Whether you are a brand or a property, you need to understand your audience. As a property you need to know who your actual audience is for several reasons. You need to sell them tickets or access or convince them to donate or invite them to follow you and your property. Pretty hard to market to the “right audience” if you don’t know who they are! Furthermore, how can you convince a sponsor to be your partner if you cannot tell them about your audience… like where they spend their money, how they spend their money, what their preferences are etc.
And as a sponsor / brand, you need to know who your target audience is for all the same reasons. If you don’t know your audience, you are doomed. You may invest in the wrong property!
So how can you determine your audience if you don’t know? There are many ways to do this, but I am going to address two or three simple approaches. Some are fairly basic, and some are technology based. Remember the goal is to understand who your audience is so you can effectively market to them yourself as a property or target the right sponsors so they can reach the right audience.
- Outsourced Surveys – You can hire a great research company like Enigma Research that will do the research for you. They will work with you and do the surveys onsite or online or by phone. They are professionals and know what to ask and how to ask it to get you the information you need about your audience.
- As well a company like SponsorPulse has ongoing research, insights and data that you can purchase through a subscription program.
- Inhouse Surveys – Alternatively you can do your own surveys. They can be done as exit surveys at an event with volunteers asking 2-3 key questions or using your own data base and Survey Monkey or Google Surveys. Be sure to get some help with the questions. Best not to focus just on sponsorship… but on your organization overall and then mix in the sponsorship questions. I always like to ask questions that will give me data to take to prospective sponsors. For instance, you might ask a gala attendee group “Do you prefer wine or beer?” And if 85% of the respondents say they prefer wine then you should be talking to wineries. You can let them know that 85% of your attendees prefer wine over beer and are they looking to reach wine drinkers?
- Big Data Segregation – And finally, this is more expensive… but using big data can really let you know who your audience is. If you have postal codes for your audience, then you have the basis for big data research and audience segmentation. Did you know that your postal code as 22,000 (yes 22 thousand) pieces of information about you attached to it? Within that postal code you can determine if the folks are more likely to be Tim Horton patrons or Starbucks, whether they shop online or in department stores or local retailers. It will tell you how they spend their disposable income, holidays, casinos, Botox! Once you know this, and that much detail about your audience, you are ready to truly market or market to your audience! (Recently we have done a great deal of work in this big data audience segmentation process for our property clients.)
Understanding your audience is critical to your success. Without truly knowing who your audience is, is like firing blind into the sky and hoping to have a fowl dinner that night!
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