Today, acceleration is happening to companies that are able to engage the right consumers through social platforms and employ technology to expand market size globally.
Dollar Shave Club went from $0 to $200m in revenue in only 4 years and completed a $1bn exit. HelloFresh scaled to c.€600m of sales in less than 4 years. Tesla booked c.500k of pre-orders for its model 3 without a dollar spent on advertising.
The key aspect of succeeding in this globalised market is knowing your audience. According to the latest Adobe Digital Trends report, based on interviews with over 13,000 marketers from around the world, around two-thirds (65%) of respondents expressed ‘improving data analysis capabilities to better understand customer experience requirements’ is a business priority for 2018.
The core marketing processes of identifying the most important audiences and defining how to engage them are now paramount. When markets are so large, marketing built without highly segmented communication will fail.
This is why our attention must turn to levelling the playing field. Just as giants like Apple are required to keep pace with customer expectations for relevancy, small businesses need ready access to audience insights in order to compete.
The challenge? The platform subscription models that work for big consultancies and advertising agencies ultimately cut smaller businesses out of the equation. Insights are so often only accessible to the few that can afford the services and charge back the value of the insights at a premium.
Creating audience-centric brands
At a glance, small businesses might not appear to be facing a setback. They are started with a clear vision to engage one or a group of particular audiences and in response to a need. Often these businesses make existing services better or solve a problem for customers that isn’t currently being addressed.
But how can these businesses really scale?
Certainly, access to audience insights can help improve the effectiveness of the advertising budget. When it comes to reaching out and engaging new segments, marketers know exactly what audiences are viewing, how they view it and when.
This is essential to getting their message in front of the right people at the right time without expending the whole marketing budget in one area.
But in these smaller, more dynamic team structures, audience profiling goes beyond guiding better communications. It’s about shaping audience-centric brands.
Information about audience behaviours can shape business decisions such as product development and market expansion. Say the business is looking to expand towards APAC and capitalise on the rising numbers of affluent digital consumers there. Audience insights can map the demographics most closely aligned with the brand, and assess the dominance of international competitors to qualify the investment opportunity.
Embrace the progress
After all, no industry progresses without the potential for disruption by nimble challengers. As a technology vendor, what makes the difference in all this is not just about providing a point of access to the data, but guiding these companies towards using it correctly.
Data democratisation is the ability for information in a digital format to be accessible to the average end user. The goal of data democratisation is to allow non-specialists to be able to gather and analyse data without requiring outside help.
This means providing small business professionals with the types of insights they can immediately apply to their business. In an SMB, the person sat in the marketing seat is also likely to be the person covering sales and HR. They won’t necessarily be able to squeeze every drop of information in the same way an agency professional would – but better understanding of the landscape or a new market, and the popularity of incumbent brands is crucial, accessible information.
We have the power and the choice to open our platforms up to SMBs, charities and non-profit organisations as equally as we are to the world’s leading brands, agencies and consultancies. It’s about providing one universal point of access that they can scale as they choose. Looking beyond the usual partner credentials can offer rapid user growth, in turn accelerating awareness of a platform globally and challenge the status quo across markets.
– by Ali Little