Public relations professionals spend a lot of time studying their target audiences to figure out how to best appeal to its wants and needs. We conduct focus groups, send out surveys and engage them on social media to try to best tap into their heads, and meet them on their level. But now, markets are changing, and often the audience that you’re targeting isn’t looking for a word from you. More and more, we are seeing the trend of purchase or engagement by recommendation rather than self discovery.
Take, for example, websites like Luvocracy, which allows users to shop based solely off of recommendations by “taste-makers” that they trust. It cuts out the step of researching and analyzing what is being presented to you by allowing a friendly and familiar face do the hard work for you. Consumers today are still knowledgeable of buyer beware, but would rather spend their time enjoying their product rather than spending hours scouring the internet for reviews and descriptions.
The power of friendly suggestion cannot be denied as a major force when it comes to PR and marketing campaigns. As PR professionals, it is important to keep in mind that we are not the only ones influencing our target audience; other groups have much more access and influence than we do.While we may not be targeting these influencing groups, it is still important that we know what they are saying and HOW they are saying it. Leaving these groups un-monitored leaves us vulnerable to lose control over the image that we are shaping.
Knowing these groups is just as important as knowing our target audience. By studying how they get their information, you will be know how to reach them, and how to market your client or product!