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GUIDE

The Beginner’s Guide


to Audience Profiling
Getting started with marketing that works

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Table of Contents

Introduction 4 What do we know about today’s consumers?


5 What does this tell us?

What is Audience Profiling? 6 Defining audience profiling


7 Why does it matter?

Marketing that Works 9 The four stages that matter


10 Questions your data should answer

Stage 1 | Segmentation 13 Knowing your audience


15 Creating audience personas
16 Mapping the consumer journey

Stage 2 | Messaging 22 Turning data into insight


23 Creating ideas that stick

Stage 3 | Engagement 25 Why trends matter


26 Behavioral science
27 Getting personal

Stage 4 | Measurement 30 Metrics that matter


31 Measuring campaign effectiveness
32 Tracking people not devices

Conclusion 35 Questions to consider


36 About GlobalWebIndex

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Introduction

Consumer data is every marketer's new best friend. The


reason for this is simple: consumers will no longer accept
blanket messaging.

They expect more from brands; they want a personalized experience at


every touchpoint that speaks to them and them alone.

The demand for brands to tailor their marketing in this way has spurred the
need for in-depth data that goes far beyond basic demographics, profiling
consumers based on their perceptions, interests, attitudes and behaviors.

This data that quantifies consumer perceptions and behaviors on a massive


scale has essentially eliminated the need for guesswork.

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What do we know about
today’s consumers?
STATS ROUNDUP

Half of online adults are now blocking ads on


their mobiles or desktops – almost double the
number reported at the beginning of 2015.

91% own a smartphone and 53% Online shopping is now a


consider their mobile to be their mainstream activity, with online
most important device. consumers opting for a multi-
device approach to purchasing.

The average internet user now has 30% of online consumers are
up to 8 social media accounts. using VPNS.

Internet users now spend over 2 3 in 4 online adults are purchasing


hours a day on social media. products online every month.

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What does this tell us?

These facts tell us more than we may think. As they


become more fragmented, and ever-more challenging to
reach, digital consumers are also taking more control.

With the power to choose what Our recent study on The State of
advertising and marketing they’re exposed
Mobile Ad-Blocking reveals one
to, and when they’re exposed to it, they’re
demanding more of what they want from
fifth of smartphone owners don't
brands, and less of what they don’t. mind seeing ads on their mobiles
once they're respectful.
But this isn’t to say there’s less potential
for marketers to reach them - In fact, As the primary driver behind the
it’s quite the opposite. With more ad-blocking trend comes down
consumers now taking a multi-channel, to frustration, these findings are
multi-platform approach and spending urging companies to veer away from
increasing amounts of time online, the interruptive and intrusive messaging
number of ways to connect with them is towards personalized communications.
greater than ever.
Audience profiling is helping marketers
What these facts outline is the need to put this into practice with insights
for a more audience-centric approach that quantify consumer behaviors and
to marketing - one that puts authentic perceptions on a massive scale.
branding at the forefront and respects
an individual consumer’s right to tailored This eBook outlines everything you need
content that they genuinely value. to know to get started.

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What is Audience Profiling?

Audience profiling is the only way to gather the insights


needed to define, segment, and profile today's consumers.

Going far beyond basic demographics, it Audience profiling is about creating


means getting as close to your audience value from this data to understand
as possible, so you can reach them the everything there is to know about your
right way. target consumers and the market that
surrounds them. Leading marketers
are using this to put consumers at
Research by BlueVenn the heart of their messaging, guiding
reveals that four out of everything from campaign planning to
brand positioning.
five marketers (80%) cite
understanding consumer This process starts with focusing
data as one of their most on your target audience and getting
the validation you need that you’re
important considerations
looking at the right people. Once you
today, highlighting data have this, it’s about understanding
analysis as a "vital" skill and defining these consumers to get
your messaging right, focusing on the
for their organization.
insights that can drive meaningful
creativity.

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Why Does it Matter?

Understanding these reasons is more


"Customers buy for their important today as marketing that
works is personalized, adaptive and
reasons, not yours."
responsive to consumer needs.
1984, ORVEL RAY WILSON
Profiling your consumers with revealing
insights around their behaviors,
perceptions, attitudes and interests
helps you to paint a detailed portrait
of your audience, so you know what to
say, and how to say it.

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We as consumers, in an accelerated way,
have become less open to interruptive ads
and promotional messages. Recent research
from The Advertising Research Foundation
shows that after a few dozen messages
from one company, from one brand,
sales start to decline. Instead of creating
interruptive promotional messages that
nobody wants to see and may even cause a
decrease in sales, marketing professionals
are starting to see that if they create the
content people want, you can start to attract
the audience that ultimately drives value.

MICHAEL BRENNER,
CEO AT MARKETING
INSIDER GROUP

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Marketing that Works
Today’s marketers have a lot to consider, and many are struggling to keep pace.

This may come down to the fact that


many digital marketers don’t receive Research from Adobe in 2013
any formal training, with 82% learning revealed that only 48% of
on the job. digital marketers feel highly
proficient in digital marketing.
But while in the digital space marketing
has become a complex profession with a myriad of tools and techniques to juggle -
in its simplest form, marketing that works revolves around four key stages.

The four stages 1. SEGMENTATION


Splitting your audience into targeted
that matter groups that align with your goals.

2. MESSAGING
Using consumer insights to shape
a message that will have impact.

3. ENGAGEMENT
Identifying where and when to place
your creative.

4. MEASUREMENT
Analyzing the metrics that matter
to drive a greater ROI.

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Questions your Data Should Answer

To put marketing that works into practice, you need data


that will answer the right questions.

HERE ARE A FEW Am I targeting the right audience?


EXAMPLES TO GET
What defines this audience?
STARTED:
What matters to them?

What motivates them?

What interests them?

Who and what do they follow?

Where and when can we reach them?

What are their perceptions of our brand?

What do we need them to perceive/understand?

How are they interacting with us?

What does their purchase journey look like?

What are the touchpoints that matter?


What trends can we identify with these consumers?

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Success lies in understanding
deep down what motivates the
consumer and what levers to
press. And we have way more
of those levers at our command
now than ever before.

SUE UNERMAN,
CHIEF TRANSFORMATION
OFFICER AT MEDIACOM UK

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STAGE 1

Segmentation

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Knowing Your Audience
Audience segmentation ensures your marketing is
as targeted as possible to the right group of people.
According to research by The Direct Marketing Association,
segmented and targeted emails generate 58% of all
revenue, so getting this right is key.

Segmentation was once the With the help of global data and
starting point for brands, a process platforms that track consumer
that involved splitting consumers behaviors and perceptions on a
into designated groups based on massive scale, marketers are now
demographic data such as age, building detailed and accurate
gender and location. Today, in audience profiles to get the
response to the radically changing answers they need. These not
landscape and growing consumer only consider specifics like age,
trends, this process looks a lot gender and location, but lifestyles,
different. attitudes, self-perceptions and
interests. This means creating
data-driven personas that
are true to life, and easy to
understand.

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Types of Segmentation

DEMOGRAPHIC GEOGRAPHIC NEEDS-BASED

BEHAVIORAL PERCEPTIONS-BASED PSYCHOGRAPHIC

INTERESTS-BASED ATTITUDINAL

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Segmenting Your Approach
With more types of segmentation in existence, knowing
which approach will work for you is a challenge many
businesses face. But the general lack of understanding
across segments is a key problem, leading to poor
customer acquisition and retention rates.

Research by The Economist Brand X, for example, might


reveals only 6% of companies have a basic understanding of its
understand customer needs target audiences, made up of key
extremely well, while 45% of demographics and needs-based
companies admit they have information, giving some direction
limited to no understanding on on where to focus. Complementing
how their customers interact with this with survey data around
them digitally. consumer perceptions, behaviors,
interests and attitudes will take
This reveals the need for a more this approach from targeted to
targeted approach, and the more personalized.
you know, the more effective it
will be. By taking the many types of
segmentation into consideration,
By combining elements from personalization is made easy and
each type of segmentation targeting more on-point equipped
with valuable survey data and with knowledge around the right
analytics, you can hit that sweet channels, devices and language
spot to uncover the insights that to use.
really matter.

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Creating Data-Driven Personas
Buyer personas have always played an integral role in the
segmentation process. These real-life representations of
your target consumers give you a snapshot of who these
people are, so you can tailor your marketing and brand
strategy accordingly. Creating personas with audience
profiling takes this to another level.

With data that gives you more help of real-life quotes gathered
than just a snapshot, you can by carrying out interviews with
create a detailed pen portrait your target consumers, or by
of your consumer - mapping inviting other client-facing teams
everything from a day in their within your organization to help
lives to what the interests and fill in the gaps.
attitudes that make them unique.
Once populated with the insights
Using GlobalWebIndex, you that best translate who these
can run instant queries against consumers are, your personas
data representing 2.6 billion will form the basis of your
consumers worldwide, pulling key segmentation - essential tools
stats that portray who your target for your business to guide its
audience is and what defines marketing and brand positioning
them. These personas can be in the right direction.
further contextualized with the

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The first thing I do when I get given key
attributes of a consumer is plug these into
GlobalWebIndex and create a pen portrait;
a one page document that translates the
character of the consumer. This really helps
me when I’m briefing our creative teams.
I can explain who the consumer is, what
makes them tick, what their priorities are
in life, their behaviors, and other key areas
such as their interests which are hugely
important.

TIM PRIMROSE,
PLANNER AT SOUTHPAW

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Mapping the Consumer Journey
The path to purchase may still revolve around some key
stages, but the consumer journey itself has changed
dramatically. Consumers today are using multiple devices
to learn, compare, share, consume and make purchasing
decisions. Creating personas with audience profiling takes
this to another level.

Increasingly, the journey spans a number of touchpoints - from websites


to review sites and social media - with every single experience impacting
a consumer’s decision. But just as the journey becomes more fragmented,
consumers continue to demand consistency. This is a key challenge
for brands under increasing pressure to ensure a seamless customer
experience - across channels, devices and platforms.

To coincide with this consumer fragmentation, more targeted micro-audiences


have emerged, urging a shift away from broad demographics-based targeting
and sparring the need for more in-depth insights.

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Mapping this consumer journey with of 20-35, for example, who are heavy
audience profiling gives you the answers online shoppers. Profiling this audience
you need when it comes to identifying using a range of data points including
the touchpoints, the interests and the social media usage, media consumption
trends that can take a marketing strategy and commerce, you can track every step
from targeted to personalized. of their journey to identify everything,
from what matters least to what
This means delving into the details of matters most.
your micro-audiences - not just looking
at moms, but moms between the ages

STATS ROUNDUP

3 in 4 online adults are purchasing Mobiles are set to overtake PCs/


products online each month. laptops as the top commerce device.

Online Shoppers are now opting for Social media represents an important
a multi-device approach to their force at each stage of the purchase
purchasing habits. journey

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Using GlobalWebIndex, we set up the profile
first and then we go into more detail looking
at that consumer’s activities and interests to
analyze what he/she does most to what he/
she does least. This information is so useful
for creating a user experience, for example.
One we created recently was for our UX
team internally to help us understand what
people are doing and how they’re using our
platform, so this is an attempt to visually
represent all of that.

SHARMIN RASHID,
JUNIOR STRATEGIST
AT ANALOG FOLK

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STAGE 2

Messaging

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Turning Data into Insight
Creating messages that resonate starts with understanding
the perceptions and behaviors you want to shift. Using
audience profiling to quantify the perceptions that are
blocking or powering repeat purchasing gives you the tools
to know what to say.
Brands have access to a wealth of data, but giving this data the leverage it
needs to drive meaningful creativity lies in the creation of insights. After all,
a fact, a finding or a data point without context is worthless.

The path to creating actionable insights that will have impact lies in knowing
your audience and your objectives and prioritizing your data accordingly. With
this knowledge, you can focus on the data that will give you the answers you
need, bringing the numbers to life.

HOW TO TURN 1. Analyze current perceptions of your brand.


DATA INTO INSIGHT: How are my target consumers responding to my messaging?

2. Validate the perceptions you’re trying to shift.


Does the data back up my assumptions?

3. Quantify these perceptions.


What are the actual figures I need to focus on?

4. Map this into a business opportunity.


How can this data help me to create an impactful message?

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Creating Ideas That Stick
Al Ries once famously said: “Marketing is not a battle
of products, it’s a battle of perceptions.” Understanding
these perceptions and using insights to tap into them is
the key to creating the ideas that stick. Many brands are
leading the way when it comes to creating perceptions-led
campaigns that hit home.

Lidl is one brand that proves the Uncovering the insights that count
power that lies in understanding means getting to the root of how
perceptions. Take their ‘Lidl Surprises’ your consumers feel about your
campaign for example, released in brand, your competitors and
July 2016. Having uncovered the even themselves. This will inform
insight that most Brits still perceived everything from tone of voice, format
the quality of their produce as low, and style to the message itself.
the team knew which
perceptions they needed to
shift. With this in mind, their With GlobalWebIndex, you can
messaging could take on
profile your consumers in detail
its most audience-centric
form, with in-depth data based on their perceptions and
giving them a glimpse into attitudes to create impactful
the interests, attitudes and
insights, proven to drive
desires they could tap into.
marketing that works.

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STAGE 3

Engagement

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Why Trends Matter
With this level of audience understanding shaping the
messaging that's sure to resonate, the next step is
knowing where to place it. Engaging today's consumers
means knowing where they are, and what they're doing.

With audience profiling data that These trends not only tell you a lot
analyzes consumer behaviors about your consumers, but guide
across platforms, devices, your marketing activity and brand
channels and social platforms, you strategy in the right direction
can figure out where, when and by helping you to predict future
how to reach them. behavior.

Utilizing the insights specific to Start by browsing the latest


your audience means elevating reports that outline the most
your voice in the right way, for important trends to watch. From
maximum impact. But consumer here, you can apply your audiences
trends are continuously changing, to get into more detail and identify
so keeping an eye on those that those most applicable. Tapping
bear the most relevance is key - into these trends will give you the
from social media to device usage opportunity to boost engagement
and commerce. in more ways than one, by putting
the science behind your ideas.

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Behavioral Science
Behavioral analytics is a science of learning. It looks at
what consumers do online, how they act and react to
content, brands and campaigns, and how they behave
on different platforms and devices.

These insights enable marketers survey data work together to give


to make the right offers to the brands a more accurate reading
right consumers at the right time. of what consumers are doing, and
The use of behavioral analytics by what they can leverage.
leading brands like Amazon have
set the industry standard. The Using analytics to track how your
brand uses data to personalize the consumers are interacting with
online shopping experience to its your product/brand enables you
consumers - and it works: to give recommendations, upsell
and personalize your offerings.
Bringing survey data into the
35% of Amazon.com's
equation allows you to identify
revenue is generated by its every touchpoint worth knowing
recommendation engine. - from which brands, content and
influencers they follow online to
which tactics they respond to
But analytics isn’t the only way most and why. This will ensure
to understand the science behind your approach has maximum
consumer behavior. Analytics and impact.

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Getting Personal
With deep insights into your consumers’ behaviors -
combined with those that quantify their perceptions,
attitudes and interests - you can put personalization
into practice, giving your target audience the content
they want - when and where they want it.

Personalizing your communications customer intent will enable digital


this way - from your marketing businesses to increase their profits
communications to social media by up to 15%.
and advertising campaigns -
means speaking directly to the But for this kind of personalized
consumers you want to reach. marketing to work, access to
accurate and fast insight is key.
Analytics solutions like GWIQTM
Research from Accenture reveals
that combine passive and active
75% of consumers are more likely to forms of measurement will give you
buy from a retailer that recognizes the answers you need - tracking
them by name, recommends options consumer behaviors using both
panel research and web analytics.
based on past purchases, or knows
their purchase history.
This, along with data that translates
your target consumer’s key
Not only this, Gartner has predicted motivations, interests, attitudes and
that by 2020, smart personalization perceptions helps you create tailored
engines used to recognize communications that resonate.

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I think if you were a publisher today
coaching marketers, you would say: ‘Well,
we’ve been getting consumer attention for
years with our content, and the only way
that you’re going to do that is if you are
genuinely useful, helpful or entertaining to
them. For advertising and marketing in the
content space to be successful, they have
to do the same thing.

JOE MCCAMBLEY,
SVP ENTERPRISE CONTENT
MARKETING AT POP

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STAGE 4

Measurement

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Metrics that Matter
According to research by Forrester, 50% of B2B marketing
executives find it difficult to attribute marketing activity
directly to revenue results as another means of justifying
budgets. But continually measuring and quantifying
the impact of your efforts is essential when it comes to
marketing that works.

Getting to the root of marketing Depending on your specific goals


that works means focusing on that sit under the wider categories
the metrics that matter. This of awareness, consideration and
means narrowing down your Key conversion, your actions and KPIs
Performance Indicators (KPIs) to should change accordingly.
reflect your marketing and business
objectives as closely as possible.

CASE IN 1. If building brand awareness is your primary objective, for example,


POINT: your tactics might include an insights-driven campaign that
spreads across TV and online media.

2. Your KPIs for measuring its success could include a brand lift and a
shift in perceptions and behaviors in response to your campaign.

3. Measuring these KPIs might involve using brand tracking and


carrying out an ad effectiveness study to quantify the impact of
your campaign on your target audience.

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Measuring
Campaign Effectiveness
With insights that allow you to tweak, optimize, and
repurpose your campaigns to better reflect your
consumers, you can ensure a return on investment and
prove your marketing is worth the spend.

But getting the answers you need is a key challenge - especially when it
comes to social media, as measuring this kind of ROI continually proves to
be a key challenge for today’s marketers. This inability to track what matters
comes down to the quality of marketing measurement tools in existence
today.

While a combination of third party website and social media analytics can
offer you the insights you need on a basic level, the many flaws of web
analytics is well documented - and this comes back to an over-reliance on
passive data and ‘probabilistic’ solutions.

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Tracking People not Devices
The problem with most web In response to this problem,
analytics - like those used by marketers and advertisers are
marketers to track campaign turning to analytics solutions like
performance and consumer GWIQTM which couples extensive
interactions - is that these panel data with real-time analytics
generally track devices (or cookies) to offer a more holistic portrayal of
as opposed to people. audience behaviors - across time,
location, devices and platforms.
With consumers becoming
ever more fragmented, taking a Ensuring your marketing activity is
multi-channel and multi-platform tracked in the most accurate way
approach along the online takes this kind of robust tracking
purchase journey, it is becoming combining passive and active
close to impossible to accurately measurement techniques.
measure and understand
online behaviors using passive This closes the loop on audience
techniques alone. profiling, giving marketers the
tools to measure their activity
with reliable data that reflects real
people.

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By our estimates, over 500
million users are absent or
misallocated from passively
collected data because they are
using Virtual Private Networks
(VPNs), with hundreds of
millions more being overlooked
because they are only using
shared devices or accessing the
internet from mobile only.

TOM SMITH,
CEO & FOUNDER
AT GLOBALWEBINDEX

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Conclusion

Audience profiling is about defining, segmenting and


profiling your target consumers to guide every element of
your marketing and brand strategy.

Leading brands, agencies and publishers are proving the value that lies in data that
quantifies consumer behaviors and perceptions in granular detail. With the tools
that eliminate the need for guesswork, a marketing strategy can meet consumer
demand for audience-centric content that’s targeted, personalized and responsive.

For those getting started, this guide outlines the importance of audience profiling
across all four core marketing disciplines and how it can be used across every
stage of the funnel to truly understand your audience. For brands, this means
driving smarter content, better quality leads, improved customer experience
and a greater ROI.

As consumers move further away from blanket messaging towards brands who
prove they’re listening, investing in data that tells you more about your audience is
not only worth it, it’s essential.

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Questions to Consider
Who is my target audience?
What do I need to know about them?
What are the current perceptions of my brand?
What perceptions do I need to shift?
How can I quantify these perceptions?
Are my insights accurate and up-to-date?
How can I turn my insights into impactful creativity?
How can these insights add value across the entire business?
How will I measure my success?
How will I measure my return on investment?

Your Next Steps


Most marketers are already using For instant access to global data
audience profiling tools to better that can help you create a pen
understand their consumers and get portrait of your audience and
more personalized. We hope that this generate fast insights, check out the
guide has given you some practical GlobalWebIndex platform.
ways to get started with marketing
that works and would be happy to help
you with your next steps.

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About GlobalWebIndex
As home of the world’s largest survey on the online consumer, the GlobalWebIndex
platform makes it easy to create powerful insights that move.

Our data represents 2.6 billion internet users across 40 countries,


quantifying attitudes, behaviors, perceptions and interests across
20,000 data points.

SEGMENT
Build detailed audience and customer profiles with easy
access to global data

MESSAGE
Know what to say by quantifying the perceptions that are
blocking or powering repeat purchasing

ENGAGE
Learn where to reach your consumers by analyzing
behaviors across channels, platforms and devices.

MEASURE
Validate your targeting and measure campaign effectiveness
with robust analytics that take tracking to the next level.

TRUSTED BY THE WORLD’S LEADING MARKETERS

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