4 Ways to Increase ROI During Economic Uncertainty, Part 4: Using Audience Targeting

Chatbooks saw a 4x return on Facebook ad spend using predictive audience targeting

This is part four of the series, 4 Ways to Increase ROI During Economic Uncertainty, Part 4: Using Audience Targeting. Chief Growth Officer, Josh Francia, writes from the perspective of a business leader who’s achieved success throughout myriad economic struggles, including 2008’s recession,  2010’s volcanic eruption which halted air travel, and 2016’s Zika virus outbreak. For more on Josh’s experience, read part one, here.

As we learn more about what the coming days, weeks, and months will look like in our new reality, I hope these strategies I’ve outlined in part onetwo, and three of this series will be beneficial to your marketing efforts. In this final installment, I want to tie in how you can adjust your paid spend to be the most effective it can be, while still being conscious about trimmed down budgets. These shifts don’t have to bring your paid efforts to a complete halt, they can in fact make your programs healthier and see more ROI than ever before.


During times of economic uncertainty businesses should and will begin to pull back on broader paid efforts. This makes sense if you’re trying to see more pay off in the short term, as these channels generally have longer pay-back periods. But, it’s also inadvisable to completely put an end to all paid media campaigns, given that they’re the main driver for most new business.

The trick to nailing down a solid paid media strategy in troubling times is to first determine which customers are worth the ad spend and which aren’t. Luckily, marketers no longer have to guess at which demographic data points should point them to valuable customers, as AI can identify which customers are best to message based on the data they leave behind.

Tools like Blueshift’s AI-powered Predictive Segmentation help marketers tighten up who they’re targeting through paid media. The Predictive Segmentation engine can filter through your customer data and determine the probability of intent and then autonomously build segments of users who meet the defined intent criteria.

On the campaign level, I recommend using three different types of segments:


This first segment should be made up of customers 75% or more likely to purchase (or whatever your desired action may be). You should increase bidding modestly within this segment because AI has determined that they’re most likely to be the group of customers who will make a purchase in the near future. It’s important to ensure that your brand remains top of mind during this critical stage in their buying journey and that you’re not losing out to competitors who may be providing more relevant and timely messaging.


These customers should fall within the 0-50% range in terms of likelihood to convert. Spend on this segment should either be cut completely or at least reduced significantly. This group is a waste of ad dollars during a time where you need to trim the fat and be wise about where you spend.


These customers aren’t quite high-intent, but they’re not completely uninterested either. They’ll have a score generally between 50-75%. With this segment, it’s ok to leave them at a level of spend similar to your normal campaigns. You can do some additional testing to see if some of this group should be bumped up to the high intent or low intent segments in how they perform.


By increasing your spend on high-value customers, you’ll be increasing the amount of volume going into your purchasing funnel, which ultimately impacts the revenue you see. Additionally, cutting spend on those customers who probably won’t convert positively impacts your ROI.

Blueshift customer Chatbooks, a leading online-photobook application, saw a 4X return on Facebook ad spend using our Predictive Audience targeting. Even in my own experience using these methods I’ve seen predictive targeting make a huge impact and be a really strong driver for ROI.

Ready to see how to create an immediate impact on your business with 4 key strategies? Watch my full webinar and download the complete Marketer vs. Martech report for insights into how top brands are exceeding their goals. Then, reach out to our team to see how the Blueshift platform can help you succeed in these uncertain times.

If you’d like to read through the rest of this four-part series, start at part one, where I walk marketers through how they can use their customer data to increase ROI for their business.