Consumer preferences change rapidly, and it’s in your brand’s best interest to shift your strategies to meet them where they are. There are immeasurable circumstances exerting influence in your market, which makes reaching your audience similar to shooting at a moving target. This is why brands need reliable audience intelligence to maintain relevant messaging – and desirable product offerings.
Here, we’ll dive into helping you understand audience intelligence, so your brand is best positioned to meet your customers’ wants and needs again and again. Specifically, we’ll break down audience intelligence to sort out:
- What is audience intelligence?
- Why does your brand need audience intelligence?
- What should you look for from your audience intelligence tools?
Misunderstanding your target audience impacts your bottom line, so it’s imperative to get it right – as these stats suggest:
- Capitalizing on audience intelligence and market trends is critical to maximizing your advertising dollar and your product reach – and knowing who you’re trying to reach matters. For example, Millennials spend more than $600 billion shopping in the US every year. They also outspend Gen Z and Boomers on entertainment by two-thirds.
- Since the beginning of the pandemic, 75% of US customers say they’ve tried new shopping behaviors for both economic reasons and shifts in personal priorities.
- Using social listening to uncover audience intelligence around your brand is smart. A McKinsey report puts it this way, “Social media provides an important channel for CPG companies to “listen” to consumers without the biases created by conventional research techniques.”
Before we get into the meat, let’s look at the basics of audience intelligence and build out from there.
What is Audience Intelligence?
Audience intelligence results from monitoring various channels for consumer insights, so you are left with a holistic viewpoint of your consumer base. Ideally, your audience intelligence will answer the following:
- What attributes your consumer base typically has in common
- Where your audience is speaking/engaging on social media
- Who the KOLs and influencers are that capture your audience’s attention
- What news media and publications your audience aligns with
- In what geolocations your audience is primarily located
- What values, affinities, needs, wants, and dislikes your audience exhibits
- How your consumer base feels about emerging trends relevant to your brand
- Precise demographic and psychographic (beliefs, emotions) components of your audience
In a nutshell, anything that sheds light on specific attributes of your consumers is audience intelligence. It can be as simple as sending out surveys or as complex as an open-ended social media monitoring endeavor. However, with the speed of our online world and the complexities involved with the pandemic and the ongoing digital transformation, many brands are reaching for audience intelligence wherever they can find it. That’s because you can never have too much.
Knowing the ins and outs of your brand’s audience allows you to tailor every aspect of your business in their direction – and the benefits are enormous. And the fact that competitors are scrambling to do the same should provide even more incentive to set your audience intelligence bar high.
Why Your Brand Needs Audience Intelligence
The more you fine-tune your understanding of your audience, the better prepared you are to target them directly. That means better advertising that’s tailored to the qualities that your customers possess. And it also allows you to build better products and adjust their placement and packaging for a custom fit for your audience’s wants and needs.
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Using your social listening tools to uncover audience insights is a brilliant way to squeeze every ounce of value from your market research analyses. Understanding your audience means knowing their pain points, what they love, where they’re speaking, product affinities, demographic intel, and much more.
Social media analytics allow you to crosscut brand conversations, product topics, and any other social media topic to fully digest the nature of the consumers talking within. That intel will enable you to create messaging that focuses in the right places – at the right time.
And that means you spend your marketing dollars where they’re likely to have the most impact. Additionally, since you know your consumers’ interests and needs, you can create targeted content that speaks directly to them.
Not only that – you can create ads that only target the attributes you’ve discovered within your audience. Done right, accurate audience intelligence will increase the impact and effectiveness of your ad spend.
Realistically, you can build custom audiences around anything that stands out in your social listening analyses, such as behaviors, attitudes, demographics, life stages, purchase intent, occasions, benefits sought, interests, influences, and on and on.
As such, audience intelligence is a must for a brand’s marketing, R&D, product placement, packaging, customer service efforts, etc.
What to Look for From Your Audience Intelligence Tools
Social listening and media analytics tools are fantastic resources for developing your audience intelligence. And bonus points if they allow you to upload your internal data for analysis. As we mentioned, there’s no such thing as too much information concerning your audience – the more you know, the more reliable your targeting will be.
Speaking of reliability, that’s what you want out of any tool you use to augment your audience intelligence. They need to be accurate – and fast. The nature of consumer perception can change on a dime due to political activity, social movements, natural disasters, supply shortages, etc. Therefore, you need your tools to be up to the task and capture insights at the speed of social.
You want the who, what, when, where, and why of your customer base, and your tools should be capable of delivering those audience attributes with unflinching accuracy. And since consumers research, compare products, shop, leave reviews, and discuss brands online, your tools need to pick up that chatter and pull insights from the conversations.
You want tools capable of analyzing these narratives for themes relevant to your brand so you can understand your audience talking within them. And you need them to break down and present aspects of the conversations for analysis, such as:
- Top authors
- Timestamps/activity fluctuations
- Demographic/psychographic data
- Popular posts/media
- Sentiment and sentiment drivers
- Trending topics and hashtags
Understanding the underlying components that make up your audience allows you to create impactful messaging and drive innovation. Here are a few tools that will help you level up your audience intelligence game.
NetBase Quid is the leader in consumer and market intelligence for a reason. It captures every nugget of digital conversation relevant to your brand and can break down your audience into its component parts. That way, you know what makes your audience tick.
Once you’ve identified your audience’s defining attributes, you can create a theme with your custom audience and apply it to any topical analysis to find your consumers talking within it. It’s an invaluable resource to monitor how your consumers are reacting to changing market circumstances. And the insights it provides helps you tailor your ad targeting, so you’re not promoting your product to an indifferent audience.
Facebook Audience Insights
Facebook’s audience insights is another tool you should give a try to uncover precise audience intelligence. Its scope is limited to users who visit your brand page and platform users at large. However, it provides data on demographics, interests, hobbies, and lifestyles so you can strategize around consumer attributes and build targeted campaigns that hit your audience directly.
Used in conjunction with a tool like NetBase Quid, you can input audience attributes you’ve uncovered in your consumer analyses into your targeted ads for pinpoint messaging accuracy.
Audiense is another excellent tool to compliment your audience intelligence toolkit. It’s geared towards marketers and consumer researchers to help segment audiences by topics to help you customize your customer approach. Additionally, their Audiense Connect feature helps build your Twitter community through audience insight and engage at scale.
Audience intelligence should be at the top of mind for any brand in today’s market climate. Reach out for a demo, and we’ll show you how our world-class analytics tools can pinpoint your audience, so you’re never left wondering what they think.