Be Where Your Audience Is

In yesterday’s webinar with Movable Ink, one of the themes that kept coming up was the need to remember A) that we (marketers) are not our audience,  and B) as a result of that, you need to be where your audience is, not where you expect or want them to be.

This was especially driven home by one of the slides that guest speaker Jordan Cohen presented, which provided data indicating that roughly one in a thousand people are opening email on BlackBerry devices.

How the mighty have fallen. Ten years ago, if you were reading email on a phone, it was almost certainly on a BlackBerry: The iPhone was still three years away, and Android was still in its incubation stage and nearly four years away from release. Now, seeing a BlackBerry in the wild is only slightly more common than sightings of a Yeti or the Loch Ness Monster.

The takeaway from that for you, as a marketer, is that you can’t ever afford to think, “Well, this is the way it’s always been, so it’s going to continue being that way,” especially in the email marketing world, in which technology is shifting on an annual, monthly and sometimes even weekly or daily basis (think of how many changes have happened with Gmail in the past twelve months, and think of how we had little or sometimes even no advance notice of them coming).

I’m not saying you should strive to be omniscient – down that road leads folly. However, you can predict and adapt to trends by looking at your data. Google Analytics, your email marketing software’s reporting, and so on – you can drill into device- and operating system-specific information and use that to see where your customers “are,” which is to say how they’re contacting you and engaging with your content.

wcmobile1

What does this chart tell us? Primarily, it tells us that by far the majority of the people who opened this email on a mobile device were iOS users, and it tells us that the Android audience was close to nonexistent. (It also says that Microsoft has a big problem with adoption of Windows 8 / 8.1, but that’s their problem to deal with, not mine.) Six months ago, this graph could have looked completely opposite – but that’s why I look at numbers like these every week, to not only identify trends – but to proactively be out in front of them before they hit.

Look at the numbers, figure out where your audience is, and make sure it’s as easy as possible for them to consume your message on the channels where they are.

Tim Brechlin
Inbound Marketing Manager, WhatCounts
@timbrechlin

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