Understanding Your Audience

Understanding Your Audience

As a sponsorship-selling property, or even a brand/sponsor buying from such a property, do you really know who your audience is? Do you know what audience you can deliver to a sponsor? If you don’t, you are in real trouble!

When I ask that question of our property clients, I often get the age-old answers such as, “Oh, it is pretty much every age group,” “We deliver millennials,” or “We have a very diversified audience.” That answer comes from charities, festivals and fairs, sport organizations, even member associations, and of course, municipalities. To me, this is unacceptable. It is not only a poor answer, it is incorrect.

You need to know exactly who your key audiences are. How else can you tell a prospective sponsor whether you can reach their audience? We encourage our clients to undertake research to identify their audience. For festivals and events, this might be done by an industry-leading sponsorship event research firm such as Enigma Research, or if it is more about online data about your audience, it might be a firm like Data Jungle. Such companies can tell you exactly who your audience is based on research surveys. They can intercept at your event and get important questions answered from your audience or they can reach them through online surveys. These companies then analyse the data and let you know the key and tertiary audiences that you deliver. Alternatively, you can build your own survey and have volunteers undertake the data collection. This costs less, but will probably not be as detailed or accurate as hiring someone to do the research and analysis for you.

At the Partnership Group – Sponsorship Specialists®, we are also working with big data and the postal codes of your audience (donors, attendees, subscribers, members, etc.) to pinpoint your audience into one of over 70 unique demographic groups. We then focus on the top few models of profiles (the old 80-20 rule fits here) to determine details of those audience segments and who prospective sponsors might be. Every property has several key audience segments they can deliver, and those can be very specific around more than age, income, or ethnicity or versus the comment earlier, “Oh, we deliver pretty much every age group.”

So, enough about how to acquire such details on your audience. Let’s look at what you can really learn about your audience. If you do the research, you should be able to gain information as general as some of the points below as well as more detailed data.

General info required

  • Age demographics (the percentage over 80, 65 to 80, 50 to 65, 30 to 50, 18 to 30, 13 to 18, 6 to 12, under 6)
  • Gender
  • Ethnicity
  • Household income
  • High school education versus bachelor’s degree, master’s, doctorate, or diploma
  • Trade or profession
  • Do they have children, and if so, in what age groups?

Some of the detailed info you will need for success

  • Do they rent or lease vehicles?
  • How often do they change their vehicles (every two years or every 8+ years?)
  • Do they change their own motor oil or go to a dealership, quick lube, or garage?
  • Do they get cars repaired at a dealership, private garage, or chain garage (and if a chain, is it Tirecraft, Kal-Tire, OK Tire, Blaskin and Lane, Canadian Tire, etc.)?
  • Are they gas/electric or hybrid vehicle users?
  • Do they prefer red or white wine?
  • Do they prefer beer, wine, or spirits?
  • How much alcohol do they consume on a weekly basis?
  • Do they shop at a high-end grocery store such as Loblaws, Sobeys, or Save On Foods, or at No Frills and warehouse stores?
  • Do they manage their own investments or use an investment advisor?
  • What is their approximate net worth?
  • Do they use a lot of prescriptions or are they pretty much prescription drug free?
  • Where do their kids shop (or do the kids shop for themselves)?
  • How often do they change their mobile device?
  • Are they on social media (duh!), and if so, what platforms, and what is their top primary platform (or two)?
  • How active are they on social media (follower or trend setter?)
  • Are they environmentalists?
  • Do they travel in Canada on holidays, or to the USA, Mexico, Europe, or Asia?
  • How often do they travel overseas?
  • Do they travel for business, and if so, how much?
  • Do they eat out at restaurants?
  • How often and where do they dine out (fast food, family, delivery, white table cloth, pub)?
  • When did they last renovate their home? How often do they renovate?
  • Do they have a private yard or do they live in a communal yard complex?
  • What is the square footage of their home?
  • Do they play sports?
  • Do they watch sports?
  • How many festivals, concerts, and live performances do they attend per year?
  • Do they go to movies, and if so, how many per month?

Yes, all these answers are achievable, and the more you know about your audience, the better you can program your organization, effectively sell sponsorships, and deliver positive ROI for your sponsors. The question for you right now is—do you know this much about your audience? If so, that’s terrific! You are well on your way to sponsorship success. If you cannot confirm at least three-fourths of the points above, you may need to better define and research who your audience truly is!

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