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Target Your Marketing with Look-A-Like Audiences

How To Create Look-A-Like Audiences

Look-A-Like Audiences are a tactical way to best target your outbound marketing based on the marketing theory that “birds of a feather flock together.”  That’s essentially using what you know about your existing customers to build a profile (customer persona) and find more people like them.

Start With What You Know About Your Existing Customers

Data about your existing customers can be derived through a combination of what you already know about them and what 3rd-party data we can append to your customer database to get a more vivid picture of your customers.  You may want to use all of your customers for this analysis, or concentrate on a subset of your most profitable customers.  Sometimes it’s even helpful to base the targeting on your most recent customers, because the profile can evolve over time; especially if your business has been around a long time.

Potential Data Sources Inside Your Business

The more mature your business, the easier it is to create look-a-like audiences.  Like all statistical analysis, the larger the sample size, the more accurate the results.  And most businesses have a lot more sources of data than they realize (although not all data sources are created equal).

Some of the most common internal data sources include:

    • Point-Of-Sale (POS) System
    • E-Mail Newsletter
    • Social Media Followers
    • Customer Relationship Management (CRM) System
    • Historical Paper Records

Even if you’ve just got names and addresses, or even just e-mail addresses and/or phone numbers, you’ll see in the next step how we can enhance that and make it much more useful.

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Enhanced With Outside Data

Once you have your internal list and it’s as good as you can make it, a host of 3rd-party data sources can then be accessed to enhance what you know about your existing customers.  For example, 3rd-party data can add useful variables like:

    • Age
    • Gender
    • Income
    • Home Value
    • Marital Status
    • Presence of Children in the Home
    • Vehicles Registered
    • Past Purchase Behavior
    • Search History
    • Location Behavior

There are far more variables available than we can list here.  The point is, you can enhance your data to learn more about what your existing customers have in common.  You may find one core customer persona, or you may find multiple customer personas.  For example, you may do business across a wide range of demographics.  In that case, the look-a-like analysis may find several different customer personas, such as:

    • Young Families in a Specific Suburb
    • Empty Nesters in a Specific Neighborhood of the City
    • Rural Estate Owners with 20+ Acres of Land

Enhancing your data helps bring out these commonalities and make the customer personas more and more specific, which saves you wasted time, money, and effort later.

Building Your Look-A-Like Audiences Forms the Foundation of Outbound Marketing

Once you’ve used your existing customers to find more people like them, you’ve taken a critical step to improving one key component of our basic marketing formula:


Having a clear understanding of who you want to talk to answers the first key question for success of any marketing strategy.  Next, you consider what you want to say to those people, and when and where you want to say it.  Combined with trackable results, this is how we help our clients create a clear picture of how marketing grows the business, and how you get a reasonable return on every dollar invested.

If you’re confused about look-a-like audiences as part of your marketing strategy or you’re just wondering if it can help you grow your business, we are happy to offer some insight.  We offer a free initial marketing consultation.  By helping us understand how you want to grow your business, we can help you decide if creating look-a-like audiences can improve the targeting of your outbound marketing and get a better ROI.

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