May 12, 2019

6 Important Reasons You Need Data-driven Audience Insights

Heather Winnicki - Vice President of Product Development

Advertising is all around us, shaping our minds from early childhood. Growing up, I vividly remember the BETA vs. VCR debate, tube socks and aqua net hairspray. Even in that simpler time in terms of technology, fashion and hair product options, advertising and branding play a large role in my memories. I bet it does in yours too. Creating messaging that resonates with your audience can influence them for decades to come. That’s the power of effective marketing.

We all know the popular truism, “knowledge is power.” To create messaging that resonates with your audience, you need to know your audience. And in the world of marketing, data is knowledge. If you have the right data, you are more likely to connect with your audience and build that emotional connection to the brand.  Here are some of my favorite marketerisms that connect my clients to the audiences that want to hear from them.

Uncover your true audience, and save valuable time and resources down the road

Who you think your audience is, and who your audience actually is, might be misaligned. What good is it to try and sell pool supplies to someone who watches Insane Pools on Animal Planet if they don’t own a pool?  While you may have the right audience context, if you don’t have audience insights such as: are they a homeowner, do they already have a pool, are they installing a pool, if they have a pool is my product right for their pool —is it an inflatable pool, inground, above ground— is there a grotto involved? You are wasting your marketing dollars.

Always make sure your audience is aligned with your intended audience. Audience driven data can get you to your proper audience and stop valuable marketing dollars from going to waste.

Fill in data gaps to grow sales

Say you’re selling fidget spinners and you have minimal house data on your customers beyond what they paid and where they had their spinner sent.  Your job is to grow your spinner sales but your audience insight is limited and sales are stalled – how do you grow?  By getting more customers. The quickest way is to listen to your data.  It is best to understand the power in your data sets and optimize them –   first understand what data is currently available to you.  Is it House vs. Third Party, Inferred, Derived, Actual, Deterministic, Offline vs Online?  Whichever it is, figure it out and fill in the data gaps to uncover your product story.  You may find that you have multiple audiences buying your spinner or a finite audience.  Whatever the results, you will have the power to align expectations with ROI or overall product lifecycle.

Know when and how your audience wants to hear from you

It is the year 2019 and being a social influencer is a real job.  Influencers who truly know their audience have been able to earn millions.  Influencers can make money by posting videos of themselves opening packages on youtube and others livestream themselves playing videogames on Twitch. While this is hard to understand at first blink, there is a data based reason why watching others play video games or why “unboxing” videos are intriguing to a certain audience.

Marketing has had to evolve as platforms of entertainment have changed. Determining which channels your audience is most likely to respond to requires the use of audience driven data. Is your target audience most responsive to online advertising, direct mail, inserts in packages that they purchased online from a retailer, print publications (gasp…paper), in a store, on the radio, a billboard, etc. Knowing which channels your audience connects with will make sure your message is viewed by your target audience.

Use third party data sets to help you properly align your message to be consistent to the medium the audience you’re seeking to reach prefers.  They will be grateful you are taking the time to speak to them in the way they want to be spoken to and in a time/place that is convenient to them and their busy schedules.  A grateful customer is more likely to stay engaged and loyal to your brand.

Data gives you a competitive edge

Sometimes keeping up with the Joneses is the right thing to do; especially with quality data. I guarantee that your competitors are optimizing their audience knowledge using data driven resources to drive sales.   In using data to fill in gaps or bolster your audience targeting accuracy – you can gain valuable market share by making sure your competitors can’t eclipse your market share because of their investment in data granted them superior audience insights that resulted in a competitive edge over you.

Advertise to people who want to hear from you

According to Infogroup’s consumer survey on the Power of Personalization, 93% of consumers regularly receive messaging that isn’t relevant to them and 90% agree that these messages are annoying. The last thing you want to do is annoy and alienate your audience.

It’s imperative to utilize your data, fill the gaps with third party data and always work with reputable companies that treat your product as if it was their own. It’s easy to forget, as you put together your campaigns, that at the end of all audience driven data there is a living breathing person.  Your data won’t mean anything if you don’t use it to forge a meaningful connection with the person on the other end of the data point.

If you follow this advice, you are well on your way to successfully optimizing your marketing budgets to acquire new customers!


Heather Winnicki is the vice president of product management at Infogroup. Helping others learn how to profitably and properly use data intelligence is her passion. She believes that as marketing becomes increasingly data-driven; making sense of data, telling the story, and putting it to work to drive revenue growth requires executives who are truly experienced in the foundations of one-to-one marketing. Have questions about this article? Contact Heather directly at or 402.836.5695


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