How A Deeper Understanding of Your Customers Can Help You Survive and Thrive During an Economic Downturn

Sep 21, 2022 | Audience Intelligence

Let’s face it, a period of economic downturn isn’t ideal, but the good news is, there are social data tools we have at our disposal to successfully navigate and come out the other side. When we can better understand and connect with our core customer groups, they’re more likely to stick with us both during and after a recession.

Social Audience Data is Essential for Understanding and Reaching Your Audience & Measuring Campaign Success

The first step in any campaign is to define your audience and goals. Part of this includes being able to draw accurate consumer insights. With social audience insights you can draw consumer insights from the channels they frequent most, making it a key component to understanding and reaching your audience effectively. When you know your consumers’ personality traits, interests, preferred media channels, influencers they engage with, and more, you can execute highly targeted market research studies, run targeted paid media campaigns, and measure the impact of influencer and earned media programs.

Leverage self-declared data for market research studies

Social audience insights aren’t just a “nice to have,” but a must-have for any marketer and researcher looking to effectively reach their audience. Market research should never take a backseat, especially during an economic downturn, and is essential for any business. Our friends at Cint put it best by saying, “When you need to identify market trends, understand your core customer better, or achieve a long list of other important goals, market research is the answer.”

Social audience insight platforms (like Silhouette™) help market research teams move beyond gen pop to identify highly targeted or exposed audiences for surveys, brand lift studies, panel enrichment, and other market research initiatives. The key benefit this data provides is the ability to reach only those who matter without spending an abundant amount of time and budget casting a wide net, hoping to attract the right panelists.

Create highly targeted ad and media campaigns

Just because we are currently in a recession, does not mean you need to scale back your paid media spend. According to an article by Marketing Dive, more than 60 percent of brands that increased media investment in the last recession saw some sort of ROI improvement. And brands that increased paid advertising saw a 17 percent rise in incremental sales. Those that cut risked losing 15 percent of business to their competitors that had boosted ad spending.

While social data is essential for market research, they also aid in your company’s paid ad strategies. Social audience insights allow marketing and paid ad teams to utilize robust social audience data to not only understand interests and what drives an individual’s purchase decisions but the media channels and influencers they regularly engage with, creating the ability for marketers to target specific customer segments and create highly personalized campaigns.

Measure earned media across exposed and engaged audiences

Even though history shows you shouldn’t cut back on your paid advertising campaigns, you may inevitably be forced to trim your budget. This may force you to be a bit scrappier in your marketing efforts pushing you to rely more heavily on earned media campaigns. To ensure you are dedicating your time to tactics that will move the needle, you will want a way to measure the impact of your earned media efforts.

Traditionally, you would have to rely on forced exposure, pre and post-campaign targeting and social listening tools to gauge brand lift, with no real knowledge of who was exposed to the campaign. But while these methods work, they are not entirely accurate in measuring the true impact of your earned media content.

Social audience insights allow influencer and PR teams to identify exposed and engaged audiences that can then be matched to verified offline individuals, enabling the ability to calculate sales attribution, pre and post-campaign, and run targeted attribution and brand lift surveys.

With tools like social audience insights, you can shift your focus and budget beyond paid campaigns to earned media opportunities. By knowing the impact of your earned media campaigns you can truly assess and optimize your overall marketing campaigns to evaluate what is working and not working.

Check out our on-demand webinar to learn more about earned media measurement and why social data is a critical component in doing so.

Final Thoughts

When considering your marketing budget it’s important to think long-term. Yes, a recession is scary. Yes, you will likely need to scale back in some instances, but you should continue investing in market research, paid advertising, PR, and earned media campaigns. Long-term thinking will reap long-term benefits.

Want to learn more about social audience insights and see how we can help grow your business? Request a one-on-one demo today.


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