How do you decide which marketing channels to use for your target audience?

A key role of marketing professionals is to identify a target customer base and determine how to reach them most effectively. This question allows the interviewer to assess the candidate’s knowledge of what marketing channels are most effective for various customer personas.

Look for these elements of an effective response:

  • An example of pairing a customer persona with a marketing channel
  • Reference to market research
  • Knowledge of the various marketing channels available on and offline.

An exemplary response could look like this:


“To decide which marketing and promotion channels to use on a new campaign, I would first study any available market research about our target audience about where they spend their time, what kinds of media they consume and what types of messaging they connect to. I would also consider fragmentation within the target audience to use a combination of channels that would capture our entire customer base. For example, when targeting a health-conscious audience, I’d use influencer marketing to connect with the younger wellness movement and community partnerships to reach an older audience.”

A marketing channel is simply a platform or tactic used to communicate your marketing message to your customers (target audience).

1. Consider your goals

What are you hoping to accomplish out of marketing? Maybe you want to see an increase in sales of your goods and services, heightened awareness for your brand or more sign ups to your newsletter. Whatever your goals, getting clear on them sets the foundation for your marketing strategy.

Each marketing channel works differently, and some are better at achieving certain goals than others. For instance, social media can be a great way to strengthen relationships you have with your existing customer base. A billboard, on the other hand, might help increase awareness by getting your brand in front of lots of eyeballs. Knowing your goals means you can pick the marketing channels that will benefit your business the most.

2. Know where you customers hang out

What does your ideal customer do on the weekends? What kind of media do they consume? What websites or apps do they frequently visit and what words are they searching on Google?

Consumers are bombarded with media clutter every day so if your marketing strategy is going to be effective, you need to know exactly where and when to communicate with them. That means not trying to reach them where you want them to be but rather targeting them where they’re already hanging out. Looking to engage with Gen Z? Get on YouTube, Instagram and Twitch. Want to talk to CEOs at large companies? Head to LinkedIn.

3. Talk to your consumers throughout their journey

We communicate to our target market when they’re at the beginning of the funnel for obvious reasons; we want to encourage them to move to the next phase of the purchasing journey. But what many businesses fail to do is nurture these same consumers once they’ve converted.

If you go on a date with someone and you had a great time, but they don’t call you back, you end up feeling a little deflated and forgotten. This is also true for the customer relationship. Presenting targeted messaging to those customers that have already converted can help you to develop a more meaningful relationship with them and encourage brand loyalty. To maximise the success of your marketing efforts, find the channels that allow you to talk to your consumers pre, during and post-sale in order to stay connected throughout the customer journey.

4. Scope out the competition

Need a little direction? Identify your most successful competitors and note which marketing channels they use – a strong indicator of where you should be directing your efforts. It confirms that a channel is likely to be effective for your business and lets you grab some share of voice on each channel.

5. Work your strategy + analyse the results

So you’ve determined you goals, discovered the channels and platforms your customers frequent and have taken inspiration from you competitors… what next?

You probably have a pretty good idea of the marketing channels that will work best for your business. But it doesn’t stop there. Marketing isn’t set and forget. It needs to be constantly tested, optimised and updated to stay relevant and ensure the best results are achieved. Take advantage of analytics and insights tools that can help to paint a picture of the success of your marketing campaigns. If you find you’re not getting the reaction you had anticipated, change tact and try again.

Posting a comment to the negative review could be an effective way of communicating and rectifying with your customer. If you are able to take ownership of what made your customer unhappy, they might just give you another chance. It should go without saying that it will be much easier to solve this issue if it’s addressed in public by someone who is known for responding publicly. That way your followers can see how committed you are at solving problems and coming up with solutions - such include a refund or vouchers so they can try again later on when things have improved with well-crafted words that demonstrate sensitivity and attention while also showing concern for the situation. Finally, never forget to thank them for their feedback.