John Wilpers
The blog

Reach out and touch a real reader, not a datasheet, writes John Wilpers in our latest Substack. As rich and revealing as it is, data analytics is not the same as understanding your community of readers.

Many media people confuse audience data with understanding their audience.

Data analytics is indeed fascinating stuff full of insights. It is extraordinarily effective in guiding the story and product decisions. And it is essential to our success these days.

But it is “bloodless”. You could even say that it’s the lazy approach to truly understanding your community of readers’ needs and pain points. There’s the audience, and then there are your readers.

The only way to really know your readers, to understand deep-down what will make them view your work as essential in their lives — so essential they are willing to pay for it — is to actually talk to them.

One-to-one. Not in focus groups. Not via surveys. Face-to-face. In-person or via Zoom. Look them in the eye, convince them that you are sincere in wanting to hear their thoughts and opinions.

Read John’s full Substack here.

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