Secrets of Audience Intelligence – Cultural Understanding

Audience intelligence is particularly important, especially when it comes to understanding the kind of content that resonates with your audience.

We have been working with Audiense to bring you ‘The Secrets of Audience Intelligence.’ This is the first podcast in the series of in depth interviews that will enable you to learn more about the ins and outs of audience intelligence, deeper customer segmentation, we explore influencer marketing, social media audience segmentation and how and where to find insights to bring you closer to your audience.

Audience intelligence is also key when choosing which influencers to work with, choosing what content to create and the topics that matter to your audience and target market and ways to engage with them and where.

In this interview, India White and Nat Schooler discuss getting closer to your audience.

Brands need to resonate with their customers – customers need to feel a connection and sense of trust with the companies they buy from. To do this, brands need to gain a fundamental understanding of who their customer segments are, beyond demographics, broad assumptions, and pre-determined media segments.

India White

Traditional research methods (while still relevant for broad knowledge of large audience segments) don’t move fast enough to keep up to pace with culture today.

India White

There are more people online today than ever before (especially with Covid) sharing their thoughts and opinions about everything.

However, as a general rule, only 10% of people are vocal online, that means the vast majority of us are lurkers. We research and observe, but we rarely engage. This is where social listening falls short and where audience intelligence becomes key.

Audience Intelligence gives us a back door to quickly learning about the culture – passions, interests, what matters most – of our audiences. It’s an actionable discovery tool that allows us to uncover things we never new about our audiences and reason about them in a new light.

India White

Discovering the segments that already exist within your audience (or competitors audience) sheds light on who and how you should be focusing your marketing initiatives (identify high-value segments).

India White

I say actionable because we can then take that data and apply it to the marketing strategies we already employ – discover the influencers who already resonate with your audience (niche and micro), see the content they read and share, know the media sources that they get their news from, see the brands and celebrities that they trust, get to know the vernacular and understand how they communicate, etc.

India White

“High-value segments” can mean several things depending on the company – as a marketer, I get really excited about segments that have a high degree of shared interests and high degree of interconnectivity (they know each other) – this creates an opportunity to “infiltrate” the segment. This is where the idea of “perceived viralty” comes in – if you strategically place a piece of well-researched content (based on audience intelligence) in the community and a few people share it, all of a sudden, the content will be perceived as “viral” as segment members are seeing it in multiple places. This also allows you to grow your audience strategically with highly actionable audience segments.
Culture is changing faster than we can keep track – especially when we have massive events going on across the world. Audience Intelligence allows you to keep your finger on the pulse of culture in your key audience segments.

India White

We cover huge amounts and any marketer or CXO will find this very useful.

If you want to find India you can get her here

The full transcriptions are below.

Nathaniel Schooler  00:28

Well, today I am joined by Indian White and she is the founder of Port Tack and Port Tack is an audience intelligence agency and you guys help brands and agencies understand their audiences on a cultural level. So, yeah, welcome.

India White  00:47

Thank you for having me. 

Nathaniel Schooler  00:48

I’m really pleased that you took the time to join me I’m very interested in what we’re going to talk about today. And you know, leveraging audience intelligence is is absolutely fundamental for today’s marketers and pr comms professionals. Right?

India White  01:04

That’s right, especially in this COVID pandemic world where more and more people are online on a regular basis. 

Nathaniel Schooler  01:12

Yeah, yeah. I mean, I think it also helps us to understand a lot more about the influencers and what influences them and the kind of media that they consume, right.

India White  01:23

Yeah, exactly. So it’s, you know, not really a new way. It’s been around for a while, but a great way for us to dive into the data that we have available to us today. To better understand audiences beyond demographics. So beyond what we’ve been relying on for so long, broad assumptions and predetermine segments, to then understand our audiences through who they truly are. 

India White  01:48

So, you know, I’m a female in my 30s, and I’m married, but I don’t have children. I do have a dog. But I still get ads for Pampers and stuff like that. So understanding our audiences and being able to communicate with them and reach them and engage them through their passions, interests. And by understanding the culture of the audience segments that exist in our target markets.

Nathaniel Schooler  02:14

Right, got you, got you. So I mean, brands are always trying to resonate better with their customers, right? So obviously, the customers need to feel connected and the sense of trust right with with the companies they buy from, but how do brands get a more of a fundamental understanding of who their customer segments are beyond the demographics and assumptions and these predetermined media segments that you were you were talking about?

India White  02:45

Yeah, so I mean, traditionally, we’ve relied on market research methods to do that in the past, so to get a better understanding of our markets, which are still valuable, but by the time we are able to do that type of research A lot has changed. So, you know, it’s still definitely important to talk to our customers and do surveys and do customer discovery, to better understand specifically how our customers engage and understand how they use our product or service and benefit from it. But when it comes to what we do at Port Tack, we leverage audience intelligence software, so like Affinio and Audiense, to better understand audiences through their interests. So to explain what those platforms do just to give a better understanding of what we mean by audience intelligence. 

India White  03:40

So each of those platforms have very powerful algorithms that look at audiences as a whole so social audiences, and let’s use Twitter as an example. So for instance, we could look at the following of a brand’s audience or competitors audience, and the algorithms will look at every single person that exists within that audience. And then look at who those people follow. So, you know, I only follow things that I’m interested in, and you can make that assumption about everybody out there. And then these algorithms have powerful segmenting or clustering abilities to then group people based on similar following patterns or interest patterns. So what you’re left with is custom and unsupervised segments within your audience that are based on passions, their interests, who they trust, all of that stuff. So then you can dive in deep into each of those clusters. 

India White  04:45

Understand the celebrities that they follow, the subject matter experts, thought leaders, all of that. The media that they follow the publications that they read, and who are the community leaders within their the their own sort of culture and audience and start to analyze the content that they regularly read and consume and share and how they talk to each other understand the vernacular that’s unique to these audience segments. So that then you can start to build audience or marketing strategies around this fundamental understanding of who your audience is beyond demographics.

Nathaniel Schooler  05:27

Right, right. I’ve got you. Yeah, it’s, it’s something I’ve been, I’ve been sort of studying a little bit as well, from a content point of view because we write a lot of content and create videos and podcasts. 

Nathaniel Schooler  05:39

So you know, getting to know an audience and a specific segment is is so important, right, but I like the fact that actually these segments are floating. I mean, they’re not they’re not always the same. Are they? I mean, when you when you when you delve into it, there’s so much data there, but actually, I mean, I looked into audience you know, I use that tool as well. It helps with a lot of things that we working on and it’s amazing there’s so much information in there that is that it you know, it becomes it becomes so useful for for us to actually look at, you know what, what, what periodicals and magazines and newspapers and you know what TV channels people watch and you know who they talk to. 

Nathaniel Schooler  06:25

But what was very interesting when we were just speaking off camera is what you were saying about 10% of the people are quite vocal, right. And there’s obviously the 90% of people don’t really talk very much so online, so they will follow a brand or they’ll follow people or they’ll follow topics or hashtags or whatever. But they won’t say very much. 

Nathaniel Schooler  06:48

And, you know, we were just saying how it’s, it gives us a kick right when we can create a piece of content that will make them message you know, the brand or it will make the message that the original I feel like the influencer of that with that piece of content. And I find that very interesting as well. So what I’m, what more do you do you do know about that?

India White  07:11

Yeah, for sure. So it’s not, you know, unknown or maybe it’s less well known but we have for years like I used to work at, I started my career at Radian6, which it was a social media listening company. And back then we were, you know, that was a decade ago, and we were teaching people the importance of listening to what people are saying online. Literally calling up some of the world’s biggest companies and saying, you know, this is important, you need to be listening to what your people are saying online. But then over time, you know, you learn that it’s really just the the vocal minority that’s talking so when you’re listening to those audiences, like if a pr crisis erupts, or you’re getting feedback about your company or or, or situation that’s happening.

India White  08:00

You have to take that with a grain of salt because it is the vocal minority. It’s not representative of your entire audience. So the vast majority of your audience are lurkers, there are people that don’t engage regularly. They don’t, you know, communicate with you, they’re not commenting on your posts. They’re not liking and sharing. They’re not freely sharing how much they love their new Yeti mug or whatever it might be. You know, but they are people that could be, you know, your most valuable audience segments. So how do you get to know them, these people that don’t volunteer to be heard, don’t volunteer to share their opinion. That’s where audience intelligence gets really interesting because we don’t need somebody to talk to better understand who they are and what they’re passionate about. 

India White  08:51

So because like I was describing how the segmentation or the clustering happens, it’s through the social graph. It’s through following patterns. through what we’ve elected to show, as far as our interest goes, so the content piece in audience intelligence is almost layered on top, what’s most interesting is the interest graph. 

India White  09:14

So learning about people, whether they say something or not, through who they choose to follow and what their interests are, so you can see all that media, influencers, etc, to form your marketing strategies, without having people to engage but what you were alluding to there is, you know, audience intelligence allows us to, to learn more and to sort of connect into that culture and the interests and passions of our audience to then maybe pull these lurkers out of the dark and and get them to engage with our content. If that’s a goal. It doesn’t necessarily we don’t necessarily need to force people out of their natural patterns. But you can create action, just through better understanding who those people are through, you know, audience intelligence.

Nathaniel Schooler  10:03

Yeah. And I mean, you, you, you sort of, we were talking a bit about culture, passions, interests, you know, what matters most to them. Right? And, yeah, it’s, it’s, it’s very interesting. I mean, you’ve got a lot of experience, obviously, with social listening being a Radian6, you must know a huge amount about that. 

Nathaniel Schooler  10:21

I mean, I’ve sort of studied the tools over the years used BrandWatch for a while, and, you know, lots of different tools, but I think, you know, actually working within social media for such a long time, you must have some real gems there, you know. 

Nathaniel Schooler  10:36

So, what you’re trying to do then is is is discover the segments that are already within your audience, right? Or competitors, audience and shedding light on who and how you should be focusing your marketing, right. So you sort of mentioned to me earlier about identifying high value segments, so Do you think they’re more likely to be the people that will say nothing because they don’t want to be discovered?

India White  11:06

I think it really depends on the market that you’re in and who you’re targeting. Because obviously, certain cultures that exist online are way more active than others. 

India White  11:18

As an example, so audience intelligence, when I start with a new client, there’s a few different things that we’ll do depending on where they are with their knowledge of their audience. So if they have a presence online, then we’ll run an analysis of their own audience.

India White  11:33

If they’re we do a lot of work with, like b2b SaaS, tech startups, that type of thing. So if it’s a newer company, and they’re trying to learn about their their target audience that they will be targeting once their product or service is complete. 

India White  11:47

Then we’ll look at competitive audience analysis. So we’ll look at the people and players that already exists to see who they’re targeting. So a reflection of somebody’s following so their audience is reflection of their marketing their efforts that they’ve, they’ve already done to attract those audiences or who is naturally attracted to their offering. 

Nathaniel Schooler  12:08


India White  12:09

So that gives us a really good idea of the competitive audiences and identifies and proves out whether your assumptions are true about who your potential market might be. So that’s just sort of getting started. And then we can start to identify what audiences would be sort of the low hanging fruit, the easier ones to go after. 

India White  12:32

So when I talk about high value, markets, even so there’s a lot of definitions to that. But obviously, these are the market segments that create the most revenue and are easiest to convert and please. But with audience intelligence, what I’m looking for is audience segments that have high degree of shared interests. So there’s different qualities of clusters. I would say, some clusters, kind of they’re kind of grouped together because they’re the leftover people in there, that’s a very bad quality cluster, I wouldn’t really even pay attention to it because there isn’t one really common thing that brings them together. 

India White  13:14

But with these platforms, like if any one audience, we are able to see the scores or how valuable these are. So a cluster with a high degree of shared interests, is super interesting. And then if you layer on top the interconnectivity, so how likely the people in the cluster are to know each other or follow each other. That presents a really neat marketing opportunity. 

India White  13:44

So it allows us to create marketing strategies to infiltrate. That’s, I don’t know if that’s the right word. But, you know, it’s sort of inject yourself into these clusters and create action and grow your market. In those in those audience segments, so maybe you already have that segment and you want to grow it, it allows you to learn about the culture so that then you can create marketing strategies that penetrate and and sort of grow your presence or awareness within that that segment. 

India White  14:15

So for an example, I ran a test one time, we were trying to target or get into this sports, marketing or sports business industry. And this was when I worked at I used to work at if any oh, actually, that’s why I keep mentioning them. And we did a case study around how to, it was a target market that we wanted to go after we didn’t have any customers in that market. But we identified an opportunity. So we did the research using the platform to identify these high value site segments and found that the hashtags, #SMbusiness or #SMsports in sports business, I think were the two that they use. 

India White  15:00

Just to, you know, take their pose and communicate with each other. And then we figured out some common theme that was going on this was years ago, I don’t fully remember what it was, and the main influencers or the main sort of thought leaders within that industry. 

India White  15:13

And we created a piece of content that was tailored to the interests and passions of that particular cluster. And this is a b2b example, a lot of people don’t normally think of this type of intelligence as a b2b play, but it certainly can be. Yeah. And so we’ve built the content and then organically placed it into that cluster. So no paid purchase or Media Buy or anything like that. And then immediately saw this like increase in followers from that segment. So for instance, when I analyze my audience on Twitter, I still have that cluster of sports business people which is a joke to anybody that knows me well, because I don’t know anything about sports. So

India White  16:01

So that was a really interesting case study. But then the other thing with audience intelligence is, it’s really a discovery tool. So we were talking about how you know, you can analyze your audience or a competitor’s audience. 

India White  16:22

There’s a lot of examples where we work with people that they assume they know who their audience is, and they assume they know quite a bit about their customers, especially companies that have been in existence for a while and have a really good presence online. They have very sound assumptions around who their audience are. 

Nathaniel Schooler  16:39


India White  16:40

But it’s really interesting to run an analysis and discover who’s in an audience. So a lot of examples around like for example, there was athleisure company, so athletic wear, and they were targeting a younger demographic So younger women, and that’s what all of their marketing content was around. 

India White  17:06

But when we analyze their audience, we found that it was actually a very different demographic. It was more moms and females sort of later in their life that were active and health conscious. But they weren’t seeing the engagement that they wanted to. 

India White  17:22

And at the end of the day, that’s likely why because they were creating marketing collateral for the younger demographic, so university aged women, but really, who was buying their product was, you know, these women that either had young kids or, you know, were just staying healthy later in life, that actually have a much larger budget and, you know, are a higher value market segment than, you know, women that are younger, so that type of discovery was really powerful for them. 

India White  17:57

And then not only discovering who’s in your own audience, but discovered audience segments that are in your competitors audience. So that allows you to identify audience segments that perhaps you haven’t thought of, and creates more market opportunity for you.

Nathaniel Schooler  18:18

So, I find it very interesting because you know, we’re in the influencer marketing business ourselves and actually going and looking at technology influencers is very, very interesting because some of them are completely kosher. You know, they’ve never bought any followers. They’ve never done follow for follow, which is a hashtag that people use you obviously know a lot about, about fake followers, I would imagine after analyzing people’s audiences and and you know, we find it quite quite disingenuous how, you know, some some, some of these people can can actually go and do that. And then big tech companies just Tie them anyway. And and and they don’t even know or maybe they do know, but actually they don’t care or maybe, maybe, I don’t know, I’m kind of I’m a bit shocked about it really, if I’m honest.

India White  19:13

Yeah, for sure. I mean, I think so I also used to work at a tech company called a network, which worked with influencer marketing, and we paired brands with influencers and yeah, and it was interesting because So, influencers that have a highly engaged audience that know what they talk about, know who they are, what their brand, their personal brand is, are the influencers that create the most action for your brand. You really have to have that hearing that makes a lot of sense in order to get the results that you’re looking for. But it’s amazing when, you know, you present a list of potential influencers and the brand immediately goes after those that have the most amount of followers,

Nathaniel Schooler  20:03

yes and not so, yeah, that’s interesting conversation.

India White  20:09

Right? And that’s the numbers game, right? So people are attracted to the larger numbers, they think it’s more opportunity because you’re reaching more people. But what I’ve learned is that’s really not the case. For the most part, mesh influencers or longtail influencers, micro influencers, whatever you want to call them. 

India White  20:28

They actually create way more action and way more engagement than some of the biggest ones. And when you look at like when you’re talking about fake followers, audience intelligence tools allow you to also audit the quality of an audience of an influencer. So for instance, you have you’re debating between going with you know, one big influencer or 10 smaller ones, and you can analyze the big influencers audience and see, okay, well how much of this audience is who I want to be targeting. And a lot of the time when you do that you discover that a very small piece of their audience is who your target market actually is. And then like you say, you can identify whether they have bought audiences, or fake followers very easily, it’s very easy to spot those clusters that are not real. And also, there’s a lot of, like I alluded to earlier, like low quality clusters. That may be, you know, just completely outside of what you want to be be targeting. 

India White  21:36

So then you look at the niche influencers, who you can identify through, you know, the interests of the the target clusters, who may only have, you know, 10,000 followers or even less, and you see their audience and they’re all exactly the target audience that you’re looking for. And the engagement rate on their posts are typically much higher because they still have that unique trust with their audience. 

India White  22:03

So I’ve written about that before, like the trust threshold, once an influencer gets to a certain level where they are almost too big, and some of their diehard followers from the beginning start to sort of question their motives. And, you know, when you start getting a lot of paid sponsorships, that sort of trust level decreases a bit. They’re still interested in following you and understanding what you’re doing. But the people that organically exist and just share their thoughts and our thought leaders, you know, those people are the ones that the community leaders essentially, are the ones that can get the most return for your investment. As far as influencer marketing goes.

Nathaniel Schooler  22:44

Yeah, very much. So I mean, I can’t believe I interviewed one of the most famous news readers of all time in the United Kingdom, probably three months ago, and he had had a problem with his Twitter account and unfortunately, he said something wrong. And he so he got fired from from the news company it was working for and he deleted his account. 

Nathaniel Schooler  23:09

But the thing is, he’s got a new account now. And he’s probably only got about I mean, when I interviewed him, I think he had about 11 and a half thousand followers, and now he’s got up to 15 in the space of three months, but his engagement is absolutely sick. I’ve never seen anything like if there’s seriously because he’s, I mean, he covered the Berlin Wall you’re talking about someone who has been in the United Kingdom on the news since I was five years old or younger, and everyone knows his voice and it’s insane when you when you network with someone like that, because then when they mentioned you, you pick up lots of followers and it becomes very interesting. 

Nathaniel Schooler  23:47

And what I quite like is actually broadening out the audience from from where it where it sort of, because I was I was kind of like, okay, I’m in cloud and I mean, I’m in business and I’m in leadership, but you know, a few of these segments that have been classified to me because I engage with people around those topics. Yeah. 

Nathaniel Schooler  24:07

And I find it very interesting when I go and I look at a potential influencer that I’m looking to hire, because a brand says. “Oh, well, here’s five, we really like these two, we’d like you to go and have a, you know, go and hire them.”

Nathaniel Schooler  24:20

And, and you go and you look at their clusters, which is what we’re talking about. And the clusters represent engagements. right between between topics. Yeah. And they between people around certain topics, right. That’s a fair way to explain it. Yeah. And, and I just find it very interesting how you know, you can someone can be really influential, but yet because they don’t engage very often. They’re not they haven’t got an engaged audience. So it means that you’re not necessarily going to get the best bang for your buck if you’re doing just an organic campaign, right?

India White  24:54

Yeah, being well known isn’t the same as you know, having that really tight following that does, you know, really trust you and really trust your word. There’s plenty of people out there that are well known, but I would never take their advice.

Nathaniel Schooler  25:11

Yes, and you can see that they’re gaming a lot of things as well, you know, and it’s, it’s um, yeah, it’s very interesting world, isn’t it out there?

India White  25:21

Oh, definitely. It’s like when we talk about the quality of audiences in surprises of who may be following you so and why they follow you. We were doing some work with a stadium in the US, and they were in interested in increasing their fan engagement. 

India White  25:41

So fandom is a really interesting thing. And how do we increase that and get diehard fans is a really interesting thing that there’s a lot of, you know, companies out there that have a lot of budget behind them that are really trying to increase that fandom across the boards. Not just sports. 

India White  25:59

Gaming is a great example. 

Nathaniel Schooler  26:01

Huge, yeah. 

India White  26:04

And gaming audiences are really interesting audiences to analyze just as a sidebar, but we analyze their audience and what we the stadium’s audience and what we learned that you know, they expect it to have a lot of, you know, sports fans from the team that was home there and turns out that they had a lot of random music fans as a majority and they were really surprised to see that and it turned out that it was something that you know, they had had musical guests come in and do a concert and something that the the team behind the the musician did, gained them a lot of followers so they actually had like a lot of teenagers like Bieber fans or One Direction fans or something like that. 

India White  26:56

They’re putting out all this information about like attending their stadium and Being, you know, a fan of whatever sports team plays there, or sports teams, and they didn’t realize that like 50% of their audience were teenage girls. So you need to know who you’re talking to. And if you have an audience that you don’t want, so for instance, that wasn’t a high value audience to them, it wasn’t who they were looking to target. 

India White  27:23

So then how do you gain the audience that you want, and that’s through, you know, analyzing maybe other stadiums or just related topics, related brands, finding the clusters that you want to go after learning about them, building the strategies that you need to engaging the people that you need to, to start building awareness and spreading your message within those those clusters?

Nathaniel Schooler  27:47

Yeah. And creating the content that resonates with them, right. I mean, you’re you’re big into like these, these high value segments, and I know, I know you get excited about these segments. Yeah, as I do, actually, when I look at a clock when I look at a load clusters of an influencer and I look at the topics that they engage with people on. 

Nathaniel Schooler  28:06

And I and I’m like, okay, there might be an influencer that’s got 25,000 followers, right? But I’ll look at that influencer and I’ll say, Oh, that’s really interesting. They they in particular, engage maybe two and a half thousands of security internet security people for example, or, or, you know, some kind of applications or something like this. 

Nathaniel Schooler  28:29

And I get really excited about that because 2000 people engaging with with that influencer around that particular topic is something that it’s very valuable to a tech company providing they’re the right people right, because you can, you can you can export that con you into into a list and you can have a look at all those people and then you can analyze them for the job roles and the age and likelihood of them purchasing something through online advertising. Or, you know, what, what, what their personality types are like so then you can get to the point of saying, well, I like the idea of this piece of content. Okay, so what what’s the headline? Could it be around that piece of topic around that? Yeah. So then you look at them and you’re like, Okay, so see just an example like 75% of them like the National Geographic magazine. Yeah. As an example, right? You could write something you can have like, check out the lion’s share of something. It could be just very simple adjustment right into that headline, and that excites me, actually, I must admit.

India White  29:39

Yeah, you can go Really? I’m glad you’ve got all that. Yeah, no, you can go really far into the weeds as far as what you can do with the data and it just like once you get it in sort of see your audience segments and then relate them to what you’re doing or what you’re trying to do or where you’re trying to grow. 

India White  29:57

There’s endless opportunities. You can leverage the data from we get a lot of people that are like: – “Oh, well, that’s just Twitter data.” Well, this is a massive focus group, essentially, that you’ve just pulled information from in an unsupervised, unbiased way that you can then take all that data and translate it not only across social networks, but across your your other marketing initiatives. 

India White  30:25

When you talk about, you know, identifying sort of niche topics within an audience, it’s really interesting because not only in them with content so that gives you an opportunity to expand your content calendar, you might be getting stale with your content ideas happens to everybody. So it gives you a whole new like realm of content that you can explore or content themes that you can bring into your regular content pillars that you often talk about. So that’s really exciting, or just discover something completely new that you should be talking about that you haven’t.

India White  31:00

So for instance, one of my favorite audiences that I analyzed on using audience intelligence is the peanut butter Co. So peanut butter CO is a company in the states that produces, you know, peanut butter. It’s all natural, but they have a lot of different flavors. And my sister is a peanut butter fanatic she used to, every time I’m in Canada, and we have limited peanut butter options here apparently. 

India White  31:27

So every time a family member or somebody like that would go to the states my sister would request Reese’s Peanut Butter because she liked flavored peanut butter. And then I think they stopped making it or maybe it was harder to get so she explored different options and she found this peanut butter co that’s where I got introduced to it really good check it out. But when you analyze their audience you expect maybe moms, grocery shoppers, I don’t know like what what your assumptions would be around who would be in a peanut butter audience and what’s really interesting thing is that they have one of the best audiences that I’ve seen. They have the moms and they have couponers and as a sidebar there, there is a difference between couponers and sweepstakes clusters. They identify very differently when you segment them, but then you start to see like fitness enthusiasts. There was a bodybuilding cluster, very diehard bodybuilding cluster. Ultra marathoner, so these are people that run, you know, 100 miles through the woods my husband actually does. 

Nathaniel Schooler  32:33

And oh, yeah, serious stuff.

India White  32:36

Yeah, yeah. And, you know, so there and then you had the vegan food crowd as well and then a yogi cluster as well. So all these clusters are very different. So their motivation for buying peanut butter and peanut butter is very different. 

India White  32:52

The vegans you know, are very interested in in healthy food that aligns with you know, their beliefs and in how they, and then you have, you know, the bodybuilders who they’re eating peanut butter for fuel, same as the ultra marathoners but how they relate to peanut butter is very different. bodybuilders are probably consuming a lot of, I wouldn’t know I don’t have massive muscles, that you know that their diet is very important to them so that they can fuel their bodies. 

India White  33:23

And then ultra marathoners, I’m more familiar with that they’re running these super long distances, and they need something that’s quick and easy to get the protein, the protein and the nutrition that they they need. So for instance, my husband will have a banana with peanut butter wrapped in a little tortilla, and it’s easy to sort of sneak down and when he stopped out of one of the stops. 

India White  33:44

So the motivation for each one of those clusters to purchase the peanut butter and cocoa is very different. And the way that you would communicate to build content and relate and resonate with these, these audiences is very different. So when you’re marketing strategy, you would be building that into your content strategy your targeting, if you’re, you know, on Instagram or Tiktok, or whatever. 

India White  34:07

Creating content, you know, recipe content for example, so what can you what desserts or food you can make with peanut butter and peanut butter you know, you would create a recipe that’s like full of energy for the the bodybuilders, but then for the vegans, you would, you know, create a very, very nutritious meal that, you know, aligns with their way of eating. 

India White  34:36

So, you know, lots of content ideas there, there’s influencers and each one of those audience categories, whether it’s a paid engagement or not the niche influencers that we were talking about before, that just gives you a target list of the people that your social media manager should be engaging with on a regular basis to build awareness and build engagement within those communities.

Nathaniel Schooler  34:59

Yeah, for sure. I’m just nodding away here for people who are listening to this on audio. But yeah, I think I think it’s very, very interesting. I mean, a few years ago, you know, you had you had a lot of influences that came on board and brands kind of taught, you know, gave them lots of lots of kind of attention and help and everything else but but then they kind of they kind of just decided to not put any budget into their pockets right. And so what’s your view on like, not paying influencers for for for work? I personally think it’s very unethical actually.

India White  35:36

Yeah, I’m with you, I think,

India White  35:39

You know, influencers, especially the ones that you know, do a full time lifestyle influencers, travel bloggers, all that, you know, they put a ton of work into building their audiences and building the trust that you’re looking to use them to gain right. So that’s what you’re paying for the work that they do to build those audiences. 

India White  35:59

You’re not paying them for their advice, or their recommendation or their review of your product, you’re paying them for the work they’ve already done for you to be able to access something that’s extremely valuable to you. And that’s, you know, their trusted audience. So I think that’s where the line gets a little blurry. I think a lot of people say, you know, if you pay an influencer, then obviously they’re going to say something nice about your product. And it’s a jaded opinion or something along those lines. And it gets a little unethical in that sense. But I don’t see it that way. I see it as though like I said, you’re you’re paying for the work that they’ve already done to create something that you’re now attracted to that you want a piece of, and you want to access their audience. So I think it’s very black and white, in my opinion, influencers should definitely be compensated for for the work they do.

Nathaniel Schooler  36:50

Yeah, I agree completely. I mean, I think I think certainly writing writing content and creating content for brands, there’s a cost that’s attached to that and obviously Brands always want, you know, more and more. They’re pushing for more. How do I put this advertorial content? Yeah. So they get an influencer. They wanted to write an advert but it’s like look, an influencer does not write adverts. an influencer writes a piece of content and says, if you’re interested, this is a thing that’s going on right now. I recommend that you check it out. They don’t push you they don’t they don’t they don’t say that. It’s the best thing since sliced bread, you know?

India White  37:30

Know exactly, they’re not going to go overboard and oversell and over commends their audience because you’ve paid them to do so they’re just gonna say, hey, I’ve now partnered with so and so to you know, there’s a local lifestyle or a family blogger that I follow and they got this really cool fridge that one of those ones that has a camera and and and tells you your grocery list or something. Wow, that’s really cool. Yeah, it like scans all the groceries that you have in your fridge and then it will tell you what you’re running Low on so when you’re at the grocery store, you just pull out your app and it’s like, oh, I’m low on milk, butter, whatever. 

India White  38:07

I think my life would be a whole lot better if I had a fridge like that I’m a terrible grocery shopper. But so she got a fridge and obviously, like, that’s mind blowing. But so she was able to sort of tell her story in the adjustment of having such a, you know, high tech fridge. And at the end of the day, you know, a fridge is a fridge, it’s just there to keep your food cold, like what are the benefits of it actually telling you the grocery list. So she was very real about sort of that sort of benefit that it was offering. And that’s what you would expect an influencer, you know, they’re they’re there to build awareness of whatever you’re trying to sell. And she did that. But then she also sort of took on the journey of getting adjusted to this fridge and it was very real and that’s what you should expect not, you know, over selling like, you can’t continue to live without having this fridge. You know,

Nathaniel Schooler  39:00

I can’t stand. But I think also they are they are building the market. Right? And, you know, it’s like, if you grow the market, then you grow everybody’s business. Yeah. So, you know, I think we’re there to build each other up, really. And I think there’s so many opportunities really right now. But you mentioned something about virality when it comes to content, right. And I’d like to I’d like to sort of understand a bit more about that, because you sort of said that, you know, what we want is to have a person share a piece of content and then obviously, for that to go through his network or her network so that it gets more coverage, right. So what’s the deal with that sort of thing and the segments and stuff?

India White  39:46

Sure. So just to pre faces the idea of virtuality is cringe worthy to meet anybody that comes to me and says, You know, I want to go by, well,

Nathaniel Schooler  39:55


India White  39:56

If any marketer agency that comes to you and says that They can claim that they can make your stuff go viral, I’d run in the other direction. What I mean by perceived morality, and I’d love to maybe rename that just because it is I do have to sort of explain that every time I say this, but I was talking about those high value clusters earlier. 

India White  40:17

So the clusters that have a high degree of shared interest and have high interconnectivity, so using the peanut butter co audience as an example, for instance, the ultra running community just as an example, so they were yeah. You know, they’re a subset of the running community online. their interests in running are actually very different, their motivations behind running the gear that they need, you know, what they put their bodies through their training, all of that stuff, very different than somebody that just you know, runs three times a week five. 

Nathaniel Schooler  40:54


India White  40:57

So this one community Within the peanut butter and cocoa audience has that high degree of shared interest. They’re interconnected. So they’re following all the same things. They have very similar influencers. They read all the same publications. 

India White  41:11

You know, that’s where they get all their information about, you know, what gel is going to power them through, you know, the last 10K or whatever it may be, what shoes last longer, all of that stuff. And they all sort of shared bias within the community or there’s lurkers. You know, like I said, the majority of people are lurkers, and they’re just reading what that community is saying, to get the advice from the community. So what’s really interesting, interesting with those communities is like I was saying with the sports business content, you can create a piece of content. 

India White  41:45

So in peanut butter and cos example, it would be you know, create a piece of content around how you know peanut butter and cocoa peanut butters empowering ultra marathoners to you know, get through their training or whatever it might be with tasty, yet powerful treats or something along those lines. 

India White  42:08

So create a piece of content that resonates within the community injected in and by injecting it, I mean, you know, share it on your regular channels, and then use their hashtags. So don’t you know, make sure you’re using him in the right way. But a lot of communities will have the hashtags that they use regularly. I wouldn’t be surprised if ultra marathoners was just that ultra marathoner or something that shortens marathon. So take your content with that it inject it into the community community. And if you know a few people, let’s say three people share it. 

India White  42:41

And one person in that community sees that you know, two of those three people share, then they’re going to get on it. And then all of a sudden, the people within the community see that this piece of content is being shared by a bunch of a bunch of their friends, or a bunch of the sort of leaders within the community. And it’s perceived as viral so it’s perceived as something that they should pay attention to, and something that they should read and look into. 

India White  43:04

So that perception of, you know, when you see a piece of content that’s shared by a lot of different people, you’re seeing it over and over and over again. Eventually, it grabs your attention. And you sort of have that: – “Oh, I should definitely take a look at that to see what that’s all about. Because all my friends and all the people I trust are sharing it, or at least a few of them are.” So you can gain this perception that your content is is going viral within the community.

Nathaniel Schooler  43:34

Yeah, I mean, I think people people love, love the idea of virality. But in practice, it very rarely happened to me to get to get 5000 views or 4000 views on a LinkedIn post is very, very hard in itself. Yeah. You know, 1000 views is kind of okay. Yeah, you know, and I suppose it just depends on who the audience is right? Because you want the right people. I’d be happy if like 500 People who were the right audience look to a post of mine. Yeah. Because it there’s always this balance of, you know, people. Yeah. 

Nathaniel Schooler  44:10

How many people do you need? Yeah, to be an influencer? Right? Well, you need people who certainly are interested in the topics definitely. Because anyone can do follow for follow, you can go and follow, follow people who have #followforfollow in the hashtag in the hashtag and they know, you know, and, you know, they know and then they follow you back and you know, and everyone’s happy, right? But it doesn’t really build value doesn’t it doesn’t doesn’t build relevance because it’s all about the relevance, isn’t it? And, you know, I think it’s very interesting. 

Nathaniel Schooler  44:40

What you’ve just shared with with the audience is, is very, very interesting. And what what what you did mention in your in your fantastic notes that you sent over to me? Culture is changing faster than we can keep track, right. So obviously, we’ve got these massive events going on in the world. And audience intelligence allows you to keep your finger on the pulse of this right? And it must be very, very useful to keep an eye on what on earth is going on with with all of the kind of craziness going on in the world right now, you know?

India White  45:16

Yeah, exactly for a local tech incubator, I did a little session on. They were doing this kind of recovery thing and getting a bunch of leaders in to help the incubator at tech companies sort of recovering how to proceed during COVID. And so we just talked about what you can be doing today, to pull yourself out of, you know, whatever, whatever setbacks you’ve had, during the pandemic or caused by you know, whatever your audience is going through or your business is going through during the pandemic and in the common theme that you see across marketing leaders when it comes to that topic, recovering or marketing during a pandemic or any kind of crisis is, first of all, nobody has the playbook. 

India White  46:07

Nobody can tell you exactly what to do. So just continue to be aware and learn through through the process. But also empathy you need to be empathetic to your audience. Yeah. So you need to understand how your audience is going through, you know, the current situation, what their what’s affecting them. So for instance, I’m in Halifax, Nova Scotia, we are doing really well as far as COVID goes, I don’t think we have any active cases right now in our province. And we’ve gone 13 days without a new positive test. So we’re doing really well. 

India White  46:52

We’re able to go to restaurants, go shopping, car, friends, all of that stuff, but I know that that’s not the case. In a lot of the world and where I clients reside, a lot of them are in California. And they’re, you know, going backwards in their, in their sort of restrictions as far as COVID goes, so their restaurants were open, but they’re closing now. Obviously, they had a lot of rioting and protests and everything like that around George Floyd in black lives matter that caused, you know, a lot of disruption in the city and just added on top of everything that’s going on, right. 

India White  47:32

So you need to be empathetic to your your audience’s situation. And audience intelligence not only allows you to see you know, who’s in your audience, but also how they perceive things that are going on. So you can see how they feel about wearing a mask, because that’s apparently a very controversial thing, these digits you can see you know what news stories they’re sharing in relation to the current situation to get sort of a pulse of how they’re digesting the situation, how they’re adjusting to the situation, outside of the pandemic, you could, if we can imagine regular life again, you can use audience intelligence to understand, you know, PR crisis. 

India White  48:25

So if your company goes through something, and you’re seeing a ton of negative attention online, you can then understand how each one of your audience segments are digesting that news. And some will be in that moment, you’ll probably find your biggest defenders and the people that you should really be doubling down and investing in. So those are the people that are saying, you know, Come on, guys, like you have to see it from their perspective or, you know, they’re out there standing up for you and defending you and in whatever sense it may.

Nathaniel Schooler  48:58

Well, I think, I think We’ve got to get I’ve got to go because I’ve got a call in a minute. I’m very sorry. But I think we should definitely do another interview in maybe a couple months time to top off what I’ve actually started which is this big long series and thanks to thanks to audience for making it all possible. And you know, fantastic. We will drop a link somewhere around for that and also to your business as well. I’ll drop a link in there. So how do people find you? Yeah,

India White  49:28

so the business is just port tack co you can find me on Twitter India am or India white on LinkedIn, pretty easy to find me.

Nathaniel Schooler  49:36

Super well. Thanks ever so much. Thanks for listening. Please make sure you share this episode with your friends and business connections too. And don’t forget to drop us a review wherever you listen. Thank you.