In the world of marketing and communication, there's one superpower that separates the champs from the chumps: personalised communication. Whether you're crafting campaigns for internal or external audiences, are desperate to raise awareness or drive more sales, understanding your audience and tailoring your content to their preferences is the most valuable thing you can do.
Getting closer to the consumer leads to major gains, but the process behind that is often misunderstood. Really knowing your audience is about more than having a rough age range in mind or understanding that you have more followers on TikTok than newsletter sign-ups. So, where to start? Right here, of course! In this article, I’ll take you through why personalisation matters and how to do it effectively.
There are no cheat codes
It's tempting to believe that you have all the answers about your business or brand. After all, you're deeply immersed in it every day. But here's the truth; there are no cheat codes when it comes to understanding your audience. Just because you believe you know your business or brand inside out, doesn’t mean that you're the authority on what your audience wants, where they want it, and how to effectively deliver it. Relying on gut feeling and assuming you know what your audience wants can lead to costly mistakes. Asking leadership for their opinions may not accurately reflect your audience's needs either. In fact, properly researched campaigns require 61% less refinement as the campaign progresses (CIM, 2020). So, attempting to take shortcuts can often slow you down in the long run.
Knowing your audience means asking the right questions
The key to truly understanding your audience is asking questions. And not just any questions, but ones that get you into the psyche of the real people you’re trying to reach, rather than give you a broad sense of the equally broad groups you hope see your content. These questions are straightforward, but they’re crucial. The first is simply, ‘Who?’. Who makes up your audience? What matters to them? What motivates them? You need to understand what they want from you and your brand too, so we must also ask, ‘What?’. What content does your audience want to see? What does their journey look like? And finally, we need to work out how they’ll interact with the content we provide. Discover that by asking, ‘How?’. How are they interacting with us? How and when can we reach them? By answering these questions, you can deliver the content and experiences that truly connect with your audience.
Success requires context
Personalisation in communication hinges on context. To be effective, you need to serve people content that aligns with their interests and needs. For instance, if Joe, working in your warehouse, cares deeply about pay and benefits in your organisation, he won't be interested in an email about changes to the corporate hierarchy. He just won’t open it. Similarly, Jane, a customer interested in sustainable banking products, will likely ignore your Instagram post about your CEO's journey. And that’s if the algorithm even shows it to her in the first place. Trying to serve unrelated content to your audience is like trying to fit a square peg into a round hole – it's hard work and it’s rarely successful. Instead, focus on serving people content that matters to them, and personalise your communications not just based on demographics, but on the individual.
Our formula for next-level comms
So, how can you create personalised comms that get results? The next steps are pretty straightforward and can even be worked into a formula like the one we use here at DRPG. Vitally, that formula for success takes into account the real people who make up your audience. You might already have all the data you need, but if not, our Research & Insights (R&I) team can help you secure it. Here it is: Person x channel x content x timing x context = next step and objective.
In other words, it's about getting specific. Understand the individual, their characteristics, habits, and interests. Then, determine the right channel for your message, craft content that resonates with them, time your communication for maximum impact, and consider the context in which they'll receive your message. This approach is the key to achieving real results.
I didn’t set out to write this article because I want to see more personalised, more meaningful comms out in the world. I do, but that’s not the point. Really, my mission here at DRPG is to help you get the best possible return on investment, and knowing your audience is key to that. Understanding your audience can have a substantial impact on your bottom line. There’s evidence to back it up.
For instance, social media campaigns with properly segmented audiences are 26% cheaper to run, according to HootSuite, and segmented campaigns have been shown to drive an average 760% increase in revenue. Plus, insight-driven projects can reduce workload by 26%, so defining your audience well might even leave your team with more time to work on other projects (or take a long lunch!).
If you want to realise even just a few of those benefits – and there are plenty more I’ve no space to mention – our R&I team is here to help you unlock the power of personalised comms. Knowing your audience isn't just a nice-to-have; it's a strategic advantage that can lead to increased revenue, reduced costs, and greater efficiency. So, take the time to understand your audience and tailor your communications accordingly. It's a journey worth setting out on, and we're here to guide you every step of the way.