A Little Understanding Can Go a Long Way

Think back to your school days for a moment. At least once, or probably more, we all had that teacher who just didn’t get it. It’s not they weren’t passionate – it was simply that they weren’t quite conscious of the tremendous gap between how much they knew and how much their students understood. If teachers were to just take a moment and consider what works best for kids, they might be able to teach a bit better.

A similar lesson can be applied in public relations. Far too often, a company (or its agency) assumes their audience knows what they’re talking about when they use technical industry terms and reference complex concepts. Sometimes, though, the audience has no clue.

A great way to avoid confusion is to engage with your audience, understanding where they feel lost and how to get them on the same page. This makes continued engagement with the audience much easier, not to mention more effective. Understanding a target audience allows a business to better communicate with them .

A perfect example of this comes from our client FactorTrust, an alternative credit bureau. Credit can be a complex subject and is often misunderstood. That’s why FactorTrust took an omnibus survey of 2,279 people to better understand what U.S. adults know – and don't know – about credit. The study found that 71 percent of participants incorrectly assume that major credit bureaus include all consumer credit history, including non-traditional payments like short-term loans, online, rent-to-own, and more. What’s more, 68 percent of participants believe that if these credit bureaus included non-traditional payments, their credit scores would improve.

These statistics highlight not only major disconnects between facts and beliefs, but also what the audience wants to see change in the future. FactorTrust, along with Trevelino/Keller as its agency, can now take that information and use it to improve marketing strategies. The alternative credit bureau can reassure consumers that there will be no surprises when it comes to non-traditional payment inclusion or exclusions in credit scores.

In other words, an omnibus survey can help better your business by closing the gap between you and the audience, helping audiences better understand your product and, in turn, establishing a better informed and potentially larger clientele. Take your cues from the teachers you liked best: Empathize with the fact that your audience needs your help because you are the expert, not them.

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