Four Tips to Better Understand Your Audience
Campaign performance and audience receptivity are directly linked – for better, or worse. We have all seen this play out. When anticipated and executed correctly, brands connect emotionally and intellectually with their targets and reap the results. However, the opposite can also be true.
No one knows that better than Peloton. Let’s take a trip down memory lane to the 2019 advertisement that sparked a PR outcry. Many saw the commercial to be offensive and cringe-worthy. The brand was quickly labeled tone-deaf and sexist. To make matters worse, instead of apologizing, Peloton clapped back. According to the statement, the commercial was simply “misunderstood”.
As Aristotle once said: “The fool tells me his reasons. The wise man persuades me with my own.”
The audience didn’t misunderstand the message. Peloton misunderstood its audience. In fact, the major PR crisis could have been entirely avoided had the company dug a little deeper to understand the motivational and emotional drivers of its audience.
The ability to intimately understand your customer takes years to master and is an ever-evolving process. To avoid a mishap like this, here are a few tips to help you better understand your audience.
Facilitate regular, open and candid conversations about brand expectations and buyer personas across the company. Everyone should know who you are selling to, what they need, and what makes them tick. Building buyer personas isn’t a one-time task. They need to be revisited and improved with both internal and external input and research often.
Content for everyone is content for no one—especially in the world of B2B tech. Getting to know your audience involves taking the time to understand them outside of their demographics or job functions. Dig beneath the surface to uncover their hobbies, interests, passions, motivators and more. Also, remember to segment, as it’s very unlikely you are selling to only one audience.
One way to do this is through social monitoring. Social monitoring is different from listening because it takes you beyond the centralized brand conversations. By actively looking for relevant topics outside of your company, you can better understand your followers, or ideal follower. The more you know about their make-up, the more marketing and PR success you will have.
There’s nothing wrong with a little friendly competition. Check out your competitors often and see what they are producing. Learn and study what they do well and build from that. Still, don’t forget to add your unique perspective and adjust the concept for your specific buyers.
The people who engage with your content are your biggest fans. Learn what they enjoy and understand what doesn’t resonate. Look at the analytics to see what topics and messages perform best. And of course, connect, engage and respond back to their comments across social channels. Listening via social helps humanize your brand and shows appreciation toward your audience.
No matter how creative your content is, campaign performance depends on the connection it makes with your audience. So, whether you’re just starting out or are a seasoned PR and marketing professional—never stop asking who you’re writing for, what they need and optimizing what you produce to strengthen the connection.
Need help identifying your customer personas? Shoot us a message and we’ll get you started.