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Why Audience Suppression Should Be On Your Segmentation Tactics List

  • 2 min read

When it comes to advertising, it’s tempting to want to spread your message far and wide, to reach the greatest audience possible. But shouting your message to anyone and everyone isn’t the most efficient — or cost-effective — way of marketing.

Segmentation is the answer in order to reach the right audience, on the right channels who are interested in your offering. And as technology has evolved, we’re better able than ever to segment in a smart way.

But while most segmentation tactics work to refine your audience, for contextual and relevant targeting, audience suppression is all about making sure certain segments aren’t exposed to certain ads.


Why Audience Suppression?

It may sound counter-intuitive (because what advertiser wouldn’t want to, you know, advertise). But audience suppression makes a lot of sense in a number of situations:

  • When the offer is irrelevant: You wouldn’t offer 15% off to a customer already getting a 20% discount.
  • When they’ve already converted: You wouldn’t offer a great acquisition deal to a loyal, returning customer when you don’t need to.
  • Or when they have an open customer service ticket, and you want to avoid overkill.

When you can accurately segment your audience into lists like ‘people who’ve already converted’ and ‘people talking to sales agents’, you can avoid a lot of wasted media spend on misplaced offers.

Also, by suppressing the right segments, you can actually increase your conversion rate. Because you can make sure it isn’t skewed by people who’d never have converted in the first place.

Even better, you can make sure those people don’t suffer the ill-effects of brand fatigue (and plain old annoyance).


Using Audience Suppression Effectively

Widely used in retail, one great example of audience suppression actually comes from politics.

Here, parties used publicly available lists of ‘early voters’ (people who vote by mail) to make sure they were only targeting people who hadn’t voted yet.

Considering the fact that these lists contain hundreds of thousands of names, they avoided a huge amount in wasted media spend.


Enabling People-Based Marketing With Audience Suppression

Clearly, what you don’t show your audience can be just as important as what you do.

That’s why suppression lists are not a new thing – as a common feature of traditional marketing, they’ve been used to prevent conflicting messaging, to stop subscribers from receiving irrelevant emails, or inappropriate promotion for years.

But now, with access to next-level data and insight, we’re better able to create more relevant, in-depth experiences for audiences; using a complete view of an individual’s brand engagements and preferences across online and offline channels to build a holistic approach – ensuring marketing is as relevant as possible.