Target Marketing Mistakes When Building Your Audience

No target "fruit"

If you are targeting everyone, you are targeting no one. 

For any product, be it goods or a service, the consumer is the main goal. The demand and popularity of your project depend on how correctly their needs and “pains” are determined, which the company’s proposal will help to solve. 

The target audience is one of the initial parameters that need to be worked out before launching marketing activities. Otherwise, when targeting the wrong audience, the whole process of work will be similar to “shooting sparrows with a cannon.”

Hence it is recommended to do a proper segmentation analysis and learn common target marketing mistakes, devising your own strategy that will work for your business.

The Role of ICP and Buyer Persona in Defining Your Target Audience

ICP (Ideal Customer Profile) and Buyer Persona are two of the most important marketing concepts when it comes to audience targeting. Ideally you use them in your sales team as well and make it a “live” tool – regularly used and up-to-date. 

Both ICP and Buyer Persona play a huge role as they assist in optimizing sales and marketing efforts and reaching the target audience. While their titles may seem like synonyms, these are two completely different terms. 

As a startup, you may wonder if your company needs at least one of them. Indeed, it depends on the industry, goals, and the size of your business. However, as a rule, successful projects have both.

Ideal Customer Profile

ICP (ideal customer profile) is a description of a company that can benefit the most from a product.

The ICP includes the following characteristics:

  • The number of employees in the company (usually a range)
  • Branch/industry
  • Company income/budget (if can be defined)
  • Location 
  • Whether localization, GDPR, or security policy is important for the company
  • Whether there are people in the company who can use the product
  • What technology stack does the company use, is it easy to integrate the product with it (if you can define it)
  • Why they would buy from you and why would they not? 
  • Which pain points you can help them with? 

The ideal client profile helps you focus on the key groups that are your potential buyers. Also, we can:

  • Accelerate sales growth. Marketing and sales teams focus on quality leads and spend less time on those who are less likely to make a purchase.
  • Optimize marketing expenses. ICP allows you not to spend money on attracting people who will not buy anything (if ICP is built on success cases). So, you are not targeting the wrong audience. Sales grow without an increase in advertising costs, provided that the feedback from sales to marketing is established.
  • Better solve customer problems. Product and support teams focus on target customers and make products and support for them. This also increases customer loyalty.

Buyer Persona

A buyer persona is a detailed description of a member of your target audience. We use it to improve communication with customers and leads.

The buyer persona allows you to better understand customers — their motivations, expectations, and real reasons for cooperation, psychology. BP makes it possible to build a marketing and sales strategy in such a way as to satisfy needs and build long-term relationships.

Developing a buyer persona is an important first step in any campaign. Regardless of the size of your business, you want to make the most of your sales & marketing budget.

Buyer personas represent hypotheses or based on previous sales personas, who are the best people in ICP to reach out to with the goal to sell.

Without this basic research, you won’t really know what attracts new potential customers and motivates them to make a purchase. This research extends to all aspects of a sales & marketing campaign. The time and effort you put into writing blog articles and white papers will pay off much more if your content is created with the buyer persona in mind.

How Ideal Customer Profile Differs from Buyer Persona

Ideal customer profile and buyer personas work well in conjunction: within one ideal client profile, there can be several buyer personas through which you can sell a service or additional services.

ICPBuyer Persona
A description of a company that can benefit the most from your product.Description of a person who embodies the characteristics of your best potential clients.
Shows WHO you need to communicate with and helps you find out who your target leads are.Shows HOW to communicate with customers and sell to them.

Incorrect Targeting on Social Media Platforms

Every major social media platform has its distinguishing features. So, the customer targeting strategy should also be different. By applying the same strategy on every website, you risk targeting the wrong audience and wasting time and money on the marketing campaign.

Wondering what you are doing wrong? Check out the below info!

Meta (Facebook)

Facebook is one of the largest platforms for communicating and sharing on the web. Unlike Instagram and LinkedIn, Facebook has a greater variety of features, which leads to a greater size of the audience you may target. Therefore, it is crucial to keep the following peculiarities in mind.


  1. Not using Facebook Audience Segmentation

It is a unique tool that enables us to narrow our target. The smaller the audience segment on Facebook, the higher the CPM. This means that it will cost more to reach the same audience if, for example, you break your targeting options into ten ad groups instead of three or four.

  1. Choosing the wrong ad type

Facebook gives you the opportunity to experiment with different types of ads. However, many advertisers still prefer the simplest options — increasing the reach of a post or a photo with text. You can choose:

  • Facebook Lead Ads or ads with links — serves to collect leads, has customizable action buttons;
  • carousel — supports up to 10 images and links;
  • dynamic shopping ads — retargeting format;
  • page as an advertisement — increases engagement on the FB page;
  • Canvas Ads — mimics a mini-landing;
  • events — used to promote events;
  • gif-ads — you can insert dynamic banners into them;
  • video advertising;
  • a selection from a series of objects that will be displayed in full-screen mode;
  • local campaigns.
  1. Unethical (abusive) target marketing approach

Targeting the Facebook buyer persona has its own laws that you need to reckon with if you count on successful moderation and long-term functioning of the advertising account.

To avoid blocking and other troubles, read the official rules in the Advertising Rules before starting work. By reviewing the Prohibited Content and Restricted Content sections, you will know which words and images, as well as entire categories of goods and services, are strictly prohibited for advertising, and avoid this common mistake when setting up targeted advertising. Too much red in your images or too much text on them – just a few reasons we’ve faced managing ads before that made Facebook ad campaigns blocked. 


  1. Do not take recurring customers as a given

Don’t strive to make your customer base bigger and bigger. Take time and pay attention to the recurring customers. After all, it is them who value your product and make the lion’s part of your profit/return on investment. Consider loyalty programs, incentives, and bonuses for those who chose you over your competition.

  1. Do not test too many things at once — use isolation

In marketing, the harm and unprofitability of simultaneously working with different audiences and different advertising for each of them are often underestimated.

As far as you can, isolate each group for impressions, each ad — so that after such an experiment you can go ahead with new knowledge. Knowing about those groups of people who should not see your ads at all is the most important information that will save hundreds of dollars of your advertising investment.

  1. Set up Facebook Pixel and monitor those who are really interested in your product or service

Pixel is an analytics tool with which you can measure the effectiveness of ads and study user behavior on the site. Pixel creates audiences for remarketing — the warmest audience that can be moved further up the sales funnel.

  1. Analyze audience overlap reports

Experts offer to analyze eight Facebook marketing signs (advertising KPIs):

  • Number of impressions
  • Relevance score
  • The number of leads
  • CTR versus CR
  • The number of ad rejections and the number of complaints
  • Placement performance
  • Breakdown of clicks by interests
  • The degree of engagement with the ad


LinkedIn is a social network for business communication, searching for employees, and opening vacancies. Most of the B2B products and services can find their customers here. Local clients may serve as a good example of the wrong target market audience. Therefore, promoting groups with memes here is a rather bad idea. Other mistakes include:


  1. Ignoring A/B testing

This method is quite simple, yet effective. It gives you the opportunity to test several promotion strategies.

This will prompt you to select a variable. For example, you are unsure which group of people will respond best to your ad. Then choose among the options “Audience” and test it.

After that, you need to specify the options. If you do not know which age group is more suitable for your target audience, you can leave the same interests but indicate a different age. This is a great way to get a better idea of who your customers are, so don’t miss out on opportunities.

  1. Not using the Matched Audiences feature

This option lets you retarget website visitors, find contacts, and create account-based marketing campaigns. It is another great and unique feature. At the time of this writing, other social networks cannot boast of such functionality.

  1. Neglecting search filters

One more useful feature for marketers that shouldn’t be overlooked. With filters, you can avoid targeting the wrong audience. Search filters enable you to set detailed parameters for your clients. Thus, your local on-site business will never be shown to offshore audiences.


  1. Use the Demographics tab in Campaign Manager

You can achieve high-quality leads if you set up the targeting correctly and follow the breakdowns in the Demographics tab in Campaign Manager (which countries the impressions go to, which companies, and which positions).

  1. Join your customers’ groups and be active there

No need to use emails to interact with your potential customers. Such “forums” can be of great importance and value for small businesses. By reading your customers’ thoughts, you not only get to know them better but also find out their pain points, what they like and what they hate about a particular service/product.

Also by interacting with the chosen demographic group, you’ll have a chance to step in and offer your services.

  1. Create a Lookalike Audience 

Apart from Matched Audience, you may also find and target a Lookalike one. As a rule, this is the group of people that aren’t matched with the search queries you target but have a bunch of similar characteristics. Using this feature, LinkedIn helps you expand your client base and find new advertising directions. 


Instagram is a platform for photo and video sharing. This implies that your ad should be of visual content rather than a long read of your business’ perks.


  1. Setting up too many campaigns for different purposes

When setting up 3+ campaigns at once you are not only targeting several goals but also lose sight of important parameters.

Indeed, when working on several projects at a time, you may miss crucial details that can result in a marketing budget drain.

  1. Ignoring hashtags

If not using hashtags, you lose the following benefits:

  • Your target audience sees you. People search for the information they need using hashtags. If the hashtags in the posts are chosen correctly, they will lead to more people interested in your topic. As a result, the coverage of publications is growing. 
  • You understand the interests of the audience. People who use hashtags and subscribe to them on your topic are your live target audience. Study their pages, interests, and behavior in social networks and use this knowledge to create content.
  • You structure the content. Use hashtags as a rubricator. This way, you organize the data and make it easier for readers to find it. And it will be easier for you to keep the ratio of different types of content.
  1. Not using storytelling

Advertising specialists know how important it is to tell the client not only about the product but also about its development, creation, and use. Interesting stories, even being written in passing, catch the attention of the consumer, focus them, make them accept new information, and help them remember your brand.


  1. Follow related accounts

Don’t hesitate to follow the accounts of your competitors. Note something new, identify their mistakes in marketing, analyze their moves, and learn from their experience.

  1. Run a demographic survey

Demographic surveys let you understand what kind of client your product attracts the most. Knowing this info, you’ll be able to adjust the marketing campaign and take advertising to the next level.

  1. Analyze your competitors’ audiences

One more good solution would be to find several companies that perform better than you and analyze their audience. As they are successful, their client base is more significant than yours. Thus, this is a good “food” for analysis. Learn what parameters you are missing and add to your next promotional campaign.

Know Your Audience Better Than Yourself

The SaaS market is growing. So is your competition. Thousands of new services and applications appear every month. Hence, you need to grow very fast in order to maintain your target market share and survive in the fight against other businesses.

Having that message in mind, let’s not waste such resources as time targeting an audience that would never turn to you. Bookmark this article and read it again when you set up a marketing campaign for your products and services!

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