PPC Internet Marketing Campaigns - Identifying and Understanding Your Audience

By Gregory Smyth

Sponsored search engine marketing, or pay per click campaigns, have very little room for error. While they do generate a substantial amount of revenue, consumers tend to trust organic results much more; their costs can end up blowing out, and there is only 50-70 characters of pure text to explain your company's benefits, which would take an hour to go through properly. The companies that specialize in this type of search engine optimization service, and generate the most revenue from sponsored search engine marketing, follow the same rules that successful marketers everywhere do. One of the most fundamental of these rules is to know your target market - here we help you identify who you are selling to.

There are several different types of markets, and your internet marketing campaign may need to reach more than one of them. The base, and widest market, is end-point consumers, or people that will use your product themselves. Another type of market is the industrial market, or those that use your product in order to create their own product. The third market is similar, but has its individual web marketing strategy needs - the middlemen, like wholesalers and retailers, that will buy your product to on-sell for a profit.

When asked who their customers are, businesses everywhere initially answer 'everyone'. Unfortunately, this is not a target market - it is the entire market. If your sponsored search engine marketing campaign targets 'everyone', the quality and results will suffer greatly. You will generally sell products to people within a certain age group, in a certain location, of a certain sex, education level and household income range. Not all of these criteria are applicable to every company, but several will be. It will help your sponsored search engine marketing campaign to identify where your 'average customers sit on the following continuums:

  • Gender
  • Age
  • Marital Status
  • Number and ages of Children
  • Urban or rural dwellers
  • Education level
  • Occupation
  • Hours worked per week
  • Estimated household income

If those of you developing the sponsored search engine marketing campaign don't have customer contact, do your research through your sales team. Results will not be completely accurate, but nevertheless will be critical to your online marketing strategy's success.

You'll also need to think about the geographic location of most of your customers. If your products are large and bulky, or your services require face to face contact, then most of your target market will be within your own region. If you are selling small consumer items and plan to have an e-commerce facility, your target market will be wider. If you are aiming for worldwide sales, you will need to think about alternative languages for your sponsored search engine marketing campaign also.

Another little-examined facet of target markets is the psychographic profile - this can be crucial in internet marketing and search engine optimization success. Think about the attitudes, emotions and beliefs of you customers. Things like status, desire for beauty, or social responsibility might define your target market.