Looking beyond demographics when targeting the right event attendees

Event marketers are challenged with making an event relatable.  In an ideal world, looking beyond demographics and stereotypes makes for a much more inclusive marketing campaign and ensures that you are communicating relevant and value to your key target audience. It’s also safe to assume that people across all demographics prefer human authenticity when dealing with brands and want to be spoken to like an actual person and not a number. It’s important when organising an event that you look at your attendee’s motivation and goals for attending an event, and how it would be useful in their lives and careers. Grouping attendees by their rationale and attitude, rather than demographics, can help you keep your content relevant and better target your audience.
One way to ensure you target the right audience is to ditch the segment and conquer attitude. Furthermore, the days where brands would blast their advertising at as many people as possible and hope the right audience noticed are long gone.  Today’s event marketers understand the important of data-driven, highly targeted campaigns.
So, what are the most effective ways of looking at and targeting your audience?
  • Analyse your audience’s online behaviour in terms of recent event purchases
  • Don’t just focus on email campaigns – unless you are targeting audiences that prefer this form of communication. Millennials and Generation Z aren’t email-centric.  They are mobile-centric so you have to amend your strategy and approach accordingly
  • Adapt your marketing to the interests of the customers you are going after – how do they invest their time and energy?
  • Look at more creative ways of structuring a marketing campaign. For example, rather than targeting people, target specific moments in time that everyone experiences – a simple but transformative idea!
  • Learn from other successful events. How did they reach their ideal audiences?
It’s worth noting that knowing who your target audience is and where they are in the buyer’s journey will help you decide which event style is appropriate.  Understanding the particular needs of your target event attendees and tailoring your event’s content and logistics accordingly will help you ensure that your event is relevant and answers the central question: “What’s in it for me?”  Ignoring or being ignorant of audience preferences and expectations can affect both the initial draw and subsequent return rates and may well result in there being no audience at all. Thinking carefully about who your audience are, or are likely to be, can have a significant effect upon the ultimate success of your event.
Finally, If you end your reliance on demographics it will make you a more effective event marketer and will also help eliminate damaging stereotypes that crop up so often in marketing campaigns. It’s worth remembering that If you feed your marketing teams the same tired demographic research, then, you are not only painting a very restricted picture for them, but you are setting them up to reach the most stereotypical conclusions, which can hurt your brand and your bottom line.
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