If you don’t already know that understanding your target audience inside out is crucial – not only for the success of your business, but for your content marketing strategy too – I’d hazard a guess you don’t read my blogs. It’s Content Marketing 101, after all.

It’s not who you know, it’s who you work with

The drive to gain insight into a target market is one of the reasons brands have been getting themselves in a right royal flap over GDPR – data is a precious commodity in this day and age. But sports brand Reebok recently revealed that data isn’t the be-all and end-all of getting up close and personal with consumers.

Instead, the brand deliberately hires its own consumers to work in its head office, according to Marketing Week, enabling Reebok to lean less on third-party data in order to understand its audience. This tactic has proved particularly helpful in the aftermath of GDPR.

Take Eleanor Carter-Silk, for example, Reebok UK’s head of sports marketing. An athlete and former ambassador for the brand, she extols the virtues of employing those from your target audience as a way to better inform the brand.

Speaking at an event held by global marketing agency We Are Social, she said: “We are our own consumers. While we bring in consumers and focus groups, and listen to people by emails and in person at events, a lot of us live the brand ourselves so there isn’t as much guessing as there would be if we were in an industry that was more heavily reliant on data.”

Carter-Silk has an interesting point (as well as an exceptional name). Perhaps brands ought to encourage their HR/recruitment teams to work a little closer with their marketing department to bring their target audience into the fold. It’s a scheme that can’t fail to provide helpful insights to inform marketing strategy, particularly if the marketing team themselves are from the target audience.

In fact, with this sort of insider information in your corner, your marketing (especially your content) should hit the nail on the head when it comes to authenticity. In theory, anyway. But how far would brands be prepared to go to locate, attract and retain employees from their target market? In a time when there’s fierce competition for talent, such a move is easier said than done.

Community comes first

Of course, Reebok hasn’t built its empire purely on insight from its employees, any more than it has done so solely on third-party data. Events, brand partnerships and a drive to engage with its communities have played an integral part in bringing the brand back to the forefront of the fitness industry.

Carter-Silk underlines the importance of tapping into these communities, not just with the aim of building Reebok’s network, but to really add value to their products. It’s a relationship which goes both ways.

Adding value to targeted communities is one of the things we help brands achieve with their content marketing. Contact us today at M2 Bespoke to find out how we can help.

Image: Liudmila Beliavskaia /