Chamber Insider Blog

Know Your Audience: Why Target Marketing is Essential in Today’s Online World


By: Kathy Sebuck, Strategic Marketing Communications Solutions at Microsoft

As attention spans shrink and mobile devices continue to be a daily staple, down time is now a commodity as everyone is constantly connected and on sensory overload. As a result, in today’s business world knowing your audience and how to communicate with them online can be the difference between becoming a rock star brand with growing sales and being irrelevant.

According to Microsoft, statistics show that a climbing 65% of buyers now use social tools as part of their buying process, and 57% of their customer journey is complete by the time they talk to a sales person. As online data accessibility continues to reshape how we engage, when we engage, and for what purpose, it has become very important to actively “listen” to your target in any of the many social channels that now exist. This active listening allows you to learn what your target audience cares about so you can reach them effectively with your message, product or offer.

According to Bryan Jones, Vice President of North America Commercial Marketing at Dell, listening is a key component and core value for Dell. In fact, Dell has its own Social Media Listening Command Center, where employees actively listen to conversations online which allows them to understand what topics are important to their customers then making it easier to connect with them across social channels. This new business practice continues to be validated as many social listening applications are cropping up to do just that, monitor and track feedback online.

So why is this important to you? Whether you are talking to your kids, your colleagues, your customers, or your boss, it’s pretty obvious the more you learn about these groups early will help you more accurately target your efforts to ensure you reach the desired outcomes you expect. Then you can create targeted messages, effective campaigns and successful social media strategies that elicit desired behaviors and drive results; just ask Pavlov’s dog…


Kathy is a member of the Board of Directors and is a part of the Marketing Leadership Team here at the Chamber. A member of the US Enterprise & Industry Government Marketing at Microsoft, she leads a team responsible to lead marketing engagement and planning across Federal, State and Local sales teams.