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In a 1975 interview with the Paris Review, author John Steinbeck urged writers to “forget your generalized audience. Your audience is one single reader.” Steinbeck’s advice is equally, if not more, poignant for marketers today. In a world where 500 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube, 3.3 million people post to Facebook, and hundreds of thousands of pictures, emails, and tweets are posted and sent on various platforms every minute, organizations are struggling to maintain brand relevance. How then can marketers help brands be relevant in the age of the attention-scarce consumer?

Marketers now see content marketing, big data, AI, and machine learning as the activities that will have the biggest effect on business in 20181. Already, leveraging consumer data to develop content marketing that fits into the context of consumer’s lives is proving to be a much greater driver of consumer action than advertising2. Evidently, it’s not the type of ad that matters – it’s the ability to target the right audiences that makes a difference.

While many CG organizations and retailers have spent years building comprehensive buyer personas to model customer behavior, these personas fail to keep up with rapidly-occurring cultural and spending shifts. CG and retail organizations have access to the data necessary to create relevant consumer personas, but most companies can only analyze 12% of the data3 at their disposal. Without the ability to create data-driven personas, CG companies and retailers lose out on the insights that would help them understand their consumers as people and effectively communicate with them. Grabbing peoples’ attention in the age of the consumer requires a new, dynamic approach.

Stay relevant to consumers by discovering their interests and aligning to them

Today, advances in machine learning and big data analysis make it possible for CG companies and retailers to gain real, actionable insights from consumer data. The Affinio Integrated Audience Analysis solution enables marketers to see the connections between billions of behavioral data points that lead to real insights about consumer interests. With a powerful marketing intelligence graph powered by the Microsoft cloud, businesses turn huge volumes of consumer data into easy to interpret and identify trends to inform everything from content strategy to product development.

With Affinio, CG companies and retailers leverage advanced audience discovery and graph analysis to understand the passions and interests of the people using their brands and uncover naturally occurring audience segments. With a full view of the people who follow their brands, marketers discover new subgroups that aren’t engaged by marketing campaigns and promotions.

Advanced audience analysis also enables marketers to evaluate their product portfolio and compare it against competitors. With a better understanding of their competitive landscape, CG companies and retailers get a better idea of where their brands and products rank within target audiences. CG companies and retailers use these insights to identify the most effective ways to further extend their reach.

Driving relevance to better connect with your customers today

Ultimately, insights from customer and audience analysis enable CG companies and retailers to maximize their marketing efforts. Marketers are empowered not only to understand the content key audience segments engage with, but also the individuals, celebrities, and media that influence them. Leveraging Affinio enables marketers to create content that resonates with their audiences and deliver it through channels that they know their audiences will listen to.

Danone, an industry-leading food production company, wanted to connect with consumers on a holistic level, but traditional usage and attitude techniques limited them to segmenting audiences into buckets based on the products they used. Partnering with Affinio enabled Danone to improve the efficiency of marketing efforts and agency engagements, gain insights into consumer passions, and reveal niche subgroups and their competitive landscapes. Dieter Deceuninck, Danone’s global director of strategy and insights for waters and aquadrinks, summarized the benefits of partnering with Affinio in the context of precision marketing: “we can now create more relevant assets that can be delivered in the right moment to the right audience.”

In a content-saturated world, Affinio helps CG companies and retailers stay relevant with consumers by delivering the insights that enable businesses to better connect with their audiences. Affinio is part of Microsoft’s suite of cloud-based retail and CG solutions including Inventory OptimizationPricing & Promotion Execution , Retail Execution, and Demand Planning. To learn more and try the Affinio Integrated Audience Analysis solution today, visit AppSource.

[1] https://www.smartinsights.com/digital-marketing-strategy/10-marketing-trends/

[2] https://www.salesforce.com/blog/2017/11/5-future-marketing-trends-of-2018.html

[3] https://www.forrester.com/The+Forrester+Wave+Big+Data+Hadoop+Solutions+Q1+2014/-/E-PRE6807