The Beginner's Guide to Personalized Marketing: Defining Your Audience

Before you can personalize your site, you need to determine who you are personalizing for. There are a few different ways to do this, and the one that’s right for your company depends on your business model.


Table of Contents:
The Beginner’s Guide to Personalized Marketing


  1. Introduction to personalized marketing
  2. Defining your audience
  3. Creating personalized content
  4. Converting visitors into leads
  5. Personalization best practices

For B2C companies, the most effective method is to target customers based on individual behaviors, since your customers typically make purchasing decisions entirely on their own. For B2B companies, on the other hand, you’ll need to take your buyers’ entire companies into consideration.

B2C individual targeting

If your company’s audience is individual customers – like an ecommerce retailer or clothing store – you can tailor your marketing messages to their past behavior and purchases.

One of the best examples of this is Amazon’s recommendations. If you’ve ever used the site before (whether you ended up making a purchase or not), you likely see recommendations tailored to your browsing history as soon as you arrive on the site.

amazon recommendations

In addition to suggesting specific products, you can also use a practice called segmentation to identify groups of customers within your target audience.

But what is a target audience? Your target audience is the people most likely to purchase your products or services. In other words, it’s the people that have an interest in or need for your products or services. These segments can be basic demographic information like age, gender, and location, as well as behavioral information like referral source and the specific sections of your site they frequent.

For example, let’s say you run an online sporting goods store and created different segments based on past purchases, like clothing, shoes, and equipment for specific sports. When a visitor arrives on your site, you could direct them to content that’s relevant to the category they’ve already shown interest in.

Are they part of the “clothing” segment? Direct them to a page about the best athletic apparel for the upcoming season. Are they part of the “shoes” segment? Encourage them to check out your latest shoe guide. Are they part of the “equipment” segment? Highlight sale items in the same category.

You can use these segments to target users both on your site and on other channels like email and social media. And when you use them together, you can create a seamless experience for each of your potential customers.

B2B company targeting

Unlike most personalization software, MarketingCloudFX also has company targeting features to help you personalize your marketing messages based on firmographic data. For B2B companies, this is a great way to ensure that you aren’t just targeting individual visitors, but providing the right information based on their business’s needs.

If a visitor accesses your site from their company’s network, you can personalize their experience based on their company’s industry, location, annual sales, number of employees, and their past actions on your site.

This is especially beneficial if your company works with a wide range of different clients. For example, if you sell accounting software for both small business owners and large corporations, you can show the appropriate products right on your homepage when a visitor from either business type arrives.


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