Understanding consumers requires more than mere demographic segmentation by age and location. Yet surveys and focus groups take too much time and too much investment to facilitate. Today, thanks to mobile devices and social media, it’s easier to glean insights about consumers and analyze their personalities by diving into and dissecting online conversations and reactions.
This real-time personalization is what we, at Mattr, are betting on. Marketing is about painting a story with the consumer by building the right campaign for the right audience.
A few years ago, our team identified the big 5 personality traits we saw in social media users by analyzing only their posts: extroversion, agreeableness, neuroticism, consciousness, and openness. From there, we used an expanded brand segmentation model geared towards brands specifically, which are described as either wholesome, daring, reliable, sophisticated, or rugged.
These descriptions then mapped out to specific personality types. For instance, wholesome people generally have high levels of agreeableness and high levels of emotional stability, but low levels of neuroticism. Or for the daring descriptor, this might capture individuals who are spirited, imaginative, and generally up-to-date. Generally, they possess high levels of openness and low levels of conscientiousness. Using similar techniques, we were able to analyze someone values on social media based on STEEP, which is an acronym for: Social, Technological, Environmental, Economical and Political. We learned to identify how green/ environmental a consumer might be, or how budget-conscience they might be.
Let’s not jump ahead and forget demographics altogether. Age and gender play an important role in the output analysis of certain psychographics. We also consider the differences in industries. Certain clusters of traits will attract certain industries and not others, and vice versa. For instance, Red Bull and Disney will likely not have audiences with the same cluster of traits. So we have to make sure that we’re making the correct correlations with all the variables intact.Brands such as Best Buy have used psychographics to plan out new store layouts. But with companies that are new to the game, it’s our job to educate and provide proof that this concept works.
Why Does This Matter?
Companies are spending a lot of money on social media and it’s getting more difficult to see the return in value. They’re beginning to take it a level up with influencers by using the data we supply them to craft their message that fit their audience’s values.Similarly, we encourage our clients to create content that specifically targets their consumer’s personalities.
Privacy Issues with Psychographics Data Mining
Luckily, we haven’t heard from anyone concerned about being observed by marketing companies. Generally, people know that if they’re tweeting, it’s in the public domain. They could certainly make their tweets private. In fact, we used our own tools to boost our own marketing efforts by just reaching out to a select group of SXSW influencers. We heard nothing but good things from each of them. At some events, when we talked about using social data and money, we heard things like, “Oh wow I didn’t know this was out there.” We’ve progressed to a point where people generally know that their data might be used for those purposes.There’s so much data available now that you just have to filter it down or look at different pieces at a time. The technology is getting better and more advanced to the point where you can use and process all this data quickly. Validation is becoming a lot easier.
What we should remember is that a consumer is a real person and they want to hear from other real people. Exploring psychographics for your influencer marketing efforts can give you the advantage when optimizing your message.
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The ‘Mad Men’ Marketing Era is Long Over
By Jack Holt, Mattr CEO
Sales are a big part of my everyday job, and since my company sells predominantly to marketers, I talk to people that fill many different marketing roles. Of all the different types of marketers, though, PR people have really stood out to me. They have a difficult job. Given their focus on media relations, they have additional audiences that they have to consider every single day beyond the people they’re selling products or services to. While other types of marketers are able to concentrate on only the customer, PR people have to think more broadly when writing a pitch.
The graphic to the left illustrates the three audiences a PR person should consider when writing a pitch. However, as I’ve talked to many PR people, I’ve noticed that not all actually focus on all three of those audiences. In many instances, they spend most of their time focused on a journalist and/or a publication’s readers and largely neglect the customers they’re actually trying to reach through media.
How do you decide who to pitch? Does that decision involve qualitative data about the customers you’re trying to reach? If not, you might be missing something valuable that could improve your pitches – and the stories that ultimately result from those pitches.
How much do you know about the customers of the product or service you’re pitching? Many people in the industry have told me they think they have a solid grasp of the customers because of the years they’ve spent interacting with journalists. But when I ask them more about their customer targets, and especially when I question their personality details, they realize that aside from some anecdotal evidence they hear, many don’t have as good of a grasp of those customers as they thought. When they see a thorough customer segmentation analysis, it can be very revealing. Sometimes they even discover that the publications or blogs they assumed customers were reading aren’t at all what they actually read.
Most in the PR industry that I’ve talked with say that audience targeting and segmentation is something they’ve never thought to do before, but is something that could be very valuable to them. It can tell them not only which publications their customers read, but which publications are over-indexed with their customers. In other words, it reveals those publications their customers read at a disproportionate rate. Very important when deciding who to pitch.
But let’s go a step beyond the the pitch audience and focus on the actual pitch content sent to a reporter. What do those pitches usually contain? Information on the product or service you’re pitching? Maybe something that shows the reporter you know and understand what’s interesting to them?
How often do they accurately reflect the customer you’re trying to reach? I’m not referring only to customer challenges your company can help them solve; I’m talking about who these people really are – their personalities, their interests, and their values.
Think about this process for a pitch:
Look at step two. After determining the appropriate publications to target in step 1 (based on consideration of your customers, the journalist and the publication’s readers) step 2 takes into consideration qualitative information on those people.
Targeting and segmentation can provide signals or indications of the people you’re trying to reach – who they really are as people. That information can help you make subtle changes to a pitch to appeal not just to the reporter, but to tell a story that you know will appeal to the customers and potential customers you’re actually trying to target. If you know your audience is more liberal, more tech savvy or more environmentally conscious than the average person, shouldn’t your pitch content resonate with their motivations and their values? And wouldn’t the reporter you’re pitching be interested in knowing that as well?
Utilizing targeting and segmentation can help PR people become better acquainted with who their customers are as people, and in turn, get more targeted and insightful with their pitching. Remember, when targeting a publication, think about the customer, journalist and readers. And when writing the pitch, consider the personality, values and interests of those groups of people.
(Originally posted in Business2Community)
We all know the stereotype of the Apple fanboy (or girl). It almost doesn’t matter what problems arise with Apple products — or if the competition’s technology is better — Apple fans remain loyal. And, more importantly, they remain rabid defenders and promoters for their favorite brand.
Your company may not be the next Apple, but that’s not to say you can’t cultivate the same kind of loyalty. In fact, it’s crucial that you do, especially during the holidays.
This holiday season, an estimated 66 percent of consumers will shop at their favorite retailers as opposed to branching out to try new stores. Forty-four percent will purchase gifts from brands they’re loyal to, and 42 percent will go even further and use loyalty points to make purchases. With those kinds of numbers, it’s obvious why building brand loyalty is important.
Luckily, it’s not too late — even this far into the holiday season.
How to Build Brand Loyalty Right Now
It may be halfway through December, but that doesn’t mean you have to give up on building brand loyalty this season. While tons of people shop at their favorite stores during the holidays, plenty are looking for unique gifts they may not consider buying at other times throughout the year. This is the perfect time to motivate your current customers to start promoting your brand to their friends and family.
Loyal customers can be your holiday brand advocates. In fact, they’re the people who might be the most successful at encouraging others to spend their holiday budgets on your products. So it only makes sense to target these people by adding some influencer marketing strategies to your holiday marketing campaign. By starting the relationships now, you’re encouraging these customers to stay loyal throughout the new year.
Here’s how you can maximize your influencers this holiday season:
1. Know your influencers. Just like you need to know your target customer, you must know your target influencers. Look at the people who are already talking about you on social media or blogs. Who are they? What else do they like, and what influences them? Then, determine what kind of influencers you hope to recruit for your campaign.
Figure out their personalities so you can better understand what would motivate them to advocate for you. One way to achieve this is to monitor their sentiments and personality through persona segmentation, which breaks down influencer characteristics, similar to the sample analysis below. For example, one influencer might value green living, while another is daring and nonconformist. You can then segment your influencer messages based on those unique characteristics.
2. Develop a theme. The holidays are a great time to create fun and exciting themes to help spread your promotions. For example, a common holiday-themed hashtag is #stockingstuffers. If you’re a brand that sells a product that would be a great stocking stuffer, you might consider making this your campaign theme and targeting influencers who use the hashtag regularly.
The everyday influencer below is a good example: a stay-at-home mom with a large social following who loves social media and consistently promotes #stockingstuffers. Companies that sell small, unique gadgets or holiday goodies might look for similar micro influencers to help promote their products as stocking stuffers through the holidays.
Last year, Topshop created a “personalized gift guide” theme during its “Dear Topshop” campaign. Users pinned Topshop products on Pinterest as a way to help others find the perfect holiday gift or party outfit while earning a chance to win a great prize. The retailer’s products ended up all over Pinterest, garnering more followers and regular customers.
3. Think outside your vertical. Anyone can be an influencer. With that in mind, why not reach outside your core vertical and target people you may not normally consider?
For example, if you’re in the food industry, you might target influencers in wine, cooking, recipes, or restaurants. Once again, you might discover some really influential people with loyal audiences who would be more than willing to mention your brand.
4. Make it worthwhile. While some brands already have loyal followers who will buy and promote products without much incentive, this isn’t the time to assume that you fall under that category. Like Topshop did in 2013, you should make the act of promoting your brand fun and intuitive. Women were already pinning beautiful clothes to Pinterest, but Topshop made it valuable to pin their clothes over competitors’ by hosting a fun contest that rewarded the influencers.
When you reward those who promote your brand — through the use of both tangible and intangible rewards — your influencers will provide you more value in return.
5. Create a tracking system for your influencers. Data should drive every decision you make this holiday season. The more you know about your campaigns, the more accurately you can judge your ROI. So figure out who your favorite influencers are or who can offer the most value to your brand based on your objectives, then consistently nurture those relationships and measure your results.
The holidays are one of the most beneficial times to build brand loyalty — whether that’s through a unique shopping experience, good customer service, or loyalty programs. But the best way to differentiate your brand and build a loyal year-round following is through influencer marketing. Believe me, it’s never too late.
Start your Influencer campaign now using the Mattr app.
(Photo credit: Cult of Mac)
(Originally posted in Spin Sucks)
For this year’s back-to-school season, TOMS launched a contest aimed at increasing visual engagement on Pinterest.
#TOMS Give Back-to-School encouraged people to create a pinboard and pin their favorite outfits using only items found on the TOMS website.
While primarily known for shoes, TOMS wanted people to see they could wear the brand from head to toe.
To compete for the $500 TOMS gift certificate, pinners created a special board for the contest and tagged every pin with “#TOMS Give Back-to-School.”
TOMS scored huge brand awareness and sales during the contest as pinners posted beautiful pictures that spread across their personal networks.
The TOMS campaign shows the expanding influence of visual social media sites, and in the coming years, more brands will take part in this growing trend.
Why Visual Social Media Takes the Cake
Pinterest has more than 70 million users, which may not seem like a lot compared to the billions at Facebook, but, unlike users of other social media sites, Pinterest users become more active over time, not less.
This makes sense when you think about the draw of pictures.
The Internet is overloaded with text, with every company in the world creating text-heavy blog posts.
With so much to read, people are looking for simpler media to consume.
Pictures are processed more quickly and remembered longer. They can also tell your brand’s story more effectively than 1,000-word blog posts.
(Hence: A picture is worth more than 1,000 words.)
When it comes to social media, posts with images get 39 percent more engagement than other posts.
And, in some inexplicable way, it’s been proven that users will not only remember your picture, but they’ll also associate your brand with similar pictures in a different context.
That’s reach you could never get with words alone.
Customers also love images because they’re editable. Everyone wants to express himself, and when users can share a brand’s content but also make it their own, it’s a win-win.
The beauty of visual strategy is that consumers can’t help but be drawn to the visual feast.
How Brands Can Get Visual
So, how do you make like TOMS and take advantage of the benefits of visual?
Like all other content, visual sites such as Instagram and Pinterest require some strategic thinking and a well-executed plan.
One of the worst things brands can do is throw up mediocre images, hoping to draw attention.
Here are some important steps for brands to take when crafting a visual social media strategy.
Define your brand visually. Don’t just think about your products. What colors, patterns, and images represent who you are as a brand? Make sure the images you use tell a story of either the brand or the user.
Think broadly about your visuals. Not every pin or Instagram photo has to be (or should be) focused on your brand. Capital One and American Express both maintain pinboards for brides, world travelers, and bucket-list creators. These images are inherently shareable, regardless of a user’s affiliation with the companies, which makes it easier for the brands to spread organically.
Use segmentation to your advantage. Segment your audience by demographics, interests, and values. Each of these categories can provide insight into the types of visuals your audience prefers and where it likes to see them. For example, users who are into “beauty” might also follow certain celebrities that you can incorporate into your campaign. Users who are “green” might appreciate holistic health advice or eco-friendly gift ideas. Use segmentation to branch out and go broad, as mentioned above.
Pay attention to top content for your audience. Through content tracking, you can also discover what kind of content your audience is sharing and publishing most, then create visuals around that content. Infographics are a great option here, putting information into an easy-to-understand yet still visually appealing format.
Know your grassroots influencers. Also called brand ambassadors, these are the people who are naturally spreading the word about your brand. Target these influencers by creating more of the content and visuals they love, but also by engaging with them personally. These people are the ones who will convince less enthusiastic users to love your brand, so make sure you love them.
The rise of Pinterest and Instagram is undeniable, and more brands are beginning to realize the power of images in marketing.
Winning brands will be the ones that create the best and most compelling visual social media strategies that engage all kinds of users.
(Originally posted in DailySEOBlog)
If there’s one secret to effective marketing, it’s that customers are drawn to powerful stories.
It makes sense. Compared to traditional sales tactics, storytelling is downright seductive. Where “selling” pushes the product on the consumer, storytelling pulls the consumer in with culture and a sense of belonging. Instead of spouting facts and features, storytelling provokes a positive emotional connection. And finally, where traditional selling pressures the customer to act, storytelling builds a need within the customer that the brand can fulfill.
As marketers find new ways to make these connections with buyers, creativity and storytelling become increasingly important. But it’s not enough for a brand to simply develop a personality; it has to translate into a story that truly resonates with customers.
If your brand wants to crack open the long-term benefits of building a fan base with storytelling, here are four steps you need to follow:
1. Research What Personally Influences Your Market
Your brand story is based on the unique personality of your brand and all the facets that have shaped it: its history, influences, and values, as well as the people behind it.
But even with an established brand story, the way you tell your target market this story depends on who those people are. To ensure the right message reaches the right people, you need to determine what personally influences your audience’s emotions.
First, you have to identify and target the right audience with segmentation. Pay attention to things like gender and demographics, as well as deeper segmentation, such as personality traits and your audience’s interests.
To see this strategy in action, just look at Red Bull. This brand has done a great job of telling a brand story that resonates with a certain segment of young males, including content focused on adventure sports, car racing, video games, and music.
Red Bull breaks out of its comfort zone with its content — just like its target customers strive to break out of their own comfort zones — and Red Bull’s branding and content reflects this message.
Jeep is another brand that successfully communicates its story with rugged, “part of the club” brand storytelling. This aligns with the values of freedom and adventure that are extremely relatable to its audience. Jeep has continued to connect to its audience throughout its long history of weathering the market, even as it introduces more luxury features to the brand with the Jeep Grand Cherokee.
2. Utilize Strategic SEO
Once you have a clear view of your brand story, you need to tell it strategically through digital marketing with content and SEO.
Content marketing creates a deeper connection with your audience by relating to them one-on-one or solving a persistent problem they face. This gets them so invested in your story that they can’t wait to share it with their own networks.
You need to reinforce this story with a backbone of strategic SEO, using keywords that relate to your product features and your brand story. Choose words that work as specific product descriptions and emphasize how your consumers want to feel.
For Jeep, imagine a customer searching “adventurous car to take on awesome road trips,” or “4-wheel drive, soft top, black.”
Keywords that speak to your company values and what your product can deliver will make SEO work for your search results and brand story.
3. Tell Your Story on the Right Platform
You may tell the right story to the right audience, but if it’s communicated on the wrong platform, your efforts are wasted. Tell your story on a platform that will resonate with your unique target audience.
Traditional platforms: While many trends are moving toward digital and live events, traditional marketing methods such as print and TV ads, billboards, letters, and direct mail remain important.
For example, Jeep still sends welcome letters to new Jeep owners with Jeep-branded leather keychains. It’s a traditional, simple touch that’s highly effective and continues to fuel its brand story of inclusiveness.
The brand also does an amazing job of telling emotional, inspirational brand stories, as evidenced by its latest Jeep Grand Cherokee campaign. This is a particularly powerful approach for high-volume viewing events such as the FIFA World Cup and the Olympics.
Digital advertising: Because it offers the largest number of platform options, digital advertising is a no-brainer. However, the sheer amount of engagement tends to create a lot of noise, making it more difficult to stand out.
Mix in your brand story throughout the digital landscape, starting with your company website and the social sites best suited for your brand story. Decide which platforms to focus on by researching each platform based on its merits and targeting the ones on which your customers are spending the most time.
Live events and promotions: Depending on the characteristics of your target customer and the brand story you’re telling, your brand might benefit from live events and promotions. Red Bull does this perfectly with campaigns that exemplify bravery and action, such as its Red Bull Stratos campaign. Ask yourself how your brand could create and promote similar events on a smaller scale to share your brand story.
4. Listen to the Playback
In the digital age, it’s easier than ever for consumers to contribute to a brand’s story. With so much conversation, it’s important for a brand to listen to its consumers’ version of the story and react accordingly. This is especially relevant on social media, where consumers are offering their own content and opinions about brands.
The most powerful part of storytelling happens after you’ve crafted your message, identified your audience, and released your story, so monitor conversations and respond to keep your story relevant.
Every brand has a powerful story behind it. It’s just a matter of untangling that story for the right audience and releasing it on the right platforms. When you take the time to appreciate storytelling and its impact on your customers, you open the floor for your brand fans to latch on to your story and start sharing it themselves.