Business Marketing 101: – Understanding Audiences in the Digital Age
Like everything else in this world of Digital Transformation, it is time to change how we think about and treat our audiences. Audience identification, definition and segmentation are absolutely critical to the modern marketing strategies and tactics that have evolved to provide new touch points in the face of shifting consumer behavior. Wow, that was really clinical. Let me try that another way…

Our connected world has overwhelmed all of us with too much information. Successful marketers are able to cut through the noise and deliver relevant, substantive and authentic communications to those humans who want, need or desire what we are selling.


Before we go further, let’s level-set with a couple definitions (note: these are not official definitions in the handbook of marketing, but are just fine for our discussion):

a group of contacts within a target market

a specific user or contact type with a defined set of detailed characteristics

Do this for each audience:


1. Understand how / if they are relevant to you

2. Understand what they expect

3. Understand how you can rise above the competition

4. Understand the methods, tactics and content that would be most effective

5. Understand the resource commitment to go after that audience

6. Prioritize its inclusion in your Strategic Marketing Plan

Once we understand our audiences, we then use personas to further target the individuals that are important to us via their defining characteristics. That said, we need to understand audiences before we can get to the next level of detail, personas.

Top-Level Audiences

Your Brand should speak to a number of different audiences and each expects something different and is motivated to act in a unique manner. As you develop your business-centric marketing strategy, the following audiences should be included:

Your employees want to see that your organization is an exciting place to be; moreover, that it is growing and thriving. They want to be proud to be a part of it. They want to know what is going on: new products, new services, new promotions, new events, new partners, etc. And, don’t forget, they want to know the message, so that they can tell folks what they do for a living.

Your partners want to know that they have made a good investment in time, energy and money. They want to see that you are properly representing their brand and they want to know you are doing things better than their other partners. Most importantly, they want to see that you are committed to the partnership and making them successful.

This one is a bit tricky. You want competitors to fear you and see that you have something special going on, but don’t give them your secret sauce! Be cautious with the information you share with the general public on social media, your website or at industry events. Know that your competitors are working non-stop to beat you, and are looking for anything to turn your customers, win your deals or, entice your employees.

Show your customers you care and that they chose to do business with the right company. Keep them up to speed with what’s new and changing, be proactive with information about their account, and emphasize your commitment to their success.

Show them how you are different (UVP) and how doing business with you will simplify their lives and enable them to achieve their business goals. Prove to them you are listening, you can be trusted and that you are here for the long haul.

This is very complex, and I am just going to touch on this one. The bottom-line is that you need to show up and have something that others do not. Media outlets are looking for good stories, so be one. Leverage press releases, content marketing, industry events and search engine optimization (SEO) to boost your relevance and raise your profile.

Google is watching everything you do in the digital world. And, they are judging you. Moreover, how they judge you evolves constantly. Understand the core principles here and adapt your online assets, messaging, content and tactics to take advantage of the opportunities.

Bert arrived in October.

Beginning in October (2019) the largest Google search algorithm update in the last 5 years began rolling out, it’s name is “Bert”. This new algorithm is negatively impacting many websites that employed outdated, traditional SEO strategies by reducing the search traffic that Google directs to these sites. In fact, many sites have seen a 20-30% downturn in their traffic results!

In a nutshell, Bert focuses on search intent and relevancy

Websites which employ an Intentional SEO approach with Bionic Content have stayed strong and have actually showed continued growth amid the turbulent fluctuations happening right now in Google searches.

This is due in large part to a keen focus on 1,000-word, infused articles which are relevant and authentic, where interlinking techniques to related on-site content and pages have been optimized…we call this Bionic Content. Moreover, our 1,000-word optimized articles are written with search intention in mind and they definitively answer the questions that users are searching for. Google watches this and measures the user/visitor behavior of the visitors based in part by who clicks through, how long they stay and where they go next. If these metrics indicate that the user experience is positive, then Google rewards the website with more traffic, domain authority and credibility over time.

None of this happens overnight, it is a slow methodical journey that requires a solid foundation, ongoing attention and consistently new optimized content.

The number of social media outlets is ever evolving. You need to know which ones are important to your audiences and the types of content that is right for each conduit. Many organizations waste an immense amount of resources managing and maintaining the wrong outlets, so take the time to use common sense and sound business judgment to focus on the right outlets for your audiences.

The Lines Have Blurred

The lines between audiences and brand channels often converge. This is inevitable and part of the evolution of marketing, sales and business in the digital age. Don’t let this fuzziness get in the way of improving your marketing efforts by making informed decisions about who you are trying to reach and how best to reach them.

I hope this was helpful,

Colin Millstone

Colin Millstone

Founder / President

A seasoned, multi-dimensioned entrepreneur, consultant and business professional who helps organizations get to the next level. With three decades of experience in business, marketing, technology, operations, sales and finance, I bring a results-oriented, collaborative, strategic, passionate, and budget-minded approach to leadership and organizational success.

As a pioneer in Managed Marketing Services and Marketing On-Demand, and the Founder and President of Marketing as a Service (, I work daily with organizations which are creating, distributing, selling and servicing some of the most impactful products in the world

Connect with me on LinkedIn