With audiences becoming increasingly more influential in shaping a brand’s products, message, and mission, we at Stringletter realize that understanding and delivering on that audience’s needs, interests, and preferences is key to a brand’s success. That’s why we are constantly on the lookout for new ways to get to know our audience better.

In the summer of 2012, we turned our attention to Acoustic Guitar Unlimited, our online guitar learning service. We wanted to know how people used it, why they used it, and what we could do improve their experience. Before examining any of that, however, we needed to understand who was using AcousticGuitarU.com.

Based on the product’s affiliation with Acoustic Guitar magazine and the fact that much of the marketing around it had been focused on those already familiar with the Acoustic Guitar brand, we knew the basic demographic breakdown: men aged 50 and over. But that wasn’t enough.

We needed to dig deeper, and find out not just who they were in a literal sense – but who they were as guitar players specifically. The question was simple:

“What Kind of Guitar Player Are You?”

What We Did…

Inspired by the “personality type” quizzes seen in the likes of Cosmopolitan magazine, we decided to create our own, spurred on by the idea of treating our audience to something fun that also would give us the information we needed to help “bring [that] target audience to life” (Anthony, The Little Black Book of Innovation, 98.) With AcousticGuitarU.com in mind, we crafted questions designed to examine the audience’s learning styles and preferred ways to receive feedback on their playing. At the end of the quiz, the participant received a “player type” based on the answers he or she had selected throughout the quiz.


In its first outing, the quiz link was delivered to a test group of Acoustic Guitar audience members who had previously expressed an interest in offering feedback on new products. We sent to 1,044 e-mail addresses and noted an open rate of 55% and a 90% click rate based on opens, resulting in 463 responses. Greatly encouraged by this initial response, we then sent the quiz to 114,438 more Acoustic Guitar audience members. This time, we saw a 21% open rate and a 35% click rate based on opens, resulting in 6,716 responses. [pullquote width=”300″ float=”left”]The total number of responses was 7,179, enabling us to gather a wealth of information.[/pullquote]

Quiz respondents were most often cast as either the “Woodshedder” or “Scholar,” both of which are interested in an isolated playing experience. This indicated that there may be a real desire to learn and play well without performance aspirations for a large segment of the current and potential AGU audience. Their answers also pointed to a need for simplicity, instant gratification, and fun in guitar learning as well as a desire for a focused individualized experience.

All this, from just seven simple questions.

The “What Kind of Guitar Player Are You?” quiz now resides in the Acoustic Guitar Community section of the brand website, where its appeal as a brief, fun distraction for guitar players of all levels, continues to resonate. To date, it has been taken a total of 10,884 times. Curious? Click here to take the quiz yourself!

Have you experimented with a fun new way of engaging your audience? Share your story, ask a question, or leave a comment by replying below.

One reply on “Getting to Know You: the Benefits of Bringing Your Target Audience to Life”

  1. The lead and cover story in the March issue of Strings-of the interview with Hilary Hahn regarding her commissioning of 27 encore pieces was interesting- and tantalizing. Tantalizing because you can’t read it. The grey background makes it impossible to read, or at least to read at other than a snail ‘s pace. It isn’t fair to the readers or Ms. Hahn to reproduce something in such an unreadable form. What moved you to put the story in white letters on a grey background? I think you owe us and apology and you should print it again in your next issue, in black and white, readable form.Generally I like your coverage of string players and their music in the magazine, but have a heart, print it so we can read it! Sam Golden, semi-pro chamber music cellist and player of jazz on the cello.

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