Personas: KNOW your Audience

Vivian Swertinski

“KNOW” your audience.  Those three words echo in my mind as I reflect on the presentations given at AUDC in Austin last week.

Chip Bell’s keynote presentation was right on target when he proclaimed that outstanding marketers understand and create relationships with their audience.  He gave great examples of businesses that have a loyal following because of the connection they build with their audience. Think Starbucks, Harley Davidson, and Chip’s preferred brand — Jack Daniels.

Isn’t it ironic that a room full of marketers would be instructed to KNOW their audience? Now, some may be thinking, this is Marketing 101, of course I know my audience.  I know their occupation, job title, geographic location, approximate age — I have an abundance of data. I surely know my audience.

I dare say that is only half of the story. The data we collect provides us with HEAD knowledge. We can have HEAD knowledge of our audience but still not know them in a meaningful way. As the late, great Stephen Covey said, “seek first to understand, then to be understood.” He instructed us to “listen with the intent to hear, rather than with the intent to speak.” That means that we need to take the initiative to understand someone before we expect them to understand us.

As marketers, we need to move from only having HEAD knowledge of our audience to also having HEART knowledge.  People donate their time, money, and make purchase and membership decisions based on how they feel. Our stories needs to be about why it matters to them.

We can collect data like titles and age, but understanding what motives our audience and what keeps them up at night is hard. But it’s knowing these things that can be a real game changer!

The single most important step you can take for your marketing strategy is to KNOW your audience. We talk a lot about the power of  marketing personas and their role in effective stories in Become a Storytelling Machine: Creating a Custom Email Experience Using Marketing Automation. Download your free copy of the eBook here and start gaining insight into the heart of your audience with marketing personas.

I would love to hear your story on how you are creating a customized experience with your audience. How are you personalizing the experience? Have you created marketing personas yet?

Become a Storytelling Machine

About the Author
Vivian Swertinski

As the Strategic Services Manager at Informz, Vivian partners with clients to maximize their digital marketing efforts with customized strategies leveraging the Informz marketing automation platform. Outside of work Vivian enjoys shopping, boating and volunteering her time to help disabled individuals in the community.