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Gaining Audience Insights to Increase Brand Effectiveness

Sara Tetreault

Director, Brand Strategy, Forum One

With so many digital tools and ways to connect with your audience, it seems like a lost opportunity if you don’t spend a little time on getting to know them. Even basic audience insights allow you to better reach and engage your key stakeholders.

It’s not news that knowing your audience will help you gain efficiencies in all parts of your organization. Throwing ideas at the wall to see what sticks has proven to be an inefficient way to use an organization’s resources.

We at Forum One dig into these details regularly in terms of the types of audience research that exist and important information to get from your audience. Now, let’s explore what we do with the raw data that comes out of audience research. These are the five areas of focus that should be considered when looking at information from interviews, focus groups, and surveys.

1. Terminology and thematic trends in your audience’s voice

The first thing we do when we receive responses from a survey or set of interviews is review responses to each individual question, particularly if they are open ended or qualitative in nature. We are looking for common ways to describe topics and trends within answers for that particular question. This helps us understand what is important to the audience, and build a clear understanding on how to communicate various ideas to them.

2. Trends that are representative of answers throughout the question set

As we look at all the questions as a whole, we typically see trends emerge. These larger trends help us to help you better understand your brand differentiators and uncover perceptions (both positive and negative!) that can lead to opportunities for your brand. These insights are the foundation for your brand positioning strategy.

3. Where your audience thinks you stand amongst comparator/competitor organizations

In any type of audience research, you can pepper in questions that help you get a sense of where your organizational brand sits on the spectrum of others in your space. We are looking for what your audiences value about your organization and others to further build your brand positioning and differentiators to stand out from the noise.

4. How similar your internal assumptions are to audience perceptions

Before embarking on audience research, we engage with you to understand your assumptions about audiences. One of the primary reasons for audience research is to confirm or debunk these ideas (insurance to make sure the ideas stick, if you will). We take a critical eye to the differences or similarities between these perceptions so that we can help you align brand perceptions with internal and external audiences.

5. How close your audiences believe you are to your future aspirations for your work

Audience research should help you look into the future to understand if what you are hoping the organization will achieve is indeed what your audiences are hoping for as well. You can gain deep insight into how your past and current brand perceptions are representative of what audiences see in your future.

These invaluable insights help you to build a clear understanding of what your audience cares about and how you can best reach them. Stay tuned for future posts on how we translate this data into a strategy for your brand! In the meantime, check out our Nonprofit Brand Communications Guide to get started on optimizing your brand for your audiences by filling out the form below.

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Written By

Sara Tetreault

Director, Brand Strategy, Forum One