Why human-powered audience insights are the secret weapon for brands to achieve growth
By Lucie Pearce, Head of Marketing, Fifty.io
At the beginning of 2020, the number of bytes in the digital universe was 40 times bigger than the number of stars in the observable universe. Every minute of every day, consumers and businesses are generating data on the web, which means this number will continue to grow. In 2025, it’s predicted that there will be 463 exabytes of data created each day on a global basis.
Whilst it’s difficult to really put it into perspective just how much data is being created, for brands this offers a wealth of opportunities when it comes to helping them engage with and understand their customers better. But how do you bring order to the complexity of the digital universe?
Do you really know your audience?
Brands have always sought to understand their customers so that they could better serve them.
In the past, tools such as surveys, focus groups, demographic research and ethnographies have been used by brands to help build a picture of who their audience are. However, not only are these methodologies time-consuming and expensive to conduct, they simply cannot provide a truly rich and holistic picture of a target audience as people do not consume simply based on their age or income bracket. There are so many other nuances that inform a customer’s path to purchase.
In recent years, social sentiment or listening has gained in popularity as a supplement to market research. However, whilst this solves the problem of scale, it does not solve the issue of extrapolation. With only a relatively small handful of people actively commenting or positing online, social listening leaves out the silent majority who go online simply to observe. This group can be a brand’s most valuable asset as they are not only engaged, but they are ready to have brands engage with them.
Unlike social listening which tends to begin with keywords, audience insights start with people. By
understanding the behaviours of an audience and what motivates them to purchase, brands can use this data to create informed marketing strategies.
By transforming complex audience data into actionable insights, brands can understand how consumers cluster together based on shared patterns, habits, and behaviours. This allows brands to build a holistic picture of an audience.
For brands looking to stand out in a crowded digital marketplace where consumers are used to seeing a flurry of ads across the web, it’s crucial to have audience insights. But having insights alone isn’t enough. Brands need to be able to action them.
Creating spellbinding success for Harry Potter
With the re-launch of the live theatre production of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child in New York, we were enlisted by AKA US to assist with a full funnel promotional campaign aimed at to driving awareness of the show and boosting ticket sales.
Implementing a programmatic campaign focusing on upper and lower funnel returns, the first step was to gain a deep understanding of the Harry Potter ‘Superfandom’ – separating mainstream fans from superfans in order to target the correct audiences.
Taking a deep-dive into audiences following multiple Harry Potter-related social media accounts, we were able to identify key audience segments (‘tribes’) according to their shared passions and interests. These included ‘Harry Potter Superfans’, ‘Movie Superfans’, ‘Live Entertainment Fans’, ‘Brits in NYC’ and ‘Gen Z Potterheads’.
Using these groups as the foundation for the campaign, we implemented a multichannel approach across PC, mobile and tablet devices. Creating highly tailored digital touchpoints using a wide range of creatives, we were able to connect with the individuals within each audience group using creative content reflective of their ‘tribe’s’ interests. This resulted in a rounded customer journey that increased in frequency over time to maintain awareness and promote sales, right up to the point of purchase.
Our insights allowed them to identify that ‘Live Entertainment Fans’ were a lower performing group which allowed them to limit delivery of creatives to this ‘tribe’ and instead focus on ‘Brits in NYC’ which although were a smaller group, outperformed throughout the campaign. A tribe as specific as this, built off social listening skills identifying key traits in UK citizens in New York, would have been very difficult to target in any other way. Therefore reaching this untapped audience played a crucial part to our campaign.
By implementing this customised, multichannel campaign approach, we were able to exceed expected ticket sales, as well as drive brand awareness.
Future-proof your media buying strategies
Human-driven audience insights help brands gain a deeper understanding of their customers, allowing them to differentiate themselves from their competitors, and create highly effective media buying strategies.
By identifying who their customers are and where they can be reached, brands can be confident that their messaging is relevant for their target audience and their ad targeting is reaching current and future customers in the right place.