Written by Luke Charalambous

How many people do you know that still use Yahoo groups? At a stretch you could probably name one. Maybe two. And you probably don’t invite them to your dinner parties.

You might be surprised to learn then, that in 2006 a group of hedge fund managers set up a group. But unlike the rest of the world, they never stopped using it.

In fact, it’s still the go-to networking platform for the industry. They use the group to discuss business, organise events and plan the all important Friday night drinking ritual.

It wasn’t odd in 2006, because Yahoo was the norm. But for most it’s now very much an alien concept.

As the likes of Facebook and WhatsApp have all but swept away the competition – in the hedge fund management space, Yahoo has remained an island undisturbed by the waves caused by today’s social networking behemoths. And as this Financial News article explains, there’s absolutely no desire for change.

At first this situation struck me as bizarre. Why would a whole industry refuse to move on? But the more I thought about it, the more one saying resonated: “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it”.

In today’s world, PR and marketing professionals are often guilty of focusing on what we anticipate as the latest trend, or the next big thing.

How can we utilise Snapchat? What can my client do with Facebook Live? Am I missing a trick with AI? Is it creepy if we teach Alexa to dictate our latest article directly to our audience in their bedroom?

Jokes aside, these are all important channels and used correctly they can really make an impact. But we can’t let them cloud our judgement on what people actually want – and importantly – where they go to find it.

Evidently, it’s no good using Facebook ads targeted at hedge fund managers, if they’re spending their free time in Yahoo groups.

Instead, get to know your audience inside out. Find out what makes them tick and nail down how they consume their content. With the right research you might just find out that those CFOs you’re targeting still love MySpace – and then you can engage them in a meaningful way.

Once you know where your audience spends its time, then all of your activity can be highly targeted and ultimately more successful. After all, you can’t catch a salt-water fish in a fresh-water lake.

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