Validating Existing Audience Segments

and Identifying New Profitable Segments

All brands must understand their audience in order for their marketing efforts to target the people who are likeliest to purchase their products and services. Even brands with universal appeal learn who their best customers are, and work to not only make them repeat customers, but share their message. Understanding your audience helps you communicate your message better, particularly to those who are predisposed to your brands. By segmenting your audience into logical groups, you can “speak the language” of the members in those groups, which can give your messaging a more authentic voice. But how do companies go about determining the people in their audience segments? Oftentimes, these important decisions are made using nothing more than a gut feeling. Even those companies who use traditional market research or marketing automation platforms to drive their strategies only see part of the picture. This brief will focus on how People Pattern can instantly validate or disprove audience segments, or personas, while also surfacing new ones that may never have been considered.

Audience Segment Validation

In this brief, we’ll focus on a fictitious vitamin company looking to validate their audience members. The company knew that people interested in fitness and nutrition, like the Wellness Professional persona, would be interested in their vitamins and supplements. They based their marketing strategy on communications geared exclusively to the Wellness Persona: a health and fitness fiend who works in the health industry—either as an alternative medicine practitioner, massage therapist, chiropractor, yoga instructor or nutritionist. We looked at people with expressed interest in nutrition, and we were quickly able to validate that people concerned about nutrition also used the “vitamin” and “vitamins” in social media posts. The image below shows the full list of keywords found during a search on keywords related to nutrition. Having validated their perceived audience, our vitamin company knows they are on the right track when it comes to creating marketing messaging that’s targeted to people interested in nutrition, but we were not surprised to discover that those same people were also interested in fitness. The same data about nutrition also revealed a variety of fitness keywords, depicted in the next image to the right. Now the company has proven that its audience segments interested in nutrition and fitness are predisposed to vitamin and supplement products, and can continue its marketing efforts in customizing messaging and media buying accordingly.

New Segment Identification

But People Pattern software doesn’t stop at validating audiences. Our modern approach to data science transforms vast, messy public expression like tweets, Facebook posts, blog posts, ratings and reviews into rich, actionable persona sets. In other words, validating an audience is important, but that’s only one piece of the puzzle. What can be even more interesting are the new segments and personas that are exposed when looking at an audience as a whole. When we validated individuals interested in nutrition and fitness, we also discovered two additional personas our vitamin company weren’t aware of. In the image below, you can see the Wellness Professional persona—the original audience we validated—is only the third largest persona with an expressed interest in vitamins.

Meeting the New Personas

The data has returned some surprising findings: The vitamin company been missing out on marketing to these other profitable segments by focusing only on marketing to the Wellness Professional persona. They have also learned that the audience segment they sought to validate isn’t even at the top of the list. Now that we have this data, let’s drill in a little further to obtain more detailed information about each of those defined personas.

Grab and Go

The Grab and Go persona represents 45% of the social media mentions about vitamins. They take supplements and vitamins to balance out a mostly unhealthy diet. They follow healthy brands in hopes of being persuaded to live a healthier life. The image below shows us additional attributes that can help the vitamin company plan a marketing strategy tailored for this persona.

Overscheduled Parent

The second largest audience segment we discovered, with 35% of mentions about vitamins on social media, is the Overscheduled Parent persona. They are time-strapped parents who are concerned with cost, health and wellness. They incorporate physical wellness into daily life when they can find the time.

Aspirational Healthy

As we initially learned, the Wellness Professional takes third place after the Grab and Go and Overscheduled Parent personas. The final persona, comprising only 3% of people expressing interest in vitamins, is the Aspirational Healthy persona. This persona is defined as: regularly on a diet, but not often found at the gym, the Aspirational Healthy is looking for the next breakthrough in health and fitness—whether that means going gluten free or trying the Paleo diet. Although this persona might not be the primary marketing focus for the vitamin company, it is interesting to gain additional insights into this persona to compare and contrast data with the other identified personas.

Discovered Personas

Based on correlated interests, discovered personas and bespoke, client-defined personas can also give us insights into the kinds of people who have expressed interest in vitamins. The image below shows us more about each of the top 3 discovered personas. This data gives us even deeper insight into the interests and motivations of each of these personas, including demographics, social platforms and the type of device they use to post. The vitamin company now has much better audience insight; they can and should leverage this data into content and creative coordinated with these findings.

About People Pattern

People Pattern is a Software as a Service platform that supplies meaningful Audience Insights to the world’s biggest brands. Via semi-supervised machine-learned algorithms and natural language processing, People Pattern turns vast, messy public expression into actionable persona sets, helping brands gain an edge in the race to win, retain and serve customers.

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