Marketing doesn’t work if you don’t understand your audience on a deep level.
With more access to data — across more platforms and touchpoints than ever before — understanding your audience is more important and more attainable than ever. Consumers now expect advertising to add value to their shopping journey, instead of invading and disrupting their experience online.
But in order to deliver moments that meet such a high expectation, you need to know more about your audience than who they are on the surface.
Understanding Human Complexity
People are more than just their demographic or their passions. People are complex in that they have different intricacies that uniquely define them at varying times throughout any given day.
Take a professional athlete, for example. This athlete is in a performance mindset when they are practicing, preparing for a game or watching videos of athletes they admire. But when that same athlete goes home to relax and watch a movie with their significant other, or when they wake up in the morning and cook breakfast for their family, they are in an entirely different mindset. They might as well be two different people — or 30 different people for that matter.
As a marketer, you now have to look beyond the face-value descriptors of who your audience is. Demographics are still important for targeting the right audience, but it’s only part of the overall equation. Targeting the athlete with an ad for engagement rings while they’re browsing new workout regimens isn’t the right way to create an authentic, engaging experience. That athlete is likely to be more receptive to ads promoting sports drinks, workout equipment, athletic gear or something similar.
But if that same ad for engagement rings is shown to the athlete while watching a rom-com with their significant other, they are much more likely to be receptive to that very same ad.
It’s All About the Context
While demographics aren’t everything, a company should still invest in understanding the type of consumer that it wants to attract.
That insight becomes extremely valuable when it’s aligned with the context of what a consumer is experiencing. That’s what elevates the ad experience from something that is “technically accurate” in its targeting to something emotionally relevant to the consumer.
Consumers crave authenticity. In order to create experiences that are truly authentic, you have to deliver messages that are compatible with what the consumer is doing in the moment. Strategies like affiliate marketing allow marketers to achieve this by working closely with a range of publishers to promote products and services that are contextually relevant to their content in environments that consumers proactively seek out and trust.
This way, when that same athlete from earlier goes to their favorite lifestyle publisher for nutrition information, your ad for vitamins or supplements can appear in an organic and native way — ultimately making their consumer journey more fulfilling.
Moments Are Shareable
It’s important to understand that moments are not individual experiences in every instance.
The athlete watching the romantic comedy is sharing that experience with their significant other. That same athlete might not be as receptive to an engagement ring advertisement when watching TV or a movie on their own. The person they’re sharing that moment with makes the ad an even more impactful, emotionally relevant experience.
When determining where and how to reach an audience, a marketer needs to consider all of these outside variables that can impact the mood of the person they are trying to reach. It also provides marketers with the opportunity to reach multiple audiences at the same time.
At its core, identifying the right moment to reach a potential new or returning customer is a product of understanding who your audience is on a deeper level. Consumers are open to hearing what brands have to say – but understandably, they want to be reached in the appropriate setting.
By taking a right-message, right-moment approach to marketing, companies will be able to deliver authentic and engaging ad experiences that will ultimately be mutually beneficial to both the brand and the consumer.