Seerfest 2020 Recap #2: You Are Not Your Audience

Seerfest 2020: Worldwide Recap

Our 3rd annual digital marketing conference, Seerfest, went virtual this year for the first time!

For those who missed the event, check out the recap of key takeaways below and keep in mind you can still purchase the full session recordings through the end of this year here. As always, 100% of sales are donated to Coded by Kids!

  1. Business Intelligence is More Accessible Than EverVisualizing large data sets in simple dashboards can surface insights that fuel decision-making across your organization.
  2. You Are Not Your Audience: Get to know who your people are so you can cut through the noise when marketing to them.
  3. Marketers of the Future are GeneralistsTo survive and thrive, marketers must be able to connect the dots between multiple channels, stakeholders, audiences, and technologies.

Takeaway #2: You Are Not Your Audience

As marketers, we can often make quick decisions about our audience based on what the data tells us and what we think we know about customers. But behind those numbers, are actual people with real motivations, aspirations, needs, etc.

Whether you're making assumptions based on a specific demographic type, an increase in conversions, or an algorithm, we learned at this year's Seerfest we have to dig a little deeper. Deeper into our relationships with our consumers, their behaviors, what platforms they use and making the right interpretations and decisions with the dataset in front of you. 

Because you will soon learn, all you thought you knew, you didn’t. Because you are not your audience.

Your Audience is on Platforms You Aren't

Imagine our surprise as Duane Brown, Founder & Head of Strategy @ Take Some Risk presented, “Snap Ads: Learn Why Its Every DTC Brands Secret Weapon For Growth”. A talk on Snapchat ... isn't it 2020? Uh, yeah, exactly. 

While many attendees mentioned having uninstalled Snapchat long ago, Brown proved all of our assumptions wrong -- just because we no longer used the app, doesn't meant 229 million people aren't logging in DAILY.

You may think, but how would I know if MY audience is on Snap? Duane walked through some surprising insights and stats about audiences on Snap that debunked any previous hesitations.

By the end of his talk, we had marketers from all parts of the country downloading Snap, and potentially meeting their audience where they are this holiday season. 

Understand Your Customer's Motivations

Teresa Lopez, Sr. Content Lead at Seer Interactive touches on this phenomenon in her presentation, “Words Matter: How to Develop Content that Connects with Customers”.

In a study, researchers asked:

If someone approached you in the store wanting you to sign a waiver to participate in a video that they had already filmed of you during your trip, would you sign the waiver?

66% said they would sign, while 34% wouldn’t. Researchers then asked,

What percentage of people do you think would share your same opinion?

Both groups thought at least 57% would say the same. Meet the false consensus effect -- believing the majority of people share a similar opinion as yours. 

Assumptions Make an A.... Well, You Know the Rest

Teresa shares that creating content based on widespread assumptions due to one's age, race, etc. will create a disconnect in the relationship you are attempting to build with prospective customers. 

Long gone are the days of using stereotypes tied to overly categorized data -- to succeed today you need to practice customer empathy or risk losing market share to competitors who do.  

Teresa champions for audience research in digital marketing. It doesn’t have to be extensive but she goes on to say there is real value in qualitative data -- learning first-hand what motivates our customers to make the decisions they do:

  • Aspirations -- ex. “how to become a librarian”
  • Belonging -- ex. “nursing majors for non-nurses”

Speak to Your Audience Like Their Humans

Now that we know what those driving indicators are for our audience, and how to create content that resonates, Justine Jordan, Head of Marketing at Wildbit carries us to the finish line in her presentation, "Email Unto Others: Lessons in Human-Centric Email Marketing" discussing content in a similar vein but on an entirely different channel, Email. 

Justine kicks off the presentation by sharing her history with the death and rebirth of Email marketing. This year alone, we saw brands leverage Email (and Social) in ways that weren’t directly linked to dollars, but the overall health and wellbeing of their customers and their brand. 

Focus On What Your Customers Need

Good marketing happens when we're able to sit at the intersection between what our business wants and what our customers need.

Jordan says. Also sharing how the events of this year (a pandemic, widespread protests, a nearing recession, a presidential election, etc.) was and is an opportunity for brands to step up to the plate, and be the brands consumers want to spend their dollars with.

Analysts, Please Leave Your Biases at the Door

Karen Hopper, relays these topics throughout her presentation, “The Numbers Don't Speak for Themselves: Bias and Racism in Data”. Hopper says algorithms and machine learning are just as susceptible to bias as any other human interaction.

To back her hypothesis, Hopper shared how two political parties can display two completely different visualizations from the same set of data to further support their point of view.

She discusses algorithms that learned to be bias based on the data they were fed because the code was created by groups who haven’t experienced racial or gender bias. To combat this, Karen shares these tips with us:

  • Ask who questions -- who benefits from this analysis? Who might be overlooked? Who might be harmed?
  • Examine context -- sources of data
  • Don't hold out -- write a data biography

Grab Your Seerfest Video Bundle

Want more in-depth insights? Purchase the full Seerfest video bundle or keep reading the recaps:

<-- Recap #1: Business Intelligence is More Accessible Than Ever

Recap #3: Marketers of the Future are Generalists -->

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Kia Street
Kia Street
Sr. Manager, Marketing
Caloua Lowe
Caloua Lowe
Manager, Marketing
Erin Simmons
Erin Simmons
Associate Director, Marketing