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HubSpot Says Most Marketers Don’t Know Their Audience—Here’s How To Fix It With An Audience Insights Tool

Jan 12, 2023 | Audience Intelligence, Social Audience Retargeting

Earlier this month, HubSpot published a great article around a study highlighting a major problem—most marketers don’t know who their audience is.

This is shocking news for a lot of people to hear in 2022, especially when 80% of consumers are more likely to buy from a company who offers a tailored, personalized experience.

So what’s the problem? It turns out access to high-quality target audience data is difficult. As HubSpot explores, there are two main challenges to data sourcing: increasing data privacy regulations + rapid shift in audience needs.

Luckily, there is an easy solution to both these problems and it comes from social media.

I know what you’re thinking—”I have social media data from social listening tools and third party sources.”

While these tools can be great resources to understand trending topics and conversations across channels, it doesn’t provide the deep actionable insights needed to truly understand who is behind those conversations and if they are at all relevant to your brand. That’s where a social audience insights tool comes in.

Unlike social listening tools, a social audience insight tool captures what individuals publicly self-declare and engage with across major social channels like Twitter and Instagram, providing marketers and researchers a holistic view into who they are.

So, let’s break down exactly how a social audience insight tool solves the two major challenges in HubSpot’s article:

Data Privacy Measures:

The Problem: The increasing amount of data privacy regulations including a phase out of third-party cookies mean marketers have less access to audience data than they did a decade ago.

The Solution: Here’s the thing—you don’t need more audience data, you need better audience data. Much of the third party data collected was inaccurate to begin with, and mainly focused on superficial demographics like age and location.

Social audience data is different, because it’s data your audience members declare themselves based on what they post on their public profiles, and who and what they engage with..

Think of a person’s Instagram account. You can learn an incredible amount about a person—their interests, beliefs, favorite tv shows and brands— just from spending time perusing it.

And by knowing who they are and what they care about in real time, you can create meaningful connections that drive brand awareness and conversion.

How to Put Social Audience Data to Work for You

Here’s the specific insights you can capture using a social audience insights tool:

  • interests/hobbies
  • media consumption
  • demographics
  • online communities
  • social causes
  • favorite influencers

By combining the self-declared data captured from social media with your first-party data, you can understand crucial buyer behavior and sentiment including:

  • What motivated their purchase decisions (e.g. lifecycle stage, influencers, interests, etc.)
  • If they were exposed to an influencer or earned media campaign


You might be wondering, how can this level of personal data adhere to today’s strict privacy regulations? All data captured by leading social audience insights providers is publically available. No data is sourced from private profiles or data behind walled-gardens. Additionally, these databases matched to large-scale consented, opted-in panelists via partnership with key panel companies, ensuring that all data being leveraged is fully compliant from both a CCPA and GDPR standpoint.

Evolving Audience Targets:

The Problem: Audiences change and evolve over time. Add in a pandemic to the mix, and people’s daily lives and habits look drastically different than they did a few years ago. Marketers are struggling with staying up to speed on these rapid consumer shifts.

The Solution: Social audience data is real-time, meaning you never have to worry about it being out of date. It evolves alongside your audience and keeps you in the know about any major shifts.

How to Put Social Audience Data to Work for You

Here ’s the specific actions you can take to keep a pulse on your audience’s evolving needs and preferences:

  • Full line of sight into how your audience is changing over time including interests, media preferences, influencers they’re following, etc.
  • Persona validation
  • Competitor audience insights
  • Survey audience members in a GDPR compliant way
  • Ability to run brand lift surveys to understand brand perception overtime (including during a marketing campaign or when good or bad press hits)


Social Audience Data: The Key To Creating Meaningful Audience Connections in 2023

On the surface it may seem like the increasing data privacy regulations are hindering marketers’ abilities to create meaningful connections with their audiences—but that’s simply not true.

The regulations are challenging marketers to rise above “cheap” tactics that lack substance and source more useful audience data that helps them build better connections.

In order to restore faith in consumers, we need to show them that we can use their data for good, and provide them with the seamless, 1:1 experiences they prefer. Social media data can solve the “crisis in connection” HubSpot references, and help marketers come out stronger on the other side.

StatSocial is the premiere social audience insights tool helping brands to capture holistic, real-time, compliant audience data and create more meaningful connections. If you’re looking to transform your marketing in 2023, let’s chat.

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