With Muckle Media, Managing Director Nathalie Agnew and guest speaker, Former Head of Insights at Ralph Lauren Shruti Ahuja.
The first stage of Muckle Media’s communications planning wheel is ‘insights’, which was the topic of last week’s #CommsCamp session. We discussed the different tolls and data sets that can be used to identify insights and interviewed Shruti about finding what she calls the ‘golden egg’. This is essentially an amazing piece of data or insight from which we can build a purposeful communications campaign.
You can never know enough about your audience
You can never know enough about your audience, particularly at the moment when things are changing constantly! The first piece of advice was to profile the audience as deeply as possible, and once that’s done profile some more. Shruti describes insights as a piece of information that can help make smarter decision for a business’s function, it goes beyond sharing numbers and should tell a clear story – perfect for the natural storytellers in communications teams! There are endless avenues you can explore to find these insights, a good starting is looking at adjacent markets you’re in. This could provide you with learnings of best practice in a different way to your industry.
Look at existing audiences first
Another easy to access alternative would be looking at demographics from existing customers but be cautious as the customer you’re going after might not be the same as the one you already have. Other examples could include focus groups, paid research, government data, forums and competitor analysis to name a few. There are also numerous tools to help you interrogate public and search engine data, such as ‘Answer The Public’, which provides free real time access to common search terms for a topic of your choice.
Use data to tell a story
As Shruti and Nathalie both mentioned, data needs to tell a story and with big spreadsheets it can get lost amongst the figures. So, once you’ve gathered insights, it’s important to cut the information and check the insight is correct and not just a coincidence.
Consider audience profiles or personas
You can then use these insights to think about who you’re targeting, this could involve things like segmentation, creating your dream customer or making a persona (which Nathalie feels is making a comeback!). For example, creating your ideal customer as a person and thinking about their behaviours e.g. what does Sally enjoy doing? What social networks does she use? Who does she live with and what does she do on the weekend? It can help you envision who exactly it is you are targeting. Shruti adds that a great way of creating insights on a budget would be starting with an audit using tools available to hand and look at diversifying your current audience.
Finding the ‘golden egg’
Once you’ve got this really detailed profile of who you want to target with your message, it makes it much easier to shape and mould. A lot of market insights can be found in similar places as the audience insights, but some additional platforms include trade magazines, thought leadership and industry experts. By blending predicted industry trends and audience insights you will ultimately find the ‘golden egg’.
Follow a process
It’s beneficial to follow a three-step process – review, audit and decide. This will help you create more focused campaigns that reach the right audience with the right message. Insights act as a critical friend to your communications team and help give clarity to your plan. In this day and age, it’s imperative that you continue to follow new market and audience insights and update your communications strategy accordingly.
And as Shruti concluded ‘Having a passion for data is so important, you need to be analytical and think outside the box. Keep learning and finding out what is new in the market.’