As modern marketers, we know we need data to substantiate the messages we deliver to our target audiences. But we should also understand the value of gathering information beyond what we can infer based on their locations, budgets or company size. If we really want to segment consumers in the most accurate way possible, we must pull back deeper layers of their collective psyche.
According to a recent study from Forbes Insights and Quantcast, 71% of the 300 executives surveyed answered that psychographic data is paramount to the success of their digital marketing campaigns. So how can marketers garner more compelling personal information about the contacts in their businesses’ databases short of meeting with them face-to-face?
Here’s some advice:
Tune in to social media: Get a better handle on your customers’ personal interests by keeping up with their conversations on social media. When you start being more attentive to your key targets on Twitter or LinkedIn, you may notice certain trends surrounding the values and thoughts about your industry. Leverage this information to market your products to each business segment differently. Show your prospects and existing customers that you care about their interests by engaging with them across these platforms and reflecting their values in your marketing messages. If you can’t commit to interacting with each of your customers and prospects (because face it, who can?) then at the very least define a target group of influencers to engage with and study at least a few times a month. Often times, you can find quick trends by studying the leaders of the pack. For example, on a flight to a big marketing conference, three marketers were sitting in a row. They were all wearing black jeans, had oversized headphones, iPhones, and a hardcopy book to read. I could turn that into a small infographic, a funny tweet to connect with my target audience, or even choose to giveaway books and headphones at my next tradeshow.
Engage your buyers: Getting to know your buyers through a customer advocacy program can give you an inside look into what makes them tick. Through challenges and quizzes, you’ll discover what types of movies, music, activities, and interests your customers are excited about. You can also find out what social platforms they use the most, what they have to say about blog posts and campaigns, and more. This information can fuel your future campaigns. If you discover your audience really loves nerf guns and Star Wars, you can work that into your display advertising and see how it impacts clickthroughs on your digital ads. For us, we know many marketers love fitness and travel, two themes we’ve brought into our marketing campaigns with great success.
Take this data and use it to fuel online and offline activity: Marketers often ask how to actually use this type of information in their programs. My recommendation is treat it like a mix of fields you can add to your marketing database, and information to fuel your events, content and display ad strategy. If you add fields like “Interests” or “Events Attended” and start collecting that data through surveys or your sales team, you can then study the results to influence which events you attend, what you giveaway at tradeshows, fun activities you plan for customer appreciation, and what types of images/memes/gifs you use on Twitter. Those small touchpoints and ways to engage with the subcultures of your core audience can add up to much stronger conversion rates.
Make a commitment to get beyond your data fields and you’ll be happy you made the effort. You might also discover a unique new interest, or find a niche group of people who share your deep love of baseball, rap music, scotch and marketing ops. We’re a pretty cool group.