With culture and behavior changing at an unprecedented pace, companies are under more pressure than ever to gather insights about how to connect with and understand their audience as fast as possible. And, unfortunately, if you really are experiencing an audience insight gap, you may not even know it.
In a recent study commissioned by IBM, there was a massive perception gap between how well businesses thought they were doing in their marketing and their actual customers’ experiences. But there is a way to close this gap and increase marketing effectiveness by really understanding who you’re interacting with.
There are four steps you can take to begin shrinking the audience understanding gap.
And when you do, you’ll be able to create the experiences and products that your customers are looking for.
1. Make audience insight-gathering collaborative and immersive.
Collecting consumer insights in a bubble will never give you the full picture. It’s important to go on real-life audience-insight-gathering missions as a team to get first-hand insights and discuss what each of you sees. This approach will help you to connect with each other as well as the community around you.
2. Disrupt your team’s way of thinking by breaking out of your insight comfort zone.
Chances are that if you’re not connecting, it’s time to change your approach. Commit to trying 1-2 new ways of gathering audience insights in the new year. Ethnographies, home visits, and focus groups aren’t the only ways to get to know your audience; they’re just the ones you’re used to.
3. Get into your audience’s head —and space.
Identify a place your audience likes to go and spend time there interacting and observing. Immersing yourself in an experience which is meaningful to your audience can bring new context and understanding to their viewpoint on the world.
4. Create hypotheses about your audience and then test them in real life.
Do you have a hunch that your audience has a growing passion for fitness? Go to a gym, fitness expo or athletic retailer to see if you can find your audience there.
We understand that it’s not easy to fit these insight-gathering excursions into an already hectic schedule. That’s why, for those looking to change their perception quickly and see their audiences in new ways, we created Shift.
Shift is a collaborative endeavor designed to help you approach your problems from a new angle and give you immediate, tangible actions — all in one day.
Through hypothesis-building and in-the-field immersion, you will be challenged to look closer at the world around you, develop a stronger understanding of what’s happening, and authentically connect with your audience.