Audience first is not really a new thing at all, and neither does it change the way we should be communicating with users. After all, the name of the game has always been to target the right audience with the right message to cut wastage. So isn’t everyone doing it already?
What does “audience-first” even look like?
Taking a true audience-first approach is all but impossible if you can’t see past demographic profiling. We can give a pretty accurate assessment of the readership of Vogue, for instance, but who’s to say that a 20-year-old woman from Bristol and a 50-year-old man from Brisbane wouldn’t enjoy streaming similar content on Netflix?
The outcome of demographic profiling is typically a narrow group. Worse, this group may not even represent a brand’s most productive audience; it could entirely exclude users who show buying sentiment but aren’t covered by the restrictive demographic profile.
Of course, no one’s saying we should get rid of targeting. But we certainly need to rethink our understanding of audience profiling. That means considering factors such as behaviours and moments, rather than fixating on age, gender, location and social grade. Has a user displayed buying intent toward a product or service you offer? Could an external factor – like weather, traffic or a specific local event – persuade them to buy something you offer right now?
How audience-first challenges the traditional agency
The traditional agency channel structure may be effective from a delivery perspective, but it actively hampers your ability to put the audience first.
“The goal of digital marketing stays the same. That is: understand who your ideal audience is, reach them at scale, and connect with them effectively and cost-efficiently.”