People-based search: segmentation meets intent

August 18, 2017  |   Lisa Rapp

Targeting hasn’t always been search’s biggest strength.

All you could really do was choose the right keywords and maybe use some demographic criteria for basic segmentation.

Compared to the targeting available on social, display and email, that’s a pretty simplistic approach. You could get in front of people at the right time but you couldn’t really predict who would see your ads. Worst of all, you couldn’t use the valuable first party data you’d worked so hard to collect—you couldn’t even separate customers from prospects.

Then people-based search came along.

With people-based search, you can apply the same segmentation tactics you use on other digital channels to your search marketing.

Now you can target niche groups of customers and prospects with tailored ads based on what you know about them—at the moment of maximum intent, when they’re in-market, about to act.

This changes everything.

Behavior, persona, buying stage, preference, purchase history—all the criteria you use to divide up your audience on social, display or email – can now be used on search.

This means you can do things like:

  • Show existing customers new products related to their search—while suppressing ads for products they already have.
  • Target potential customers with enticing introductory offers just when they’re most open to such promotions.
  • Reward loyal customers with special offers, products and services—short-circuiting their need to ‘shop around’ for better deals.
  • Make sure your high-value customers always see the most relevant promotions and products—when they’re in market and actively searching for new things.

And better marketing segmentation means better results:

  • A significant uplift in conversions.
  • Higher retention and reactivation rates.
  • Optimized search budgets that leverage your CRM data.

Any way you look at it, this is a pretty big deal.

And it’s why more and more of the world’s most progressive, data-driven marketers are turning to people-based search.

We explore the fundamentals of this new tactic in our slideshare, People-Based Search: An Introduction. It’s a quick read that’ll take you through the three reasons why it’s transforming search. Smarter segmentation is just the beginning.