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Getting to Know Your Audience

Getting to Know Your Audience

The right way to move an audience is dependent on, well, your audience. Who they are, how they think, what they need, and the media to which they best respond - it's all up for grabs.

You may THINK you know your audience, and of course you do. But it’s important to test your assumptions to make sure you’re keeping pace with their ever-changing demands. Here are some tips that will help you continue to surprise and delight.

Ask them what they want:  A post-event survey is fine, but a pre-event focus group is even better. Take a subset of your current AND your prospective audience and get them together for some good old-fashioned focus grouping. Ask them what they want, how they wish to interact with your organization, and what types of content and value-added insights they are looking to acheive. 

Get the demographics and psychographics right – don’t operate on assumptions:  Yes, you know your audience - but they are in constant motion.  Run a demographic and psychographic profile to make sure they are who you think they are. What types of individuals are the most likely to be attracted to your content; to your events? What part of your audience are you losing and why? What new audience archetypes should you be trying to engage to renew and refresh your attendees?

Create audience profiles:  Once you know who your current and aspirational audience is, create targeted profiles of these individuals. This is a standard advertising convention. It’s basic audience segmentation. Know each segment of your audience type, which are more likely attracted to your brand and your event, and also which ones you are futher away from. Those are the groups with whom you will want to spend most of your time engaging. Engaging the already engaged is a waste of time, engaging the unengaged is the way to grow your audience.

Build content around your audience needs:  Once you have a lock on your audience segments - and the drivers for each - begin to develop content that matters most to them. Understand what drives them, what their needs are, and what they are trying to achieve. This is the only way of ensuring your content will land with a punch.

Now send them a survey – or better yet, survey them in the moment, on site. You DO need to know what they are thinking, what resonated, and where you missed the mark. The more immediate, the better. And keep it simple! Evolving your content and your approach is the only way of saying relevant.

Chris Cavanaugh is the President of FreemanXP.  FreemanXP uses the power of social engagement to move audiences to action.

Photo: INTVGene

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Chris cavanaugh

Chris Cavanaugh

EVP & Chief Marketing Officer

Chris founded FreemanXP to meet the strategic demands of a changing marketplace by connecting individuals and brands in ways that create transformational change on a global scale. FreemanXP has since gone on to become the largest global experience marketing agency in the industry.

Chris started in...

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