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What are target audience pain points? Why are they crucial to the success of marketing?

Understanding your customer's pain points is necessary for modern digital marketing strategies, especially something as tailored as account-based marketing (ABM). ABM is a top B2B marketing priority, with 72% of marketers reporting that ABM delivers higher ROI than other marketing strategies.

Together, let’s explore define target audience's pain points, how to find them, and how to use them.

What are Target Audience Pain Points?

Target audience pain points are potential customers' challenges, issues, or unmet needs. In essence, they are valuable insights into the things that keep your customers up at night. 

Understanding customer pain points is necessary to build effective ABM strategies. This includes: 

  • Creating Target Account Lists: A target account list comprises accounts most likely to convert. Pain points are a key consideration when building this list, as they allow you to prioritize accounts struggling with a problem your business can solve.
  • Account Segmentation: Not all pain points are the same across different industries, company sizes, or organizational roles. Segmenting your target account list based on pain points allows you to tailor your messaging and solutions to each segment's specific needs.
  • Personalization and Targeted Content: In ABM, personalization is the lifeblood of your efforts. Address pain points in your content marketing strategy to build trust and increase the likelihood of conversion.

In short, identifying and incorporating target audience pain points into your ABM strategy isn't just about checking off a box – it's about demonstrating a deep understanding of your prospects' needs and positioning your offering as the solution they've been searching for.

How to Identify Your Target Audience Pain Points

Now, how do you identify common customer pain points? Getting to the source of customer problems and positioning your offerings as the solution requires qualitative research, customer feedback, and a collaborative effort between sales and marketing.

Define Your Target Audience

The first step in uncovering target audience pain points is defining your audience. Create buyer personas to outline the characteristics of your target audience, such as their psychographics, demographics, firmographics, and online behavior. 

This information also lays the foundation for your ideal customer profile (ICP), a key component of account-based marketing efforts. Conduct market research, examine existing customer profiles in your CRM, and analyze industry benchmark reports to paint a detailed picture of your target audience.

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Uncover Their Pain Points

Armed with a clear understanding of your target audience, it's time to uncover their pain points. This can be achieved through various techniques, including:

  • Conducting customer surveys, interviews, and focus groups to gain direct feedback on inefficiencies or areas for improvement.
  • Monitoring customer support queries and feedback to identify recurring issues or frustrations.
  • Engaging in social listening to track conversations and sentiments surrounding your industry on social media platforms. Look into social listening software to monitor online forums and communities. 
  • Collaborating with customer support teams and sales teams to uncover specific pain points that span the entire customer experience.
  • Monitoring competitor content, marketing messages, and social media mentions to gauge customer sentiment and perceptions across your industry. 

Leverage as many resources as possible to understand potential customer needs. This includes existing CRM data, past campaign performance, website analytics, and competitor case studies. 

Categorize the Pain Points

Next, use your customer research to create categories for specific problems. This optimizes for audience segmentation, which in turn improves targeted messaging and personalization in ABM.

Pain points are often divided into three main categories:

  • Financial Pain Points: This includes high costs, budget constraints, or negative ROI.
  • Productivity Pain Points: Also referred to as process pain points, these struggles include inefficient processes, time constraints, or issues with team collaboration and organization.
  • Product or Service Pain Points: This refers to any hang-ups in product development, including product defects, broken or missing features, and frequent customer complaints.

By categorizing pain points, your marketing team can prioritize them according to relevance and address them strategically in ABM campaigns. 

For example, say your target market is prone to financial struggles. To support pain points in this area, focus your marketing campaigns on discounts, promotions, and flexible payment options that appeal to prospective customers.

How to Use Your Target Audience Pain Points to Improve Your ABM Strategy

Audience pain points are central to any ABM strategy. They lay the foundation for many of the ABM tactics necessary to generate a high ROI. 

Segmenting your audience, personalizing campaigns, and tailoring your content strategy to address specific pain points can enhance engagement and drive meaningful results.

Segment Your Target Audience Based on Pain Points

Segmenting your target audience based on pain points allows for tailored messaging and unique customer experiences. Audience segmentation enhances ROI, competitive advantage, resource allocation, and ABM personalization. 

To segment your audience, it’s best to: 

  1. Split your total addressable market (TAM) into target market segments that align with your ideal customer profile (ICP). 
  2. Leverage predictive analytics, intent data, and customer journey mapping to pinpoint target accounts that are ready to buy. 
  3. Use lead scoring and data enrichment tools to distinguish high-priority accounts that are primed for conversion and large deal sizes.

Grouping accounts based on similar pain points can create more targeted and relevant messaging. This approach enables you to address specific pain points precisely, increasing the likelihood of engagement and conversion.

Personalize Your ABM Campaigns Based on Audience Pain Points

Personalizing ABM campaigns based on audience pain points supports deeper customer connections and increases engagement. In fact, the entire premise of account-based marketing hinges on providing unique, hyper-relevant experiences to target accounts. 

Leverage pain points for ABM personalization by:

  • Creating dynamic content and website landing pages. A great tool for this is Mutiny, which allows you to build AI-powered personalized micro-sites.
  • Employing triggered emails based on website visits and online interactions. For example, offering discounts if a prospect leaves the pricing page without purchasing.
  • Crafting customized content assets like whitepapers, case studies, or webinars tailored to address the specific pain points of different audience segments.

Addressing pain points demonstrates empathy and understanding, which builds trust and credibility with your target accounts. This improves the likelihood of successful engagement, conversions, and sales.

Build Your ABM Content Strategy Around Your Audience Pain Points

Customer pain points are important for your ABM content strategy, as they’ll guide much of the content you develop. The goal is to create content that provides valuable insights, solutions, and resources to help alleviate pain points.

In fact, an understanding of pain points is required to segment your audience and select the right content strategy. There are three main approaches to content in ABM: 

  • One to Many: This approach involves creating content that addresses common pain points shared by a broad audience segment.
  • One to Few: Content is tailored to address pain points shared by a smaller group of target accounts with similar characteristics or challenges.
  • One-to-One: This is the most personalized approach, where content is crafted to address the unique pain points and needs of individual target accounts.

Pain points guide your content strategy because the more targeted the approach, the more nuanced your understanding of target accounts must be. 

Other best practices for tailoring ABM content to audience challenges include: 

  • Conducting keyword research to identify topics related to audience pain points.
  • Creating targeted content assets such as whitepapers, case studies, and how-to guides that address specific pain points.
  • Distributing content through targeted channels and personalized touchpoints to reach the right audience at the right time.

Content that resonates with your audience's needs and interests has a greater impact, driving meaningful interactions and ABM results.

How to Track the ROI of Your Pain Point-Based Strategy

Your final step is to outline key performance indicators (KPIs) and monitor the success of your pain-point-based ABM strategy. Tracking the right metrics throughout your campaigns and marketing efforts is important to assess their impact and make data-informed decisions and improvements.

Metrics to Track:

By tracking key metrics related to customer engagement, satisfaction, conversion rates, and sales revenue, you can gauge the impact of tailoring your strategy to address audience pain points.

1. Customer Engagement:

  • Measure the level of interaction and involvement of your target accounts with your marketing campaigns and content.
  • Track metrics such as click-through rates, open rates, time spent on website or content, and social media engagement.
  • Analyze how effectively your strategy captures your audience's attention and interest.

2. Customer Satisfaction:

  • Gather feedback from target accounts to assess their satisfaction with your offerings and messaging.
  • Utilize surveys, interviews, and feedback forms to gather insights into customer sentiment and perception.
  • Monitor Net Promoter Score (NPS) and customer satisfaction scores to track changes over time.

3. Conversion Rates:

  • Measure the percentage of target accounts that take desired actions or complete specific goals, such as filling out a form, requesting a demo, or making a purchase.
  • Track conversion rates at each stage of the buyer's journey to identify areas for improvement and optimization.
  • Analyze conversion rates for different segments based on pain points to determine the most effective strategies.

4. Sales and Revenue:

  • Track the number of qualified leads generated, opportunities created, and deals closed as a result of your efforts.
  • Calculate the revenue generated from target accounts influenced by your pain point-based strategy.

By tracking these metrics, you can gain insights into the effectiveness of your ABM strategy and optimize your approach for maximum impact and ROI.

Find The Pain, Find The Success!

In many ways, understanding your audience’s pain points is the first step toward ABM success. From defining your audience to tailoring personalized ABM campaigns and content strategies, every step revolves around empathizing with your prospects' challenges and offering tailored solutions.

Remember, success lies in the details, and it’s best to use social listening tools, customer intent data, and predictive analytics to understand the nuances of your customer pain points. For more information on tools to guide your efforts, look into our round-up of the best account-based marketing software. 

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Michelle Leighton
By Michelle Leighton

Michelle Leighton is a seasoned content writer and social media specialist with a remarkable track record in building thriving online communities. Michelle excels at translating customer insights and market trends into compelling content strategies that spark engagement and foster meaningful discussions. Michelle's work has been featured by The Indie Media Club, The CMO, The Ecomm Manager, Narcity Canada, Input Magazine and more.