Back to home | Ir a home

The ultimate guide to selecting the best audience intelligence platform for your agency

If your goal is to create marketing campaigns that speak to your target audience, ensuring high engagement and conversion rates while impressing your clients, then mastering audience intelligence is critical. But what does effective audience intelligence look like, how can you leverage it, and what features should you look for when choosing an audience intelligence platform for your agency?

This comprehensive guide holds the answers to all of these questions and more.

Whether you're aiming to elevate your client's brand, refine marketing strategies, or simply secure a competitive edge in the dynamic agency landscape, this guide is your essential roadmap. It's designed to help your agency choose the best audience intelligence platform so that you can start making data-driven decisions, creating successful strategies, and becoming a marketing hero in your client's eyes.

Let’s jump in.

What is audience intelligence?

Audience intelligence is the strategic practice of deeply understanding your target audience by aggregating and analyzing comprehensive data sets. This data includes a wide range of digital footprints left by the audience, including interactions on social media platforms, behaviors on websites, and engagements recorded in Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems.

Imagine having the ability to decode the digital language of your target audience, understanding their desires and deterrents as if they were openly shared with you. This level of insight, far beyond simple demographics, equips you with the power to tailor marketing strategies and digital campaigns with unprecedented precision, resulting in higher engagement, conversion rates, and customer loyalty.

Audiense dashboard image showing three different audience segments with summarized audience insights

Dive into an example of an audience intelligence report.

How top agencies harness audience intelligence

How do agencies acquire audience intelligence - do they follow their client's audience around and study them? No, they use audience intelligence platforms

These platforms do all the heavy lifting for them; they capture audience data, analyze it, and then present the insights through colorful dashboards and visuals, making it easy for anyone to understand who their audience is, without ever having met them. 

In 2024, most marketing agencies are using an audience intelligence tool. They know that if they didn’t they’d be creating campaigns based on their own assumptions of an audience rather than data, and that would lead to very ineffective targeting, low-performing ads, low conversion rates, and wasted client resources. 

The agency world is way too competitive for that, and brands expect their agencies to be working with audience intelligence tools. So if most agencies are using one, what makes one agency more competitive than the other? It comes down to what audience intelligence tool they’re using. 

By choosing the right audience intelligence tool, agencies can navigate the complexities of modern marketing with confidence, ensuring they not only meet but exceed the expectations of their clients in a data-driven era.

With that being said, let’s dive in and evaluate how to choose the best audience intelligence platform for your agency.

Audience intelligence to the rescue

Gone are the “Don Draper” days of marketing, now every decision an agency makes needs to be backed by data, and not just some cool creative idea your agency team had. 

But “data” comes with its challenges.  

Agencies don’t always have access to the data they need on their client's customers, due to GDPR and privacy regulations. If they do have access to their client’s first-party data, then they need a Data Scientist to interpret it and nobody has time for that, right?

So what’s the solution to the data problem? Audience Intelligence platforms. 

Audience intelligence platforms gather the data on your client's audience so you don’t have to, removing any red tape or GDPR compliance issues. Then through the use of AI and machine learning, the audience intelligence tool automatically surfaces the most important insights. Typically this process takes no longer than half an hour, so the insights are always in real-time. 

an interactive walkthrough of the an audience intelligence report in Audiense

The insights surfaced by audience intelligence platforms are done so in a way that they can be understood by anyone, with any professional background. This means that insights can be shared across many different stakeholders and teams, removing data silos and allowing everyone at the agency to make data-driven decisions. 

Audience intelligence platforms are solving a lot more than the “data” issue agencies experience. In fact, they are used for countless use cases and solve countless challenges that agencies face. 

They can remove a lot of extra tools from your agency's tech stack because they act like a one-stop shop for many marketing functions.

Now, let’s break down what audience intelligence platforms are capable of.

The best audience intelligence platforms help agencies with: 

Audience discovery

  • Segment their client's audience in an automatic and unbiased way, based on their shared interests and behaviors. This allows agencies to understand the audience as a whole but also the breakdown of the audience and the segments that live within it. Knowing these segments allows for tailored marketing strategies for each one so that they aren’t taking a “one size fits all” marketing approach. 
  • Build out detailed customer personas that the entire agency can work from and refer to 
  • Identify the best segments to target with personalized marketing experiences. They do this by showing which segment has the most interest in a client’s brand so that the segment can be targeted specifically and draw in more people like them, ultimately growing the client's audience.
  • Expedite audience research when the client presents the agency with a creative brief, removing the need for lengthy and costly market research (ie.focus groups), and allowing the agency to ace the brief. 
  • Enrich the client’s first-party data by augmenting it with colorful, in-depth insights (the agency can upload the client’s first-party data into the audience intelligence platform, to be segmented and augmented with deeper insights). 

an interactive walkthrough of the an audience intelligence report in Audiense

Campaign optimization

  • Inform media buying, by surfacing the top media outlets for the client’s audience, so they know which channels to best reach them through for a high ROI.
  • Select and vet influencers to hire for different campaigns. Audience intelligence tools surface the top influencers the client's audience has the greatest interest in, so agencies can select influencers based on how much they resonate with the client’s audience, not on their follower account. 
  • Surface profitable brand partnerships/collaborations by uncovering the top brands the client's audience has the highest interest in (ie. e.l.f. Cosmetics and Chipotle; this partnership was very successful, and it was between two unseemingly related brands, but both brands had a high audience overlap) 
  • Create content that will resonate with audiences, by surfacing the insights needed to inform messaging, visuals and online animation your client’s audience is attracted to.
  • Track campaign performance by understanding what audiences each marketing campaign brought in; is the campaign on target and bringing in the intended audiences or does the agency need to pivot their strategy? The faster the agency can figure this out, the less money is wasted targeting the wrong audience! 
  • Improve campaign effectiveness by understanding which marketing content/ visuals/copy is going to work best on each different audience segment.  


Market expansion

  • Track and assess the changes in the client’s audience so the brand can evolve alongside the changing preferences of the audience 
  • Surface audience trends that present new market opportunities for the client 
  • Perform a quick but in-depth competitive analysis by surfacing the competitor's audience, and understanding which marketing strategies are working for them that your client could attempt. This also allows agencies to understand which audiences a competitor has captured that their client has yet to consider/ target, and which audiences their client is dominating and why. 
  • Assess client market share, by showing which audiences within the entire industry the client has dominated and which ones they need to target to expand their reach.
  • Inform a marketing localization strategy by surfacing insights on audiences from different audiences across the globe, allowing their client to target each location appropriately and effectively, and expand their global presence. 

Crisis management 

  • Quickly resolve a PR crisis by surfacing the audiences most affected/ bothered by the “bad press”, so strategies can be built to win back these audiences. 

Agency growth 

  • Demonstrate that they are an agency backed by data. Audience intelligence tools are the best resource an agency can employ to help them stay competitive and create award-winning marketing strategies.  
  • Win client pitches by allowing for quick audience research in preparation for the pitch, and by surfacing impressive insights on the client's audience - making the agency look like they know the client's audience in-depth, and proving that the strategies the agency builds are backed by data. 

Sign up for a free trial and see how Audiense can help with each of these  marketing functions

Picking the right audience intelligence platform for your agency

You’ve learned above that there are so many challenges/marketing functions that an audience intelligence platform can solve for. However, not all audience intelligence platforms are created equal - some are better at solving these challenges than others.

So, how do you choose the right one for your agency? Ultimately it comes down to a platform trial and testing its abilities based on your needs and goals..

That doesn’t mean that you have to try them ALL, that would take forever. So the first step is to narrow down which ones you will try, and look for audience intelligence platforms with these basic features: 

  • Infinite ways to filter, build, and discover audiences 
  • Audience segmentation 
  • Interest and Behavioral analysis capabilities
  • Deep but simplified insights, that you can action on
  • Audience demographic and psychographic data
  • Social media content engagement metrics 
  • Audience influencer, partnership, and media affinities 
  • Trend identification
  • Competitor analysis 
  • Tool integrations; easy integration with your CRM platform, social media accounts etc. 
  • A platform that is constantly adapting to the times and new needs of agencies 
  • Interest graphs; visuals that display an audience’s level of interest in something by a displayed score
  • Personality insights; a summarized description of your audience’s feelings, based on social/ first-party data 
  • Visuals that can be shared and understood universally, and used to create winning client pitch decks 
  • The ability to analyze third-party (social) and first-party data 
  • The ability to export audience lists for targeting, and the ability to target audiences right through the audience intelligence platform 

Sign up to see Audiense’s features in action

*Tip: When first engaging with the sales team of any platform, you can even send them this list, and say I am looking for a platform that has… (copy and paste the list above), and if they come back and are missing some features, you know it means you should keep looking.

Audience intelligence platforms drive real results

The proof is in the pudding, or in this case, the proof is in the agency case studies

Not only do audience intelligence tools help agencies do their job, but they also drive real results.

Here are a few case studies showing how top agencies use audience intelligence platforms to achieve success.

Arming agencies with the insights needed to help their clients win high-net-worth customers 

Arming agencies with the insights needed to help their clients win high-net-worth customers 

Relevance, a luxury marketing agency, used an audience intelligence platform to target high-net-worth individuals for their luxury Yacht brand client. Specifically, Relevance used this platform to segment this audience of high-net-worth people and targeted each segment with highly tailored messaging, informed by the insights surfaced by the audience intelligence tool. 

The insights included the type of content these segments resonated with the most, and this guided their content strategy. Because of audience intelligence, the agency was able to craft messages that resulted in high engagement and conversion rates, ultimately helping their client win new high-net-worth customers.  Read the full case study here

Enabling agencies to help their clients expand their market share

Enabling agencies to help their clients expand their market share

Insights agency Convosphere used an audience intelligence platform to help their clients (a multinational education brand) expand into the German, French, and Japanese markets. Using insights surfaced from conversational data and social media, they were able to understand the needs and potential of each market. Through this research, the audience intelligence tool revealed that there was a big need for STEAM education and digital access to this education. They used these insights to create a strategy that helped them enter and win over these new markets. Read the full case study here

Allowing agencies to unearth new opportunities (events) for their clients   

Allowing agencies to unearth new opportunities (events) for their clients   

Maven Road worked with IBM to identify the top events their consumers were attending. Using audience intelligence, they analyzed the conversations IBM's customers were having on social media and surfaced the top events this audience had an affinity towards. With these insights, they were able to create a strategy around IBM attending these events which led to increased brand exposure.Read the full case study here. 

Tool-by-tool comparison 

Now that you’ve seen proof of the power of audience intelligence platforms, and you know what to look for when you’re on the hunt for one, we thought it would be even more helpful to narrow things down for you. Below, we’ve narrowed it down to our top five audience intelligence platforms for agencies so you are further down the path in finding one that is right for you. 

Audiense  ⭐  4.5/5 stars

Audiense is an audience intelligence platform known for helping agencies understand what inspires, moves and influences any audience.

Audiense helps agencies segment these audiences by their interests, and surface rich cultural insights that are used to build personalized marketing strategies. 

Agencies use Audiense to understand niche audience affinities and create better personas to work from. Audiense reports surface everything from what influencers their clients should be working with to which content to create to resonate with their audience. 

Users love this platform because it helps them understand which segments of consumers are worth targeting, and it surfaces the insights needed to improve connection, conversions, and customer experience. 

Here’s a rundown of what the Audiense platform looks like, and the features it includes:

rundown of what the Audiense platform looks like, and the features it includes

Sign up for a fast walkthrough of the Audiense platform


Brandwatch ⭐ 4.4/5 stars

Brandwatch gives agencies the ability to monitor their clients' brands, competitors, and industry trends across more than 100 million online sources.

More specifically, it allows agencies to monitor and decipher online conversations that people are having about any brand, across the globe, in 30+ different languages. 

Brandwatch also acts as a social media management tool, where you can create, schedule, and monitor posts across all networks and channels, from one place. 

Agencies use this platform for “sentiment analysis”, and users like that it gives them the ability to surface the audience behind any topic, across multiple different content sources. 

Take a look at the Brandwatch dashboard and the features this platform includes: 

Brandwatch dashboard and the features this platform includes

Pulsar ⭐ 4.4/5 stars

Pulsar helps agencies measure and optimize performance across client owned websites and social channels. 

Agencies use this platform to access and analyze digital audiences all in one place. It helps them connect the dots between online conversations and consumer trends. 

Pulsar helps with brand tracking and campaign measurement, and the insights surfaced are typically used to inspire the creative for marketing campaigns. 

Here’s a look at the Pulsar dashboard and it’s platform features: 

Pulsar dashboard and it’s platform features

Statsocial ⭐ 4.3/5 stars

StatSocial allows users to understand what makes an audience unique. 

Agencies use StatSocial to conduct deep research on the audiences of their client, or their client’s competitors.  

The insights surfaced by this platform help agencies pick the top influencers and media channels to partner with to reach and resonate with any audience. 

StatSocial also has the ability to enrich any first-party or third-party data set, to shed further light on audience affinities and preferences. 

Take a glance at the StatSocial platform and it’s features:

StatSocial platform and it’s features 

Helixa ⭐ 4/5 stars

Helixa is an audience intelligence platform that uses AI and machine learning to connect and analyze audience data. 

This platform helps agencies create detailed customer personas for their clients' audience by surfacing things like personality attributes, demographics and consumer behavior.

The data surfaced by Helixa is organized into summarized reports that are easy to understand and take action on. 

Agencies like Helixa’s user-friendly interface and visually appealing dashboard. Helixa makes it easy to gather insights quickly on any audience, and it is often used for early stage strategic development for new products, ads, and brand offerings. 

Helixa platform and it’s features

Unlock the power of audience intelligence with Audiense 

In this competitive agency world, where every decision must be backed by data, audience intelligence platforms are invaluable if you want to thrive. By harnessing the power of audience intelligence, agencies can completely transcend their marketing strategies, build highly targeted and successful campaigns, and prove to their clients that they are leaders in this data-driven era. 

As you embark on your journey to find the best platform for your agency, we hope you refer back to this guide. Choosing the right platform means unlocking opportunities, driving real results for your clients, and propelling your agency towards growth and success. 

Become a strategic hero for your clients. Sign up for Audiense and set the stage for innovation, creativity, and winning marketing campaigns. 


Q1: What is an audience intelligence platform?

A1: An audience intelligence platform is a tool that helps marketers collect, analyze, and interpret data about their target audience. These platforms offer insights into audience behaviours, preferences, and demographics, enabling marketers to tailor their strategies for higher engagement and effectiveness.

Q2: Why do agencies need an audience intelligence platform?

A2: Agencies need an audience intelligence platform to make data-driven decisions, enhance campaign targeting, improve client outcomes, and stay competitive. These platforms offer deep insights into the audience, which can significantly influence marketing strategies and results.

Q3: How does an audience intelligence platform improve campaign performance?

A3: By providing detailed insights into audience behaviours and preferences, an audience intelligence platform allows agencies to create more targeted and personalized marketing campaigns. This can lead to higher engagement rates, better conversion rates, and more effective use of marketing budgets.

Q4: What features should I look for in an audience intelligence platform?

A4: Key features to look for include audience segmentation, behavioural analysis, trend identification, influencer and media affinity analysis, competitor analysis, and integration capabilities with other marketing tools. A user-friendly interface and robust customer support are also important.

Q5: How do privacy laws affect the use of audience intelligence platforms?

A5: Privacy laws, like GDPR in Europe, set strict guidelines on how personal data can be collected, stored, and used. When choosing an audience intelligence platform, ensure it complies with these regulations to protect your agency and clients from legal risks.

Q6: Can small agencies benefit from audience intelligence platforms?

A6: Yes, audience intelligence platforms can be highly beneficial for agencies of all sizes. They help small agencies compete more effectively by providing access to insights that allow for more strategic, data-driven decisions, often with scalable pricing models to fit different budgets.

Q7: How do I evaluate the effectiveness of an audience intelligence platform?

A7: Evaluate its effectiveness by checking how well it integrates with your existing tools, the relevance and actionability of its insights, and whether it has positively impacted campaign outcomes. Feedback from team members and improvements in campaign metrics are good indicators.

Q8: Are there free audience intelligence platforms available?

A8: While most comprehensive platforms require a subscription, there are free or freemium tools available that offer basic audience insights. These can be a good starting point for agencies new to audience intelligence or with limited budgets.

Q9: How long does it take to see results from using an audience intelligence platform?

A9: The timeframe to see results can vary based on how quickly the platform is integrated into your campaigns and how rapidly you act on its insights. Some agencies may see improvements in campaign performance within a few weeks, while others may take longer to adjust strategies and measure impact.

Q10: Can audience intelligence platforms replace market research?

A10: While audience intelligence platforms provide valuable insights that can significantly reduce the need for traditional market research, they should complement rather than replace it entirely. They offer real-time data that's excellent for tactical decisions, but comprehensive market research may still be necessary for strategic planning.

Audiense blog - Start a trial - Audiense Insights