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People-Based Search Tactics All Marketers Need To Know

  • 4 min read

Understanding People-Based Search

Connecting people-based marketing with search marketing, people-based search takes data-driven targeting to a new level.

By combining what you know about your customer and prospect segments, with what search engines know about their intent; people-based search means it’s possible to reach people in more specific ways than ever before.

So how can you use people-based search to its best potential? We explore seven people-based search tactics all marketers need to know.


People-Based Search Tactics You Need To Know


Tactic 1: Retargeting both online and in-store customers

Retargeting is, of course, a hugely effective tactic: using people’s behaviors on your website to target messages to them across the web.

Now, it’s possible to do this with search too, as people-based search provides a way to use your first party data to build segments to deliver more targeted ads when your audience searches next.

It’s also possible to connect customers’ in-store purchases with their online experiences with people-based search. For example, if a customer purchased a phone from your store, you can display ads related to their exact make and model the next time they search for phone accessories.


Tactic 2: Reactivating customers from past purchases

If a product has a specific service length and a regular renewals process (such as subscription services or insurance) it’s possible to use people-based search to help secure that renewal.


Here, you can use your customer data to track customers’ searches, pinpoint the exact moment they want to buy again and bid a bit more to ensure your ads show top of page.

This reactivation tactic applies to any business that relies on events and returning customers to succeed – whether you’re selling Mother’s Day cards, holidays or even trying to retarget last year’s Black Friday customers.


Tactic 3: Targeting different loyalty tiers with different messages

If your business has different customer loyalty tiers, each tier can be considered a segment and may be entitled to different offers.

With people-based search you can tailor your search ads according to your loyalty tiers, or suppress promotions for customers who are not eligible for a particular loyalty promotion.


Tactic 4: Appealing to lapsed customers

You can’t please all of the people all of the time, so inevitably some of your customers will leave you.

But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try and win them back. People-based search is a great opportunity to do this and can be used to help you get back in front of lapsed customers just as they re-enter your market – such as when purchasing insurance.

With this tactic you can deliver ads precisely when lapsed customers are searching for your product and use what you know about them to develop a relevant and highly-specific ad.


Tactic 5: Audience suppression

Knowing who to exclude from your campaigns can be as important as knowing who to include.

Advertising the same product to a customer just after they’ve bought it isn’t just a waste of money – it also makes you look like you don’t know your own customers.

Continuing to try and sell a product to a customer who just bought it leads to a disconnected experience and can do real damage to your brand.

The smartest marketers solve this classic issue with audience suppression in channels like social and display. Previously, this hasn’t been possible with search.

But now, with people-based search, you can remove customers who have already purchased so your ads don’t appear in their search results. Or, remove customers you don’t want to target for other reasons.


Making the Most of People-Based Search

“Rather than bombarding customers with products and branded messaging, you’re targeting them with content they want to see, when they want to see it.”

People-based search is proving a powerful tool for maximising display and AdWords spend.

It’s easy to see why – rather than bombarding customers with products and branded messaging all year round, you’re targeting them with content you know they want to see, at the exact time they want to see it.

Scaling this capability is a massive win for search marketers; giving a better return on ad spend, enhancing timing, targeting and attribution, enabling more effective personalised relationships with your audience – and much more.

Of course, there are many more tactics and considerations to note in order to make the most of people-based search.

Download our search marketing guide to uncover further tactics and learn how best to use people-based search to capitalise on buyer intent, personalise and focus your marketing.