In the age of Big Data and ultra-precise targeting, "knowing" your audiences is much more than simply understanding their buying habits and which mobile apps are on their phone.
It seems politics and science also enter the equation.
Note the great article by Geoff Mohan (@LATsciguy) in the LA Times about a recent study on what is influencing our opinions and views about climate change.
While climate change has been greatly debated, and many believe the "doubters" are losing, the article only points out that views may be becoming "harder" or "un-movable." Middle ground is evaporating and facts becoming obsolete.
The PR take-away?
Swaying public opinion - at least for "causes" - may become more difficult. New tactics and strategies will emerge in attempts to overcome a populace that has essentially closed its door and is not letting anyone in their house to talk to them.
Do we truly live in a land of "I'm not changing my mind: Ever, ever, ever." ?
Political and public affairs veterans will likely emerge with winning strategies that could have cross-over use in traditional public relations campaigns and programs.
We should take a PA guy or gal for lunch once in a while.
How we change minds will likely change. The path for a consumer campaign may require a political "tone" if you are, say, trying to convince a mostly GOP audience that Brand X car is right for you and America because, for instance, it was built without government help.
The danger in all this? Further polarization of audiences. Ticking off one group in the quest to improve relations with another.
Research will remain invaluable, but the smart money is on killer strategies that continue building loyalties across even more and further entrenched audience segments.