The process of media buying is more streamlined and technologically advanced than ever before. In spite of this, many large-scale advertising campaigns are still failing at matching their creative with audience needs and expectations. While many marketing teams have a strong understanding of their target audiences, being able to create a direct link between an ad and its intended audience can still cause a number of challenges.
Audience profiling allows teams to quickly survey their audiences in order to design a campaign that resonates strongly. It can be done at the start of a campaign, or at mid-points throughout the process, in order to learn why a campaign is or isn’t performing. Having this understanding before committing to a full ad spend means that marketing efforts become led by data rather than guess work. Marketing teams can get on the front foot and ensure that they aren’t wasting money on the wrong audience, creative or channels.
Audience segments driven by data
While it’s common practice for c-suite executives to employ market research firms to inform high-level business initiatives – it’s still often the case that little consumer research is done prior to the launch of large-scale media campaigns.
Marketers who rely on a quick poll taken in a meeting-room setting fail to tap directly into true market needs and are likely to engage with the wrong people. The most successful media strategists tend to conduct in-depth research on their audiences well before they match their media spend to their desired audience.
In terms of ROI, the value research brings has infinite potential. If we think back to the Mad Men era of advertising in the 1960s, engaging with focus groups was pivotal to consumer outreach, with small groups of highly targeted consumers being called upon in order to inform the creative process. Looking to consumer research before a project goes live allows marketers to ask important questions of their audiences, and themselves, rather than taking a stab in the dark trying to pinpoint what their audience wants.
The role of custom research
While syndicated research that’s completed once a quarter may be able to capture details about an audience, the use of customised market research to profile audience segments captures information at a critical point in time, allowing for a richer understanding of the people who should be targeted by an advertising campaign. Marketing teams are able to form a clearer understanding of market segments, and generate greater brand awareness as a result of this. Customised market research ensures that marketing professionals can design a campaign that connects brands to perfect audiences. It reduces the volume of media wastage; potentially saving marketing teams millions of dollars on plans that simply do not work.
By creating a richer understanding of purchase intent, product usage and customer attitudes, campaigns can be developed that speak to the biggest opportunities available. Brands are able to find new audiences, understand the best channels to target and test creative in order to form a clear idea of what resonates most strongly with an audience.