What is audience discovery?
It’s a jungle out there when it comes to the modern, highly competitive business landscape. If your brand is not doing its homework on who is buying (or who they hope to be buying) their product or service, then you can bet your competitors are. For this reason, brands need to have a deep understanding of their target audiences. This knowledge is crucial to crafting effective marketing strategies that resonate with potential customers and drive business growth. However, identifying the right target audience can be a tricky challenge.
That's where Edgar Allan’s audience discovery services come in.
In a nutshell, audience discovery is the process of identifying and understanding the characteristics, behaviors, and preferences of a specific audience. A marketing company that provides audience discovery services uses various data sources and analytical tools to gather and analyze information about a target audience. This information can include demographic data, psychographic data, online behavior, social media activity, and more.
When thinking of who best could explain audience discovery as a service offered by Edgar Allan there is no one more qualified (or articulate) than our very own Director of Brand and Content, Kendra Rainey. She has taken time to answer some questions about audience discovery: What is it? How is it done? What is it good for? Why do brands need it? How can Edgar Allan help your brand with it?
How does Edgar Allan describe audience discovery?
Audience discovery means getting a good look at what a specific audience or audiences feel, fear, need, want, think (and any number of other things) from or about the brand you’re looking to create marketing or messaging for. It takes on lots of different shapes and can be done in a variety of ways and at a variety of fidelities, from simply asking a group of people a few questions to conducting detailed ethnographic surveys over time.
Some audience discovery starts at zero: at “Who are we trying to reach?” which is a really cool and interesting problem to solve. Beyond figuring that out, if we’re diligent and ask the right questions, audience discovery gives us good clues as to how the people we’re “discovering” want to be presented with information or what message they would most respond to, or what emotional poke in the side will push them to react or do a thing.
Why is audience discovery important to a brand?
If you don’t do the work to understand your audience’s needs, pains, joys, and frustrations in relation to your product or brand, you’re just guessing. Guessing is risky — and it’s largely ineffective.
How does Edgar Allan go about audience discovery? Focus groups? Surveys? Studies?
All of the above, plus desk research, one on one interviews, big workshops where we get people together to talk to us and one another — there are lots of ways to conduct audience discovery work.
The first thing to do in any good audience discovery session however is to determine the right questions to ask. You won’t get very far running down the wrong road. That’s the discovery before the discovery: figuring out what you’re needing to learn, then building a tight list of questions that will push your respondents (a fancy term for “people we ask questions when we’re conducting interviews or surveys”) to give you the information you’re looking for.
How does Edgar Allan go about audience discovery for clients?
It depends on the project. Some projects we do a series of 1:1 interviews. For some, we conduct collaborative workshops. Some we do larger surveys. If we’re asked to do wider or more complex audience discovery, or asked to define audiences, we might also collaborate with a market research firm to do bigger studies, or have people test products in person or live on a screen.
What makes Edgar Allan's audience discovery unique from other agencies?
Most brand-focused shops do a decent amount of audience research to create resonant brands and messaging. But most digital design agencies – places that mostly make websites – just don’t, either because they don’t have the budget, the time, or the understanding of how to conduct them.
While there are benchmarks and standards as to how humans behave when they’re navigating the web, ignoring differences in audience needs, pain points, and goals entirely means when you’re planning everything from the site architecture to the story, to the words you’re using to communicate with those audiences, you’re doing more guessing than is smart.
At Edgar Allan, we work hard to create products that honor and serve specific human needs (not made-up or guessed-at ones), that drive action, and that put all the pieces of design, content, structure, story, and utility together into a single, well-thought package. When you leave the audience viewpoint out of the equation, you’re missing a big chunk of the complete picture, and as such, your brand might miss its mark.
What are the benefits of conducting an audience discovery?
- Understanding the people who do or might connect with your brand better. The more you know, the better you’ll be at capturing someone’s heart, mind, and ultimately their wallet.
- Increasing success metrics like conversion rates, sales figures, and sentiment. When you can hone in on what your audiences will respond to (the right words, the right emotion, visual, mode of contact, etc.) you’ll get them to say yes to your brand much more often.
- Getting more bang for your budget or buck. With the right information, you’ll also get them to say yes to your brand – click to reach out, buy your product, and talk you up on other platforms — more quickly. Find out what they truly want and you can hone in much faster than guessing and messing around.
If you feel like your brand has become out of touch with its audience or even if you would just like to do a deeper dive into audience discovery, contact us and we would love to chat with you about it. You may also be interested in Edgar Allan’s other services like brand design, brand naming, brand messaging, QA and UAT, and content design.
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