Brexit and Trump force two-thirds of marketers to question their methods

A third of marketers fear that they are failing to properly target their audience in light of the new political realities, according to a new Greenlight survey

Brexit and Trump force two-thirds of marketers to question their methods

Without a doubt the election of Donald Trump and the referendum on Britain’s membership of the EU have impacted startups as much as anyone. For instance, tech entrepreneurs on both sides of the pond have recently spoken out against the commander-in-chief’s executive order to ban people from seven predominantly Muslim countries from entering the US. And on this side of the pond businesses are also feeling somewhat skittish, with a third of UK startups considering opening European offices in a bid to safeguard their access to the continent. And now a new report suggests that the surge of populist sentiment has made companies think twice about how to market themselves.

Having surveyed 202 digital marketing professionals to find out how these two populist wins have affected the industry, Greenlight, the digital marketing agency, has revealed that 66% of marketers now doubt how well they know their audience. In a bid to better understand audiences, a whopping 94% of marketers intend to put time and effort into finding what their customers actually look for. Considering these bouts of self-doubt, it’s hardly surprising that the majority of marketers have opted to tread more lightly in their campaigns, with 27% saying they had become reluctant to overstep the mark.

Given that 33% of marketers claim they want to avoid alienating anyone, it makes sense that only 19% feel comfortable targeting audiences based on their ethnicity. That number dropped to 17% when asked to do the same based on sexuality and to 13% when it came to religious beliefs.That being said, many marketers will still use traditional demographic insights to tailor their message. For instance, 47% said they would still profile consumers by age and 45% intend to continue looking at location when they plan their marketing campaigns.

“The events of last year may have come as surprise for many people,” said Andreas Pouros, COO and co-founder of Greenlight. “However with marketers possessing greater access to audience data and insights than ever before, developing a deeper understanding of target audiences is fast becoming a top priority. As this year progresses, the ever-turbulent political agenda will continue to keep everyone on their toes, so marketers should consistently collect the necessary data insights and information on their customer.”

Startups are certainly no stranger to adopting and pivoting with the times. And this report is only the latest testament to how important that skill set will be in the turbulent months to come.

Eric Johansson
Eric Johansson

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