Effective audience targeting to maximize marketing ROI.

The industry

Commercial real estate and private equity investing

The client

A web based investment platform offering best-in-class investment opportunities for accredited investors

This company was built from a successful family investment office to a publicly available platform for accredited investors, offering exclusive access to income producing, asset-backed investments.


Our client was beginning the process to convert from a community of exclusively 506(b) investors (accredited investors you know, as part of a family office managing large investments) to a national 506c offer (investment offers to new accredited investors, joining an investment community with offers marketed publicly).

The challenge was to create an effective and cost efficient marketing plan to target accredited investors via social media platforms. Targeting accredited investors requires a strategic approach due to both the regulatory constraints of the investment category as well as the absence of direct targeting capabilities for high-net-worth individuals across social media platforms.

Our findings

Our goals were to build brand awareness, garner ongoing interest in our client’s investment offers and ultimately, grow their investor community with new qualified accredited investors. We wanted to serve ads and content — cost effectively — to people who qualify as accredited investors.

While today’s social media platforms each have robust targeting criteria, for select industries and offers, the targeting options may not be specifically ‘on the nose’. In our cases, the strategy would require us to use the right combination of research and targeting tactics to serve specific messaging to our intended audience.

The solution

We conducted research to pinpoint all the attributes of our intended audience and use them in combination. We began by researching our target demographics with a great deal of specificity. Things like age range, education, career and job titles, income levels, geographic concentration, professional, social, personal and cultural interests and aspirations. We researched the best tactics within each platform as well as conducted a thorough review of the category competition.

Following the deployment of our initial targeting and tactics, we analyzed results, dialed in on messaging and the most effective tactics which were producing results — new signups. The point was to learn what worked best, allowing us to optimize results to drive increasing traffic and adding more accredited investors to the platform.

The details —
Extensive market research

Quality and thorough marketing research is necessary when thinking about how to reach your target audience as early as possible when launching marketing efforts. Our research led us to the best launch point for audience targeting as well as optimal initial marketing tactics. For audience targeting, the research was used to create solid profiling criteria for accredited investors and high net worth individuals (HNWI). We further looked at population demographics — those places with the highest density of HNWIs. This allowed us to begin marketing in select geographies for initial results and analysis. Our research also included a thorough competitive review to understand what the most successful competitors were doing. In addition to a review of the competition’s tactics, we also used this research to identify ‘clear space’ opportunities — what part of the market and messaging could our client best leverage to stand apart from the crowd.

Test, learn, optimize, repeat

We began the initial campaigns with a wide variety of creative and messaging and measured what worked best to acquire qualified sign ups. We identified that past investment performance was a key consideration for our audience so we tailored messaging accordingly. Through our optimization efforts we discovered that the educational content we were creating was converting at a far lower cost, while bringing traffic to the website and authority to our client. These actions, alongside the learnings garnered from specific channels and tactics which drove the most traffic — and importantly the most conversions — allowed us to quickly optimize ongoing marketing efforts and escalate ROI as the campaigns continued.

“Social media is about sociology and psychology more than technology.”
Brian Solis — Prior VP of Global Innovation at Salesforce
The results

The initial research to effectively dial in on audience targeting, followed by ongoing learnings of campaign results, allowed us to get to an impressive marketing ROI quite quickly, growing their investor community.

Related viewpoints.
More marketing case studies.