Issue No. 28
— February 2017

The Audience



Digital trend publication
blending a mix of culture,
insights and data.

A trend product by

Audience Issue_01.jpg




I'm sitting in a matcha bar in Copenhagen as I write this issue's editor's letter, sunken in a basement of sorts, so I can see all of the stylish Copenhagen Fashion Week attendees walking just above my eye line through a window that faces the sidewalk.


With traveling comes a ton of realizations - personal, professional, spiritual - but the one thing it always reminds me of is the unfathomable amount of people there are in the world. It's overwhelming.


For brands and marketers, it's a good thing. Because you know you have an audience. The hard part is finding who they are and how to communicate with them, something we teach you with the articles in this issue. 


We urge you to go forth and find your audience. Find out who they are, where they're from, what they like. They might not be in Copenhagen, but they're out there. And waiting for you.




Delanie Billman

Managing Editor




Editor's Letter


“your job is to get your audience to care about your obsessions.” 

― martin scorsese

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Dig into the issue by clicking on the links below!




"In a world with an ever-evolving digital landscape and a decreasing attention span, it is important to be at the forefront of the frequent platform changes and experiment with new ways to reach your audience. The digital stratosphere is extremely saturated and releasing new products and content mediums, daily-- so how do you crack the code for cutting through the noise? Digital’s newest crush is “live” programming (i.e. Facebook Live, Snapchat, Instagram Stories). But why should your business care about utilizing this new feature and others that are released these social platforms, on what feels like a weekly basis?"


— Jenny & Nikki Fancy, The Fancys


2. Debunking Gen Z

Generation Z, the generation just younger than millennials, is the most sought after generation when it comes to marketing. Categorized also as "Digital Natives," this generation has had more access to information and technology than ever before. So how can brands tap into this generation? The insight team at Ziba shares their research with us to help debunk Gen Z.


— Sam Crompton, Director of Insight & Trend at Ziba



3. HOW TO: Segment your email Audience

More often than not, email marketing is a highly effective source of revenue for a brand that lives online. We put together two small, but mighty audience tricks that you can use during your next email campaign.


— Micah Heykoop, Director of Strategy & Culture at Matte Black


4. How To: Build a Facebook Audience

Facebook Advertising has proven to be an efficient, trackable, and effective way to reach qualified potential customers. This article walks you through the different types of audiences you can create using Facebook Ads and our take on how to go about it.


— Jacob Marrero, Research Coordinator


5. Jeannette Ogden, Shut the kale up

Influencers have made careers out of building and connecting with an audience, obviously. But in today's oversaturated world of digital influence, only few really know their audience and connect with them on a daily basis. Queue Jeannette Ogden, aka the personality behind the Instagram account @shutthekaleup. Jeannette has been able to build a community of women through her Instagram account and 'LIT' Instagram Stories where she shares food, fitness and healthy-lifestyle advice. Her Instagram captions are honest and detailed. She's dedicated to the women who send her direct messages. She's transparent about the brands she works with. Read our interview with her where we chat about just that.


7. Culture
8. Design
9. Marketing




In this episode, we chat about a MailChimp campaign that has caught our eye recently...





“You've got to keep your finger on the pulse of what your audience is thinking, and know what they'll accept from you.”

-Dwayne Johnson

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A Good Product Puts Consumers First

I'm a firm believer that marketing efforts can only be as good as the product at hand, therefore making product design and development the key to a brand's success. 


I recently read an article on The Next Web about the importance of including your consumers in the design process of a product because too often designers mistakenly think they represent the demographic that they will ultimately sell to. This doesn't necessarily mean bringing your consumers into the conference room and letting them lead the brainstorm, but simply employing tactics that force designers to consider consumers more and experience the brand as they would. 


One example that the article calls out is Facebook's internal initiative "2G Tuesdays" where employees must browse the app on a slower internet connection than they are used to. This helps them empathize with the app's users who live in developing countries, therefore helping them to create a better, more efficient product. 


This article goes into more detail about the different tactics brands are using to bring their users into the design process such as Airbnb's customer storyboarding, an idea they modeled after Disney's Snow White, and West Elm's empathy map. Whether you are a designer, or have a hand in the product development process, I strongly recommend you let this article inspire you.


- Delanie Billman, Managing Editor




Sundance Unites In Divisive Times

In light of the recent election, I heard murmurings throughout the festival that programmers had intentionally pandered selections towards the political. The unrest was palpable, coinciding with the first week of the new presidency. Festival goers, led by Chelsea Handler, even joined in on the Women's March action too, with an empowered march up the colder-than-typical Main Street. Across the program, the recent political happenings were felt, but a surprising tenderness was present. While a few films trained their gaze on the ever-present social unrest and injustice (Audience Award winner Crown Heights and world doc winner Last Men at Aleppo), others found unity in the periphery, across dividing lines. Both Gook and Mudbound explored friendships that crossed racial divides. Doc winner Dina celebrated unconventional romance and the beauty of differences. The Big Sick explored a post 9/11 America with it's decidedly hilarious and politically incorrect humor.


Less politically-fraught fare doubled down on the heart. The Kyle Mooney starring Brigsby Bear was filled with laughs and recycled the familiar man-child dramedy into a refreshingly uproarious crowd pleaser. David Lowery's A Ghost Story was spooky, not scary. Beautiful, not twisted. Filled with life, in spite of tragedy. Both felt like exactly what we need in these uncertain times; two inspired escapist works with a heart and a soul. 


The film market at Sundance continues to be the main attraction, so the festival's offerings continue to bend towards commercial, star-vehicles that can fetch a hefty price tag, rather than truly inspired independent works. In light of everything this year, that felt okay for once. I think I speak for most attendees, in that the escape was welcomed. 


- Nolan Goff, Content Director





A bank is the last place you would ever think to find a designer. Which is exactly why Capital One has hired over 300 of them. Jesse James Garrett sat down with several of their designers across different teams to get inside the design culture at Capital One and what they're working on. 


Capital One, which eclipsed 25 billion dollars in revenue in 2015, is designing products for the humans who use them. 


“We’re trying to empower our customers to have a better relationship with money, and coupled with that, we’re trying to reinvent what a bank is in this century.” - Jody Thomas, Senior Manager, Consumer Bank Design.


From first hand research and ideation to actually creating products and tools that help their customers, Capital One designers are changing the way the banking industry approaches everything. Designers are facing a huge challenge in simplifying the complex finance industry and creating positive associations between money and people. 


We are encouraged by the steps taken by Capital One and strongly recommend giving this article a read.


- Jacob Marrero, Research Coordinator





They eat and breath this stuff everyday, so we definitely trust AdWeek when it comes to commercial breakdowns from The Big Game (as they say). What I love about this article is that we not only get the video, but also their tweet reaction to each. My one beef here is that OBVIOUSLY they are down with both what AirBnB and Squarespace are doing. If you want to hear our take, head over to our special edition podcast covering our favorite commercials.


- Micah Heykoop, Contributing Editor


Navigating an Audience Strategy in the Evolving Digital Landscape

By Jenny & Nikki Fancy


The current average human attention span is 8 seconds (to put that in perspective, the average attention span of a goldfish is 9 seconds-- yes, Google it). Think about your last 24 hours. How many profiles did you visit, videos did you consume, posts did you like? How much time did you really spend on each?


In a world with an ever-evolving digital landscape and a decreasing attention span, it is important to be at the forefront of the frequent platform changes and experiment with new ways to reach your audience. The digital stratosphere is extremely saturated and releasing new products and content mediums, daily-- so how do you crack the code for cutting through the noise? Digital’s newest crush is “live” programming (i.e. Facebook Live, Snapchat, Instagram Stories). But why should your business care about utilizing this new feature and others that are released these social platforms, on what feels like a weekly basis?


New businesses and established businesses alike understand that content publishing is important for reaching, engaging, and maintaining an audience; but the most common question we get is, “where do I start?”  With so many ways to engage an audience, it can be overwhelming to choose where to invest your content and marketing budgets most wisely.


We believe that building an audience doesn’t need to be a scary venture for your business. Below, we list 3 key pieces of advice that we give our clients when it comes to leaping into “live” content programming. However, these tips can be applied to your overall content strategy and help you develop a mindset to tackle whatever “next new thing” hits the market.


1. Know Your Friends (and Foes)

  • Get to know your audience. You wouldn’t launch a product without doing market research first. Digital content is no different. We recommend utilizing a blend of platform analytic tools (i.e. Facebook Insights, YouTube CMS) and community feedback. How did the community respond to your previously released content? Which content did they like, share the most, watch for the longest period of time? Read your comments: what are people saying? Did they love the series you just released or hate it? These insights will help you develop a strategy that appeals to your current audience and serves as a guide when launching new formats and series.
  • Who do you want to reach? If you don’t currently have an audience, or you are looking to reach a new one, it’s important to get inside the mind of your target consumer. Create an audience profile: how old are they? What music do they listen to? Who are their favorite influencers and celebrities? Why do they want to buy my product/consume my content? Understanding your target audience’s interests and motivations will help you develop content and strategies to effectively reach them.
  • Know your competition. It is important to have a thorough understanding of the landscape before investing in your content business. What can you offer your consumer that your competition can’t? How can you benefit and learn from your competitions’ successes and failures?


2. Be Prepared

  • Set Goals. Understanding the purpose of your venture into any new content strategy is key. There are many metrics for success, so setting realistic goals and establishing important KPIs for your business is a great way to get started. Perhaps you are most focused on utilizing your social audience to increase transactions, or growing your followers quickly to prepare for a product or series launch. Is it more important for your business to develop audience growth for investors or brands, or to increase brand loyalty through engagement? All of the above? These are crucial questions to answer before developing your content offering.
  • Set Expectations. When it comes to launching content (“live” or otherwise), it’s not enough to be a passive participant. Building an audience requires an investment in time, money and resources in order to develop and execute a strategy that effectively reaches and impacts an audience. Although social distributors have made “going live” as easy as pressing a button, it is important to understand that successful content takes planning and adjusting. Rome wasn’t built in a day.
  • Streamline. Find creative ways to execute your “live” content strategy. Create formats that you can easily execute or are adjacent to your other content. BuzzFeed, for example, does a great job of creating content that aligns with their “how-to” and “wonderment” editorial. We’re sure you’ve see the “Exploding Watermelon” by now (one of Facebook Live’s great successes, peaking at around 800,000 viewers at the same time) – this a great example of incorporating the brand’s voice into “live.” If you are on set filming something else, can you capture a live stream utilizing the resources from the same shoot? Do you have a daily office tradition that can be captured and utilized as a “live” format? For those shooting on-the-go, we suggest investing in a mini-production kit (including items like a handheld, ring light and microphone) to make sure your video, lighting, and sound quality are always taken care of.


3. Test, Rinse, Repeat

  • Pilot. Use features like Live to create engaging, low cost content. This is a great way to “pilot” formats that you are considering investing in without blindly sinking your budget into an untested series. It’s also important to pilot the new features that your utilized distribution platforms roll out. Utilizing new features allows you to gain more information about your audience and understand what tools you have access to. Additionally, platforms tend to favor promotion of content that utilizes their new features. For example, Instagram Live has implemented push notifications for their “live” feature. Think of this as free marketing.
  • Pivot. Adjust based on feedback and do what ultimately aligns with your brand and goals. Test everything, but be thoughtful where you’re investing time and money. Understand what your audience is most engaged with and how they most enjoy consuming your content. Focus on that. Don’t worry about one failed piece of content, and don’t try to fit a square peg in a round hole.


Ultimately, these points can apply to any element of your content business. Whether diving into live, developing a new photo format, or launching a video series, utilizing new features and mediums will only help your brand exposure. And, if nothing else, you’ll learn something new about yourself and your audience.

Embrace the change, and you won’t be left behind.



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Chelsea Matthews


Managing Editor
Delanie Billman


Contributing Editor
Micah Heykoop


Creative Direction
Nolan Goff


Art Direction + Design
Jesse Ligo



Carlos Quinteros Jr.



Nicole Best


Research Coordinator
Jacob Marrero


Aria Davis



Jenny & Nikki Fancy

With over a decade of experience in digital, Jenny & Nikki Fancy witnessed the rise of the content creator and social programming. This lead them to a passion for building and growing communities. The Fancys were among the first employees at Maker Studios (now owned by The Walt Disney Company). They now run their own business, focused on empowering influencers, small business, and media companies by providing the tools, insights and education to develop audience strategies and creative business solutions.


Childhood comfort: Each other (duh)  

Guilty pleasure: Gummy candies

Last movie watched: Lion

Favorite brand: Teen Vogue is our favorite at the moment- they really stand out in terms of how they talk to young women, and the subject matter they find relevant.

Most inspiring city: Not sure we’ve been there yet, but we do love London for being such an innovative city while still embracing traditional elements of their British heritage.


Jeannette Ogden

Jeannette Ogden is the foodie, fitness junkie and healthy living advocate behind the Instagram account @shutthekaleup. She lives in Orange County, CA with her husband and little guy Elliott Grey. She first became interested in health and fitness about 5 years ago. She was intrigued by it all so quickly and pursued it to the fullest because leading a healthy/balanced life was all she wanted. 

Nasty habit: I hoard old clothes
Something to check off your bucket list: To see the Aurora Borealis! 
Last song played: Panda by Desiigner
Night in or night out? Night in
Most inspiring city: LONDON 


Sam Crompton

Sam is the Director of Insights + Trends at Ziba, a global design and innovation consultancy, known for creating lasting experiences between people and brands. 


Email Sam:

Author to read: Jim Dodge
Guilty pleasure: Flaming Hot Cheetos
City to escape to: Bath
Person to follow on Instagram: @stray_further
Drink of choice: pFreim Pilsner


Micah Heykoop

Micah Heykoop has trouble writing about himself in the third person. He is the Director of Strategy + Culture at Matte Black meaning that he works with all clients to find ways to make them achieve their highest potential. He just landed his first kickflip and is open to sponsorships should your skate team need someone to drive the van.


Last movie watched: I kid you not, it was Face Off staring Nic Cage and John Travolta. If you haven't seen it yet, smash that Netflix button. Funniest movie I have seen in a minute.
Go-to pizza toppings: Pepperoni / red onion / green pepper / Cherry tomatoes (I'm looking at your Pieology) 
Crime to commit: Inciting a riot. Because that's the hood rat stuff we all want to do with our friends.
Instagram or Snapchat?: Instagram. Specially Boomerangs on Instagram.
Childhood hero: Nomar Garciaparra from the Boston Red Sox. I wanted to hit like him. 


Jacob Marrero

Jacob is a Community Manager at Matte Black currently spending his extra time researching culture marketing and paid advertising. He considers himself suffering from unsatisfied curiosity and a lifelong learner. When not deep in research, you can find him coaching volleyball. His other true passion. He is always open to discussing interesting subjects, so drop him a line if you got one.


Last song played: Grammy's, Drake + Future

Childhood comfort: Refried Bean and Cheese Burritos

Streaming on Netflix: Wife is on a documentary kick right now, The Minimalist.

Something to check off your bucket list: Spend a significant amount of time in Tokyo.

Favorite social network: Honestly, Twitter. But I suck at Twitter. lol.