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November 5th, 2018

You don’t need me to tell you that understanding your audience is fundamental for effective marketing and communication. If I was going to write this blog for my mother instead of the marketing guru like you, it would be very different (Sorry mom!).

One of the quickest ways to create a better picture of your audience is to run a profile.

There are so many ways that you can gain insights into your audience. Whether you analyze creative testing results, evaluate online survey responses, set up focus groups, monitor social media responses, or interview event participants, you gain insights about your audience. But one of the quickest ways to create a better picture of your audience is to run a profile.

There are multiple resources available to profile your supporters and prospects, however MarkeTeam develops and provides customized profiles based on our U.S. Household Database that includes over 170 million households, with access to hundreds of demographic, psychographic, lifestyle, and behavioral data points. Once you have selected a data source, these are some steps to follow to get the most out of the profile:

  1. Define your objective: Regardless of the source of information, there should be an underlying reason or question you are looking to answer. Are you looking for creative ideas, channel receptivity, or evaluating potential for further modeling? How are your monthly sustainers different than your mid-level and core donors? Can you compare your supporters to your competitors’ supporters? Are premium responsive donors different than non-premium responsive donors?
  2. Segment your audience: Unless you are profiling to develop a single statistic, the process will not generate significant insight unless you segment your audiences. Typically, you will want to compare segments that are similar but exhibit different behaviors defined by your objective. For example, online vs. offline sourced, Facebook vs. other social media, age, geographic location, or other easily identified criteria—you can even benchmark against general populations.
  3. Evaluate your profile: This is where the profile begins to paint a picture that allows you to better understand your audience. Go beyond the demographics to dig into behaviors and propensities with high differentials. You may find that your pledge donors are younger and wealthier, but also less charitable to non-political causes … they could lean liberal or conservative, and show differences in political affiliations … they could be active on the Internet and write blogs … or be more likely to transact online compared to your core audience.
  4. TAKE ACTION … or not: If you now have points of differentiation for your various audience cohorts, you can now set up action plans to utilize those differences in channels, messaging and creative platforms. You may find distinct differences to justify model development (see our blog on profiling with A/B testing) or the audience you planned to target with social outreach is not active online and no action should be taken.

A profile can simply answer a question about your audience or be the first step to guide a larger objective using multiple tactics. Regardless of marketing to donors, petition signers, patients, or your competitors’ supporters, consider performing a profile to better understand your audience.

By Andy Johnson | Vice President of Analytics

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