the marketing campaigns of 400+ clients.

Behind LiftEngine is LiftBase, our proprietary addressable consumer database. Comprised of 250 million US consumers, 140 million US households, and 1,000+ enhanced data elements, LiftBase powers our audience development services and industry-leading products, PortalLink and LaunchPad.

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Published on Jul. 01, 2021, Last Updated on Aug. 02, 2022