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What does segmenting your audience through their ‘passion-points’ actually mean and will it future-proof your brand?

 

Beauty, tech, fashion, music, food; are these the terms your agency is using to tell you ’new’ ways to target your audience? Aren’t these the whole world’s passion points in some respect?

The advertising world is abuzz with post-demographics, segmenting the masses via their interests, tastes or inherent qualities such as disgust or humour. This can be an added layer on top of your basic demographics, or in a world where those demographics are becoming increasingly outmoded for brands, replace them entirely. 

But what do we really stand to gain when we look past standard demographic sets to ‘passion points’ that are as ubiquitous as these? If we’re happy to go beyond age/gender/location, shouldn’t we be looking past the basics of music, art etc. and focus on the specifics?

 

Why should you care?

If you don’t resonate effectively with your audience, you risk wasting your time AND your budget. People aren’t one dimensional, the way that you communicate with them shouldn’t be either.

Adding an additional layer of insight is key. While this isn’t a new concept for brands and agencies that have been successfully adding exactly that through their sponsorships and partnerships for years – Marlboro and F1, O2 and Music, Red Bull and Extreme Sports – what’s untapped by many brands and agencies is reading data creatively to truly understand and tailor activity to their audience’s interests, attitudes and emotions.

 

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By getting under the skin of consumers now and planning forwards, brands can help future-proof their offering and remain relevant to their audiences. 

 

The term ‘millennials’ is meaningless. Data can breakthrough the preconceptions. 

 
“60% of millennials believe they’re not mainstream”  (The New Mainstream, Time Inc. 2017)

 

At PD3, it’s our aim to go beyond these demographics, beyond even the post-demographics, to get to the heart of what makes an audience tick - the nuanced, the weird. “Music” may well be a passion point, but no-one talks about it in the abstract unless it’s on a dating profile– people are into artists or experiences. Guns N’ Roses, Beyoncé, Apparat or Elrow.  The same goes for fashion, technology, film… 

 

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Strategy, Creatives and Brands require an understanding of these specifics, the real building blocks of an audience’s character, so that they can come up with ideas that truly hit home. 

 

It’s the gritty details that make a subject interesting.  This is your hook.

And this data is more available to us than ever before, it’s available to everyone, but it’s how you read it and the meaning you can layer into it that counts. The more we can interpret the meaning behind a person, their character and the data they’ve shared, the better we can understand and appeal to them. Take for example Radio 4’s ‘Desert Island Discs’ – it’s jam-packed with insights. You can tell a lot from a person’s choice of luxury item - guess who wanted a mirror? Simon Cowell; which rock star took a machete? Keith Richards; and who took a supply of fragrant body cream? Kim Cattrall. Each item gets to the core of that person – we can infer their character traits and personal beliefs; get under their skin and communicate with them on their level. 

By using true character traits and attitudes we can target multiple audiences who reflect this character, as well as tailor the creative approach for different audiences. By using data as the inspiration and reading it creatively, we develop emotional content that will appeal to a targeted mass. 

 

Keith Richards with a Machete (Images may have been edited for dramatic effect)

Keith Richards with a Machete (Images may have been edited for dramatic effect)

We believe post-demographics should be at the heart of every brand’s marketing strategy, so here are our three practical tips:

 

1. TRY TO FIND OUT SOMETHING NEW ABOUT YOUR AUDIENCE EVERY WEEK FOR THE NEXT FOUR WEEKS.

2. HOW WOULD YOUR CURRENT MARKETING MESSAGES CHANGE IF YOU WERE TARGETING THE AUDIENCE NOW?

3. IS THERE AN EVENT WHERE ONE OF YOUR NEW AUDIENCE SEGMENT SPECIFICS WILL GATHER OR GET EXCITED ABOUT? CAN YOU BE AT IT OR ACTIVATE AROUND IT? 

 

We would love to hear how it goes or help you put this approach into practise, so if you want to chat, please contact us on hello@pd3.co.uk or call 0207 729 3003.