Digital & Social Media

Know Your Audience

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What happened:

On April 28, a group from FleishmanHillard’s St. Louis office headed to the Midwest Digital Marketing Conference. One of the sessions lead by Refinery 29’s Finola Austin was especially relevant. It seems like every day there is a new article published about Millennials. Every news outlet seems to try and group this generation together as: lazy, hard to manage, narcissistic, etc. However, in this session Finola takes the stance FleishmanHillard has for some time now: You can’t treat every person who is 18-33 the exact same. Millennials may have come from a vastly different background than generations past, but they are not one giant alien species. Target audiences, regardless of generation, age or gender, are not giant groups— there are subsets, and subsets of those subsets, that all have very individualistic needs, wants and pain points.

What it means for brands:

When defining your target audience, dig deeper. Too often marketers fall into the trap of simply defaulting to the mass marketing tactics that have stood the test of time. There are litanies of new tools in digital that allow you to understand and better cater to the niches within your larger target. For instance, “the Internet of Things,” is a major business opportunity for companies today. While almost anyone, business or consumer, could benefit from connecting the aspects of their day-to-day with the Internet of Things, there are very distinct marketing opportunities that should be broken out into subsets. Big businesses understand the technological lingo, while everyday consumers do not. Consumers may not understand a term like “machine learning,” but a wearable fitness device that automatically updates their health statistics? Millennials are merely an example of why trying to group an impossibly large audience together doesn’t work. Think about who you want to reach, the groups within that larger audience, and the different type of content those niches may respond well to.