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Hello? Is anyone out there? Getting to know your audience…

Gone are the days when publishers didn’t need to know that much about their audience. Take the publisher of a women’s health magazine. The fact their readership comprised women interested in health and wellness issues was all they needed to sell magazines, subscriptions and advertising space. But it’s not that simple any more.

Companies wishing to target their audience want to be more on point. Take the health food manufacturers, beauty companies and sports clothes retailers that are potential advertisers in this women’s health magazine. They might want to target high earners, or women who have specific health issues or sports interests, or those with children.

And it is starting to go much deeper than that. Publishers and media companies have to provide more insight into their audiences’ behaviour, tastes, purchasing power and – importantly – how they engage with the publication. As such, efficiently executed audience management – and audience profiling – has become a key weapon in the armoury for publishers and media companies.

So how do you create effective audience profiling? Four steps:

  • Central database, clean data: all publishers have a central database of their audience – or they should have! This is the first step towards audience profiling and it needs to be regularly cleaned and kept up to date. Ageing data is one of the scourges of effective marketing campaigns, so all publishers need accurate, up to date information on their readership.
  • Demographic information: data such as who your audience is, what their job is, where they are based and their salary bracket. In the case of the women’s health magazine – do they have careers? Do they exercise? All of this information is crucial in building a clear picture of the audience. But demographic information on its own isn’t enough.
  • Behavioural information: relates to how audiences behave when they engage with your website, vital in the publishing industry. Behavioural information could include what your audience does on the website, what pages they look at, what topics and themes interest them, what emails they click on, what events they might attend etc. Building a layer around behavioural information is key to audience profiling. 
  • CRM is the golden ticket: when demographic information is integrated with behavioural information, suddenly the picture of the audience is much more accurate. And the more accurate the profile, the more valuable the proposition to advertisers. So how do you do this? Customer Relationship Management (CRM) creates a single, cross-business platform that pulls together all data to create a truly three dimensional picture of your audience.

There is no silver bullet to effective audience profiling, but CRM will put you on the right track and help you to work smarter. And with increasing competition for advertising spend in the publishing world, having a clear picture of your audience has never been more important.

To learn more about how CRM can help you manage your audience, read our white paper How media and publishing companies can improve audience management or contact one of our team on: +44 118 3030 100