Understand Your Audience and Move Them to Action

Are you targeting audiences or people? Therein lies an important distinction.

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Photo of Jordan Jacobs

Jordan Jacobs

Senior Vice President

  • July 11, 2018
  •  in: Data

In marketing and communications, the term, “target audience” is often used but it implies that we’re talking, and an audience is listening. Today’s consumers want more. They demand genuine connection.

That’s why it’s important to use data to help you get to know your audience on a personal level that will pique their interest in the first five seconds. So how do we utilize best in class tools to help us determine the best ways of engaging audiences and moving them to action?

The foundation for client success is set using the power of data. Before the advent of data, advertisers hoped they were resonating with the right people. Now we can see whether we’re reaching the right audience right time right place and how we’re impacting their behavior.

Go deeper with personas

Basic demographics (age, gender, income, profession, etc.) are helpful, but they don’t tell the personal story of who you are trying to reach. To truly understand and resonate with your audience, we recommend taking your research two layers deeper.

  1. Analyzing data must be complemented with third-party tools that give us insights about how audiences consume media, which sources they trust and which devices they use most.
  2. Conducting stakeholder interviews and focus groups, can help understand consumers’ perceptions about a brand and the emotional considerations that factor into their decision-making.

All of the data and information can then be used to create personas to give each audience a name and a face. Instead of saying, for example, that our audience is Hispanic females, we talk about Maria. She’s 25 years old with one child, and she’s a social worker.

Personas are effective because they help us relate to audiences and stay focused on the messages and strategies that truly resonate. The conversation becomes, “Would Maria care about this? What would drive Maria to take action?” Every idea must be creative and strategic. We might have a great story, but if it isn’t going to motivate Maria, then it’s not the best approach.

Data makes us nimble

The numbers empower us to make real-time decisions and course corrections, making better use of resources. We speak to customers in an individual way through segmentation. We develop specific messaging based on how and where audiences access information or where they are in the sales funnel. For example, if someone is in the information-gathering stage, we can serve messages and links designed to help them advance toward making a purchase.

Here’s an example of how this all came together recently for a healthcare client who serves children. During our research, we discovered a market opportunity for engaging Hispanic families. We learned that most of these families accessed media through a mobile device, that they preferred communications in Spanish and that they trusted word-of-mouth from their peers.

This information dramatically changed our approach. We worked with the client to develop a mobile-platform in Spanish, and we engaged churches in helping us get the word out about the client’s services.

In the age of data, we can almost immediately see whether our efforts are having an impact. In this case, click-through and conversion rates verified that we were not only reaching our audience but affecting their decision-making.

We achieve powerful results when we understand our consumers and approach each decision as an opportunity to meet them where they are. To learn more about how we can help your business, contact us.